One of the great things about traveling abroad is you are able to take in some of the advantages and disadvantages of travelling. There’s always the good, bad and ugly part of travel when you take a long, extended vacation. When you’re in the note business, it’s important to make sure everything keeps running. The beautiful thing about being in the note business is you don’t have to be here to have to take care of what you do. You’re able to continue doing the business as you get rocking along because technology is everywhere. Time is just shorter than we think. Let the note business fund your why and the things you love along with being and enjoying the people that you love. Scott returns from his European vacation and discusses some of the biggest takeaways from traveling abroad.
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I’m Back: Scott’s Biggest Takeaways From Traveling Abroad
I hope everybody had a great three weeks while I was out gallivanting around Europe with Stephanie Goodman. We had a great time, but I’m excited to be back in Austin, back from our whirlwind three quarter trip around the world. We figure out mileage because when you look at things, we traveled roughly approximately over 15,000 miles between plane, train, boat, cruise ship, taxi, even walking a large chunk of the time with museums and site skirts and stuff like that. It’s good to be back. We did have a great time. We were ready to get back to a little bit of normality. We enjoyed it. We shared a lot of what we do. Sharing where we are, what museums we’re at, where we’re traveling to, fun things that we were doing along the way. We’ve definitely had a great time. There’s no doubt about that. Stephanie saw some amazing things along the way, got to see some amazing things.
A little bit of a recap, we booked a seven-day cruise out of Barcelona that hit the Italian. It was a seven-day cruise out of Barcelona, down to Naples and Rome. Florence was in there, Cannes, France. We ended up hitting the Monte Carlo, Casino Royale. That seven-day trip was great because we’re able to go to Rome and see the Colosseum. Then we go to the Vatican City and go into the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Square. Those are some of the biggest memories of us. Going in act like James Bond in Casino Royale, going to Cannes, France. Walking through the ruins of Pompeii. It was just phenomenal. Just some great things that we checked off the list, but it wasn’t a vacation of a lifetime. I don’t want to piss anybody off as I’m right back at it again.
Eric Hyde says, “We ransacked your office while you’re gone.”
It does look like it’s been ransacked. There is mail here, there are boxes everywhere from stuff being delivered in line and stuff like that. A lot of good stuff. We’ll treat these as it’s coming. Got to know how Stephanie packed to look as fabulous as she always did. She always looks fabulous no matter what she wears. She’s just blessed that way. The beautiful thing, we both packed too much. We didn’t do as extreme, but we if packed less, we probably could have gotten away without doing, so that’s fine. Stephanie looked good and she did a good job of recycling when she’s changing a little bit about some outfits and stuff like that.
It’s Europe. It’s not like it’s the dark ages. They’ve got laundry, they’ve got place to get clothes washed. One of the great things that I took advantage is getting a lot of my clothes washed on the cruise ship before we ventured back in Barcelona. We went to Paris and spent a few days there and then back to London. We spent a few days there before flying home. One of the great things about traveling abroad is you are able to take in some of the advantages and disadvantages of travelling. What we have here in the United States, also what advantage over in Europe.
What I’m trying to get at is you take things for granted a little bit. Here was a lot more connectivity across Europe a little bit and I know Steph dealt with some issues with her cell phone, but my cell phone pretty much worked, and it worked great. I was amazed at that all kind of electronic stuff. When you’re at a restaurant, they’re literally checking you out right through the table. There are a lot of restaurants, especially when we were in Sorento having lunch and they literally taking orders on iPads and the stuff showing up, which is interesting.
Take The Time To Visit The Places That Ring Dear To You
I see a little bit more of that here in the States but it’s prevalent throughout Europe, of them being connected. Some of the countries had some things down when coming in and out of the country. The biggest pain in the ass was going through customs, in passport control in Britain. That was always difficult. That was the worst case. We’re doing something new. I first have to give a big shout out to our eight hosts while I was gone from the Note Closers Show podcast. A big shout out to all eight of you guys that stepped in. Gail Villanueva, Bill Griesmer, Cody Cox stepped in the last minute, Gail Greenberg, Eric Hyde and Chris Seveney. Big shout out to all eight of you for stepping in to keep the show running and rocking them on for three weeks instead of being a big gaping hole. Big shout out to all of you guys for doing that.
