Thursday, January 22, 2009

Who Needs Money? - Bowel Cancer Research

Last November I met Ian Usher, this guy that's traveling the world accomplishing 100 goals in 100 weeks. He's really quite a fascinating character and I've been following his blog with interest. When I told my 14-year-son about him...all the cool places he's going and things he's son's first comment was a very matter-of-fact: "He's going to run out of money." Note to self: Stop worrying about money...or at least stop talking about worrying about front of Scotty!

My son's not the only one that mentions the little issue of money when I rave about Ian's adventures. People want to know if he's independently wealthy. How in the world does one afford to take off for 2 years and travel the world? I'm sure it's a question that Ian gets asked a fact, I asked him that myself when I talked to him.

His budget approximately averages out to $100/day, he told me. And a lot of what he's been able to do has been due to the generosity of people he meets. Reading through his blog, I saw that it's often through serendipity that he's met just the contacts to help him fulfill some very unique goals that often require very specialized talents!

One of the most incredible of these meetings happened 2 days after I'd met Ian on Thanksgiving Day. He told me he was meeting a juggler that would help him accomplish his "juggle with fire" goal. I had pictured a street vendor who was probably just making ends meet. "Juggler" doesn't sound like the kind of job that pays well. I pictured Ian and the juggler sitting around with a can of spam on Thanksgiving Day, maybe throwing around some burning turkey legs. I read his blog the next day and saw that the juggler was world famous! Thanksgiving was spent at this outrageously gorgeous mansion in the Santa Monica mountains!

But my surprise and awe at the stories I read on Ian's blog aren't about wealth in the monetary sense. They are about the generosity and spirit of all of those that are helping him to accomplish these goals! I admit to feeling a tad guilty after I read about it all that I met him purely for selfish reasons. I didn't help him accomplish any goal...he helped me with one of mine! And, he bought me a drink at a very posh LA bar to celebrate afterwards.. Undoubtedly out-of-budget when one is traveling around the world on $100/day. It struck me that Ian neither boasted of his fame nor complained about any disappointments or worries of money.

There is one goal I thought maybe I could help him with. (Well...two, if you count the "Mile High Club" but... I wouldn't really call myself experienced in that area unless he's talking about a hike...) I have some experience with fund-raising (as anyone that knows me can attest.) Ian's Goal #81: is to raise $50K for Bowel Cancer Research. (Put Ian Usher in the "Name of Event" field.) His father died of Bowel Cancer and today, Jan.22, is the Anniversary of his death.

I know that these days most of us are worried about money. We're worried about the economy, the value of our houses and investments, and our jobs. But isn't it heart-warming to see people reaching out to someone they don't know, either to give or receive? It can even be as simple as a smile (but even better to donate money to a worthy cause.)

I hope you'll consider it!

1 comment:

David S said...

Glad to help!

I like your comments about money. It is amazing how things work out when you put the worry aside and proceed knowing that things will fall into place as they need to.

Ian stayed with our family as he passed through Portland, and he was indeed fascinating, friendly and very generous of spirit. He touched our lives, and we hope to see him again some day.

Good luck in your quests as well!