Traveling with my family to Europe this winter break was truly a transformative experience. Days were filled with excitement and intrigue, and the experience left a marked impression on me. This experience forced me to slow down, take everything in, and appreciate and truly immerse myself in the experience. We spent a lot of time planning and researching, and we wanted to fit in as much as we could in the time we had. Having a plan set up allowed me to fully embrace the experience. It also leaves room to manage those little unexpected life situations that tend to come up no matter how prepared you are. Sometimes those moments can become valuable life lessons.
There were so many things that captivated and impacted me from my time in Spain and Italy—the sights and beautiful architecture. The churches, castles, cathedrals, monuments, chapels, and the art were breathtaking. The strength and wonder of the Colosseum is quite incredible, and even after about 2,000 years the structure still stands strong despite many structural challenges and natural adversities. The largest amphitheater of ancient times, created with so many complex systems and unique features, such as having 80 elevators—still stands because of the work that has gone into keeping it alive and because of its undeniable strong foundation.
The most incredible work of art I have ever witnessed was La Sagrada Familia. Construction started in the 1800’s; it is still unfinished, and construction is still in progress. It was a vision created by the architect Gaudi; another complex architectural wonder, which again, is a testament of perseverance, and having a plan in place to carry it out.
I have a newfound appreciation for looking at things through a creative lens, especially when planning. It is not just about adapting and overcoming. Having a plan and setting attainable goals enables you to see the progression, growth, and possibly anticipate setbacks. It helps you to be accountable. It’s a reminder that with determination, perseverance, and patience anything is possible. It clearly takes time; none of this happened overnight, but all of this is a testament of hard work, risk, planning, failure, getting back up, collaboration, and the importance of setting realistic goals without the pressure of having to move fast to reach a goal. Much like investing, it takes time, discipline, and trust in the process to achieve your financial and life goals.