Gail says, “I make these podcasts looks so easy. The technology is very cool to use. You just spend around time with it.”
That’s all Gail, just got to spend some time with it, like I was down to it.
I love what Steph says on here. She goes, “I could think of at least ten things I learned from traveling.”
I would love to know what your ten things are, Steph. Once you start typing away in the comments of what your ten things are and send it in to me. One of the great things I absolutely enjoyed more than anything else was it’s nice to get away. Honestly, I know there’s always the good, bad, and ugly part of travel when you take a long, extended vacation. I’ve got probably about 8,000 emails I probably got to go through in the three weeks that I was gone, which will be fine. I’ll knock that up. One of the most difficult things besides traveling away is whenever you run something like this on a regular basis. You want to make sure it keeps going.
The biggest fallacy with running a podcast is to take a big gap and not keep doing it. Once again, big shout out to the eight people that helped us out with the knuckle’s show for keeping it rock and rolling. Thank you so much. It’s also you have other things that run while you’re gone. You’ve got to make sure power stays on. We got to leave, so we got to make sure bills are paid. Make sure our pets are taking care of. We got a great pet nanny that did an amazing job with the pets, who sends us almost daily updates with photos of our animals, which is great. Make sure that the plants are watered. Those are simple things.
When you’re in the note business, it’s important to make sure everything keeps running. We had a very big hurdle happened literally the morning that we’re flying out. I had to let somebody go with my staff. Came in that morning, found out they weren’t going to do what I told them to do while I was gone. They had other plans and I had to let them go. That’s always not what you want to do an hour before you head to the airport for a three-week vacation. The beautiful thing about notes is overcoming that big hurdle only through a couple of phone calls. I took a phone call to our servicing management, Shante Duffy over there. I had to give her a big shout out and simply saying, “We had this happen. I need you guys to take a little more of an advanced approach and take things down.”
I also reached out to our guys over at the Singer Law Group who stepped in to help out. The reason I bring that up is it was just unfortunate, but the thing is it gave me peace of mind. The Singer Law Group was able to get several of our nonperformance reperforming, loan mods got a deed in lieu or cancellation contract, a couple of contract for deeds done, it was great. They were able to communicate back and forth, and I was able to literally handle most of the stuff via Facebook Messenger because I didn’t open my computer that much while I was gone. While a lot of people would be like, “I don’t know if I can do it.” Literally, it’s the beautiful thing about being in the note business. I did not have to be here to have to take care of what I do. Do the email, do the Facebook, text message back and forth.
That’s one of the things that I love about what we do. It’s not like I’m rehabbing a property. We got a couple of properties that we’re going to close as far as sales go, big ones, which I’m excited to be done with. That all took place while we’re traveling. That was one of the biggest things that I have to tell you guys. It was important to keep that in mind. Your technology is everywhere. There were a few days when I didn’t have connection because of glitch. We’re in the middle of the ocean. I was paying for some expensive Wi-Fi onboard the Disney Magic. I was able to share, able to communicate, and it was literally not that difficult to do.
I only share that because that’s always one of the things that people worry about. “What’s going to happen with stuff? I can’t take a vacation because I’m too busy with stuff right now,” and that’s rarely the case. There are so many great vendors out there. That’s what’s so great about this business is being able to continue doing the business as you get rocking along. Even as things like that come up and it just happens. Big shout out to our marketing intern, doing a great job on the Note Closers Show’s Instagram page. She’s doing a great job of posting past episodes and getting caught back up with those, along with starting to post some of those to our LinkedIn account. She did a great job.
Conquer Your Fear Of Traveling
It’s good to be back. I know I’ve got a mountain of work that I got to go through anyway. Stack of mail this tall when I rolled in. It is what it is. I will tell you this, Europe was amazing. We had a great time. We visited London, Britain, Spain. Barcelona was absolutely beautiful and just great, probably one of my favorites now. Italy was amazing. We saw more of Italy probably than anything else by going to Naples. We were in Naples very shortly, but we went and spent time in Rome and the Vatican City is just amazing. France, it’s great in Paris and a little bit in Cannes. The four countries we’ve hit are amazing. Paris is beautiful, seeing the Eiffel Tower, being on a boat tour at 11:00 PM, seeing the light on the Eiffel Tower come on, just great stuff.
