This post is part of the MyShingle Solos summer series which will run between June 17 and July 3, 2014.
This post is written by MyShingle Guest Blogger T. Michelle Curry
In 2004, I attended the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. During one of the CLE sessions, we were given free copies of the book “50 Things To Do With The Rest of Your Life” by attorney Robert Pearce Wilkins. The book is a short, easy read (only 88 pages) and I breezed through it on my plane ride back home. In the book, Wilkins asserts that most people get so caught up with work and daily living that they fail to plan their future and truly enjoy life. He shares his list of 50 life goals and encourages readers to get started on their own list. It inspired me to think about my future and honestly changed my life trajectory.
Back then, time and money constraints prevented me from doing much other than work (you know the routine, I had to pay back those student loans). But I knew I needed a plan to bring some balance into my life. I had worked with older lawyers who never took time off and seemed not to realize there was life outside the office. I did not want to end up as that kind of lawyer. If Wilkins put the bug in my ear, they were the impetus for me to create my “list” and put it in action. High on my list was/is travel.
I started off taking weekend jaunts. To save on lodging costs, I stayed with friends or family who were living or working on assignment in a city I wanted to visit. I also became a master at finding cheap airfare deals and accruing frequent flyer miles for free tickets. The more I traveled, the more hooked I became. Now that I’m a solo practitioner (and my student loans are finally paid off – yay!!!), I have a bit more flexibility and time to do things I enjoy. But I’ve also made travel a life priority which I fit into my schedule like any other important obligation.
In 2010, I took my first two-week trip to Carnival in Brazil. It opened up a new world for me and exposed me to all the benefits of international travel (learning a new culture and language, trying new foods, and meeting new friends). After that trip, I vowed to take at least one big international trip per year and to share my travel knowledge and inspiration with other women. From that was born my travel blog , where I write about my travel adventures as my alter ego, The Travel Sista (@thetravelsista). The blog lets me escape the law every so often and indulge my passions for writing and travel. I’m also becoming more proficient with social media, website design, coding, and other technology (skills I can also use for my practice).
Eleven years later, I still periodically revisit Mr. Wilkins’ book for inspiration and ideas for my ever-evolving list. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so (you can find it on Amazon) and get started on your list of life goals. As he says, it’s time to “plan, take command – and start enjoying the rest of your life.”
T. Michelle Curry is the managing attorney of T.M. Curry Law LLC in Atlanta, Georgia, where she specializes in Estate Planning and Small Business law. In her spare time, you can find her blogging about travel at The Travel Sista.