If you haven’t heard the word already, there is a little shindig going down right on the Equator this September. We’re calling it a “Chautauqua“, which is a nice old word which means roughly “A group of Fancy Adults gathering to further their mutual knowledge and success in life.”
Organized by our mutual friend Jim Collins and his Ecuador Insider friend Cheryl Reed, I found myself invited to be one of the hosts/presenters a few months ago, and after some consideration I wholeheartedly accepted. During a brief moment of feeling important and worldly, I took a long shot and invited JD Roth, an excellent (and more famous) writer who I had met at the 2012 Financial Bloggers Conference, knowing he had a weakness for South America. As luck would have it, he accepted too.
The overall goal of this trip is simply to gather with a group of about 25 people, and spend some time learning together in a new and extremely beautiful country. If we can get ourselves to the Quito airport, everything else will be facilitated by the hosts including transportation, accommodation and meals at a low-key yet very sweet resort up in the cloud forest. Plus some trips to the surrounding countryside for activities and a charitable project in the village nearby. For my part, I’m planning on getting in a healthy amount of adventure hiking and other outdoor fitness stuff as well, and you are welcome to join me. On the more formal side of it, each of your four hosts will be doing a presentation and available for one-on-one sessions for individual discussion.
As Mr. Money Mustache, I feel compelled to point out that a trip like this is obviously suitable for only a minority of readers of a blog like this. While the retreat is not designed to sell anything and I’m accepting no pay myself*, the price of just under $2000 is still a non-trivial amount of money to spend for a vacation. If you’re in debt or otherwise struggling, a trip like this will not solve your problems, and I don’t want anyone to ever feel they have to pay to meet me or ask for advice. I hope to continue to host less formal gatherings all over the US that would be much cheaper and convenient to reach than Ecuador, or if you happen to live in Longmont, Colorado, you can just bike over to to say “Hi!”
So who IS the trip for? It’s for people whose response to the proposal is something like this:
I bet the other 24 people in the group will be really interesting to meet, and I’ll also enjoy hearing a bit from JL, JD and MMM, since I’ve read plenty of each of their stuff. Overall, it might be a nice entrepreneurial/career/philosophy boost for my already-successful life. Since I can easily afford it, sign me up”.
With all this discussion aside, I now present you with the resources you need to get yourself on the list. Note that even with a 1-in-10,000 participation rate, this 25-person event should easily sell out, so if you do decide to go, it would be wise to sign up fairly soon.
(Update: This event has come and gone and was a great success – you can read about how it went here).
* Above the Clouds Retreats is a small business that attempts to make a living for its owner by organizing retreats like this one. She then uses some of the profits for charitable work in the area of Ecuador where she lives. In this case, the three presenters also agreed to donate any surplus from the budget to the charitable work instead of getting paid ourselves. But apparently this was supposed to be a surprise for Cheryl and I let the cat out of the bag with this post. Sorry guys! :-)