Now I’m going to answer some questions here. How many international NPNs did you all pick up? I wasn’t out to buy anything internationally. When you’re in a major area, like those areas that we were in. You’re not going to see too much non-performing to pick up because property it’s different over in Europe, especially different how they do the mortgages. There’s not the availability of a true secondary market for investors like you and me out there. I could have bought something if I had a big chunk of money to do some stuff. I could have gone probably and taken down a large portfolio but it’s a whole different aspect over there as far as foreclosure time frames, terms and things like that too. We looked at some fun stuff. We will buy quite a bit of property and stuff and they’re like, “That’s a distressed asset.” One of the distressed assets we were looking at turned out to be one of the biggest killing sites in Britain, where they executed William Wallace of Braveheart. That’s an ugly property we saw, but we made a lot of friends.
I encourage all of you, if you have the opportunity to take a trip like that, do so. It’s so well worth it. It’s such a battery recharge, I guess you could say. I was ready to come home. I’m getting tired of living out and ready to get back in their office, get rock and rolling. I didn’t do much work while I’m gone. I’ve got some things we’re working on beforehand and I literally just stepped away and took the time to be a tourist. I took the time to let my batteries recharge. I experienced Europe before Steph. It was her first time. She got a lot of great things in there. It is different. There are a lot of the great same things going on. Great people everywhere you look. You got opportunities. It’s a much older area of the world than here in the United States. One thing that was great is the architecture and I’ve seen a lot of stuff and taking some things in the mind. Just seeing how the world works outside of our bubble. While they do keep an eye on what’s going on abroad over across the pond here in the United States, they don’t give a shit half of the time compared to what we do.
A lot of things that I watched, especial when watching TV over there, it’s totally different. There’s not so much worries about what the President have been doing or is the President bribed or who they slept with or all that stuff. It isn’t the same as it is over here. Less social media. They have it over there but it’s just not the same type of impact that it has over here. A lot of people have a little bit more of a siesta life over there and I want to see us to. What do I mean by that? I mean the fact that they take breaks, they take time. Lunches can take two to three hours in Spain versus here where we’re in a mad dash, although when we were in the financial district walking through London, we have seen people running around, grabbing a quick lunch, going back to the office.
The biggest thing I can tell you is it’s important for you to take a deep breath, relax and just smell the roses sometime. That’s one of the most important things that I can take away from traveling. It’s important just to take a break, to get away from it all and unwind a little bit to make sure that you don’t burn yourself out. I know that everybody is very good at burning both ends of the candle on a regular basis over here. I didn’t see too much of that over there. There are a lot of people doing some great things, but for the most part, it’s all about just enjoy life. Get the point where you enjoy it and live it and appreciate what you have.
That’s one of the great things. I read a post about how, especially in social media, it’s turned into comparison, and it shouldn’t be comparison. It should be more of being happy for what you have in relation to what you have and how hard you worked at it versus being comparative and feeling less.
Steph says, “It’s important to take an adventure in our life because our time is very short. I realized in the middle of the Sistine Chapel that it took me twenty years to get to that spot. Granted that’s about choices I’ve made in life, but it was also a bit of being afraid to venture out of my comfort zone.”
Thank you for sharing that. Sistine chapel, the Vatican was amazing, an amazing tour guide throughout that area. She did an amazing job. It’s pretty amazing to have about 500 to 1,000 people squeezed into the Sistine Chapel and looking up and seeing that and then walking through all the arts. That’s the most important thing I enjoyed more than anything else and seeing all the old architecture and the art. I’m not a big fan for walking through museums on a daily basis and we got our share of museum. Steph’s much more of a museum trooper than I am but it was nice seamless stuff taking in history. I’m not a big photo taker when it comes to that stuff. It’s great to be around for a long time and I’m never going to probably look at my phone again. It is a nice to relish the history and the arts there.
Steph says, “I learned that getting out of my comfort zone was a little unnerving at times, but overall it was great. It opened up a fresh perspective and a renewal sense of knowing what I can accomplish.”
