MY WIFE AND I recently spent 5 amazing days in Akumal Bay, Mexico. Seeing as though our honeymoon was in Thailand a few months prior, most would think we'd be done vacationing for the year. (well at least, international vacationing) The 21-hour flight to Thailand complete with the 12-hour layover in Beijing where facebook and social media is suddenly non-existent because of some Chinese law, you'd think we'd have enough. But like most fairly new travelers, not long after we returned home we found ourselves looking for the next trip. Let's not call them vacations because vacations are defined as "a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity..." With the passive income I've created this isn't really the case for me. While on this trip I was still being paid from multiple streams, and honestly it felt amazing. I'll divulge into those streams when the time is right but first let's rewind (something I don't do too often these days) to a few months back right after returning home from the aforementioned honeymoon.
I was laid off from my good paying job as a Field Engineer for one of the biggest oilfield service companies in the world. If you've pumped gas anytime recently and if you haven't you've been under a rock, you've noticed those cute, low prices you're paying now compared to about two years ago. The price of oil is low and two of the direct results of it are those gas prices and the jobs of thousands of other people just like me who was affected by it. So I had taken a "vacation" from this job to travel to Thailand and the whole while I was not being paid. Although it was an amazing experience and a trip I'd recommend anyone take if ever they get the opportunity to, it still created an uneasy feel to it while there. A natural anxiety would creep in at times while there because of the fact that I wasn't being paid. Every dollar, or in this case Thai Baht I spent while there was being counted silently in my head with the notion that I just spent that and it won't be replaced until I return to work and get another paycheck in two or three weeks. I'm sure everyone can relate to the story...you enjoy a nice vacation then you dreadfully return to work the next week and hit the ground running to catch up on all the work you missed and make up for all the cash you spent while gone. Everyone's been there, and it's usually known as "back to reality". And there I was, back to reality after returning home from an amazing experience, I was set to return to the job that my livelihood depended on (or so I thought). The call I received shortly thereafter was short and sweet. Telling me that my livelihood would be severely threatened, telling me that my services were no longer needed at this company where I spent the past 5 years of my life working endlessly through the day and into the night and back into the day again at times. I had been laid off. It was a shocker and an extreme case of "back to reality." Then it became surprisingly exhilarating, the chance to recreate my life. For 5 years prior I had been known as Ramon Smothers - The Engineer. Now I had a chance to be known as Ramon Smothers - WHOEVER THE HELL I WANNA BE.
SO I ESTABLISHED two more streams of passive income and booked another trip. This time not as a vacation but as an experience. A soul-filling, life-changing, mind-altering experience. And I'm oh so glad I did.
FLYING INTO AN OASIS of blue water and white sandy beaches, still in amazement that I live so close to this beautiful scene realizing that living in Texas the flight to Mexico is a rather painless one. A short 1 1/2-hour flight and we were there. We booked through groupon which we've grown to love because of the ease of not having to actually plan a thing! They used a partner company in this particular case called Apple Vacations which provided us with the all-inclusive stay and complete accommodations. The resort of choice, this time, was Akumal Bay - Beach & Wellness Resort and it was simply amazing. The beach was spectacular and clean and the resort was built to match. The 5 on-site restaurants complete with the fully stocked mini-bar in our penthouse suite made it very difficult to leave. So difficult that I completely bypassed my opportunity to visit the Mayan ruins located in Chichen Itza which were only about a 2-1/2 hour drive away. I did get to swim with the indigenous turtles located at the beach along the corals. These turtles were magnificent creatures and are what gives this place its' name. Akumal rightfully means "Land of the Turtles".
THE AVAILIBILTY of unlimited food and drinks really brings out the glutton in a person. It also brings one of my personal motto's into complete fruition when I say "Eat well, drink well, sleep better!" That's exactly what I did! I would wake up every morning at 5am sharp to enjoy the stillness of the universe as mostly everyone in this time zone is still asleep to be alone with my thoughts and meditate on this new journey I'm embarking on. (More on meditation and visualization in future posts) After about an hour of time dedicated strictly to myself under the bright Mexican stars for personal development, it was off to the breakfast buffet where the choices were endless. After breakfast one of these days, we opted for the couples massages located at the spa on the grounds. The service was excellent and they really are masters with their hands. We would then go relax by the pristine beach lounging in reclining loungers underneath a bamboo-constructed canopy with a pair of authentic Mexican margaritas in hand. Reflecting on life and what our businesses have been able to provide us in such a drastic way. Lunch was buffet style and featured everything from Margherita pizza to ribeye steak. Not to mention the original Mexican food that I still dream about since leaving. After then it'd be time to dip into the ocean, walking into it where you'd see the native and beautiful saltwater fish swim past your feet. Stingrays were common and consider yourself fortunate to see one of these beauties glide near you leaving their trail on the ocean floor. Dinner was first-class and presented you with plenty choices. There also was a nightclub located on the resort grounds but seeing as though we really lived up to the life motto I mentioned earlier, SLEEP went undefeated yet again.
RENTAL PROPERTY INCOME, my rental car business that stays booked at least 75% of each month, and Health and Fitness coaching residual income allowed for me to take this trip and not miss a "paycheck". These sources of passive income, for now, is what allows the freedom to get up and go as we please and not dread the return to work or as it formally is known as, coming "back to reality." I'm not substituting my time for the money that's being made. The income will remain constant whether I'm working or not. It isn't by no means the peak of this entrepreneurial and wealth-building journey but it is indeed a start.
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