I feel a little silly writing this blog post, but I couldn’t help but to parallel my recent 4 day Algonquin Park adventure to what people experience when they go through our credit card debt relief program.
When you are paddling a canoe in Algonquin Park, you usually have lots of time with your thoughts as you slip into a rhythm. I think people take too much for granted; they want everything to come easy. Our society is completely geared towards instant gratification. We want it all and we want it now.
Our debt settlement program is very similar to an Algonquin canoe trip, and I’ll share why.
We did this trip with four people. Preparation took several months; we exchanged about 70 emails delegating who would get what ready for the trip.
Food, rental equipment, tents, bear spray, park fees, and all kinds of gear all took a considerable amount of time to organize. Then we spent a full day (starting at 5am) to make the 3 hour drive up there from Markham, then get all our kit in the canoes and make our way 14 km into the park to Burnt Island Lake. Once we had done a ton of portaging, and paddling (sometimes in some strong headwinds) we arrived at our destination well into the park and completely unplugged from society, we now needed to set up the tent, gather wood and prepare food for dinner before it got dark.
All of this takes a considerable amount of effort and time, and you don’t actually get rewarded until you have eaten and are relaxing by your campfire enjoying an epic sunset, which followed with the enchanting sounds of loons then a brightly star lit sky with tons of shooting stars. That’s something you can’t get in the city or even a cottage.
That is delayed gratification. That is very similar to a debt settlement program, there is tons work and discipline upfront and then it all pays off 1-3 years down the road, but when it does the payoff is awesome because you get out of debt for less then you owed on the day you started.
The funny thing is on the way home we were extremely proud of ourselves and our 4 day 14 Km adventure. We stopped at a coffee shop on Hwy 48 near Lake Simcoe and outside there was a couple in their 50’s with tons of gear packed on their bicycles, the gentlemen’s bike had a small trailer in tow with a small Swiss flag on it. Sipping my coffee I casually asked them where they were coming from, he answered: Vancouver.
Apparently with 6 months’ vacation saved up they decided a bike ride from Vancouver to Halifax would be their own form of adventure. I bet the gratification felt when they arrive in Halifax will be second to none.
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt.
Here’s a few shots from my trip:
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