You can’t travel if you don’t speak the language. You can change planes, trains, ships, cabs, everything. It was amazing. It was pretty easy to get around. Steph enjoyed the loop. What I’m also excited about is seeing other people travel. Wayne’s probably not watching, but Wayne Snell, who’s going through and hiking through the Alps right now. Seeing his videos and seeing his pictures, how much he’s enjoying it and how he started his journey literally on a two-year anniversary of when he quit his job, when he left the corporate world to be a fulltime note buster. It’s exciting to see him going through the Alps. It’s good to see him having a great time, meet new friends as well.
Steph says, “I don’t have to be such a control freak and planning everything. I forgot how nice it was. Just to wander and take it from there.”
Exactly Steph, you don’t have to be a control freak. You sometimes get up, jump on a bus and let the bus take you around for two hours to show you the sites over here. It would be great if they had more of that here in some of the bigger cities. I know they do, but it we take a lot of that for granted sometimes. One of the things I’d like to ask you guys if you travel abroad, what has been your big a-ha moment? What was your big European moment? Before this trip, I went to Europe ten years ago, eleven years ago. I had a pub crawl around with some friends and then we went back to the hotel we’re staying the night, stayed there on the square in Prague and watched the sunrise up and watched the square go from having no people in it to thousands of people in it in just a matter of about an hour. A good cup of coffee, good sausage, and enjoying that. That was my big a-ha moment from my first trip. Now this time around, my big a-ha moment is just being on our dinner cruise and going past the Eiffel Tower.
One of my favorite moments was in Casino Royale having a James Bond Martini there in Monte Carlo and the casino and just enjoying it and then go from there. Overall, people in those countries were so polite and kind, regardless if you spoke the language or not. Everybody is very friendly. We don’t run into too much trouble. There was a couple of warnings from some people about being careful in Barcelona. There are a couple of signs outside Buckingham Palace about there being pick pocketers around there, but for the most part, we’re very fortunate. We didn’t see too much of that stuff. We didn’t experience hardly anything. The most uncomfortable part of our journey was literally going through in and out, more so into the UK twice and spend two hours basically each time almost in security.
Steph says her number five thing. Steph was extremely nervous about traveling abroad for the first time and I’m sure it came out very well. The Colosseum was a great aspect of it. We had a great tour through there. The Colosseum was amazing. I’m a big fan of gladiator and the whole series in those period, Ben Hur, Spartacus, Maximus. I’m thinking of all those movies based on that area. I totally enjoyed the Colosseum. Just love to sit there and stare down is one of my favorite moments of the trip. I’m glad you enjoyed that as well in your past. What are the comments, what are the moments from Europe you guys have that you’ve enjoyed with your travel abroad and enjoyed things like that? If you haven’t traveled abroad, is there a spot that you’re wanting to go to? Your spot that you want to see or that you want to experience.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Steph is working on her number six point. I would love to know if you are interested. Do you have a topic you love for me to cover? Please send me a private message on Facebook or on Instagram or email a topic you would like to cover here on the Note Closers Show. We’re revamping some of the topics for our Note Night in America webinars on Monday night. If you have specific topic that you’d like for us to cover there, please feel free to let me know.
Gail says she has an a-ha moment, “My a-ha moment of the time I travel outside of the US is I have a tremendous appreciation of people no matter where you are. At the same time, they want the same things to live a peaceful life, co-exist, provide for themselves and their family and this comes in many different ways.”
That’s a great quote. I like the idea of people are extremely nice. I tried my best Spanish in Barcelona. People appreciate it, at least I thought they did, and a little bit of Italian I know. I couldn’t speak any French at all, but it would be good.
Cody says this, “Still stuck in the grind but would love to see Ireland.”
That’s great. That’s on our checklist for next year. One of the things that we do is when we’re on a cruise, especially this last three years when we go ahead and pre-book our next cruise, a thirteen-day cruise, transatlantic cruise out of Miami. We booked that for next year in June, going back to Italy, and then we plan on going over to Ireland. Love tasting the different foods. Food definitely tastes better abroad. We put so many preservatives and things here. It’s different, but the food tastes that much more amazing abroad. Food is so much better abroad that it is here in the United States.
Number six, Stephanie says “Their cities are so easy to walk through. They walk everywhere, it seems. I love it and learned how to dress accordingly.”
Yes, she did. Not all the women are wearing high heels everywhere. High heels are not very often, Steph noticed, besides sitting on London Tower and somebody posing with their high heels on for a kid to take photos. It’s funny. Steph said the food, things that make her sick here we’re totally fine there. The pasta specifically because we did eat a lot of pasta. We had a lot of mileage in, all in all we traveled over 15,000 miles between the cruise ship, the planes, the buses, we walked. On my phone, I added up over 150 miles when we’re gone. Steph’s tracker is a little below that, but on mine, on a daily basis on my little help app, it was over 150 miles. One thing we definitely appreciate hearing, first thing I ordered when I landed in JFK was an ice tea with a lot of ice. Iced tea and air conditioning is one of the things definitely is important.
Gail shares something, “I would like to buy a week-long Euro Pass, but I’m told by George and Melanie, your granddaughter, I’m not exactly a light packer.”
You got to be a little bit light packer if you’re thinking Euro Pass. Steph realized that she should have been able to get everything down to at least one large bag instead of two, which is okay. I had two as well. We go down with three, one joint one and then one each. I know this is a little bit different than a traditional episode of us talking about case studies or the good, the bad, the ugly of notes, things like that. I want you guys that are starting to share these things, share these journeys is figuring out what the cost is. Do yourself a favor, figure out what the cost of that to do this. Figure out what the cost is to accomplish one of these trips and make that a major goal for what you want to do. We had fun. We had a great time.
Number seven for Steph was the toilets generally attached to the wall instead of the floor. It feels like you might break it off the wall when sitting down. The funny thing is the pay toilets in a couple of spots we were at. You walk into the restroom and the toilet disappears into the ground until you put the coin in and then it rises backed up. Going back there, if you want to go to Ireland, figure out what the trip is because you can travel pretty cheap abroad. I mean we lived it up.
In a lot of the tourist spots, I could see them being a little upset with people coming in and just using the toilet not buying anything. It’s something to the wear and tear. I can see a little bit of that. One of our first excursion off the cruise ship is we went to Capri in Sorento and then we ended up in Pompeii. Capri is absolutely gorgeous little island there of course to Italy. Taking the train up to the top and walk around in circle and seeing sites in the old hotels. Capri is amazing. Having the best limoncello there was great. Having Steph got her fair share of gelato while we were traveling for sure.
Gail says, “At least there are toilet seats. In Greece, not so much.”
That was unique. I can see they probably did the distressed toilets with distressed debt is going on Greece. One of the things is when we extended our bingo streak all around the cruise as well, we had once a five out of six times. We didn’t win the big pot on the last day, but we’d won thirteen days straight being on the last two, three cruises we’ve been to. That was always fun to help pay for the cost that we paid to play bingo. The big thing I can tell you is this, Steph and I were talking about this and there’s probably a couple times throughout the last six months when we thought about canceling the cruise just because of life and being busy.
I was like, “No, we’re going to take this trip. We’re going to do. We’re going to take this. We’re going to just book it. We’re going to be away for a couple of weeks.” The most of May, we’ve only been home for two weeks, a week out of last month and a half with our trip to Hawaii as well. The biggest thing I tell you guys is start if you want to travel more. If you want to do the things, the note business can help you out with that. You have to start looking at what it costs you to take those and plan that into your budget plan. Plan that as part of what your experiences and by experiences that becomes a part. If you’ve got to make $3,500 to cover your bills and expenses like that, and you want to travel half the time, add another $3,500 on there or more each month so that you have that money there.
If you need $7,000 to come and travel as much as you want, do that. It’s $84,000 a year. $7,000 a month if divided by $500 a month coming in from each note you got, that’s fourteen deals. If you need to have other people fund that deal and you’re splitting the cashflow, explain everything, that’s 28 deals. It’s very feasible. You can get that in the next twelve, 24, 36 months. That’s why I say I was so proud of Wayne Snell. There are a lot of other people who have done that in this industry and we couldn’t be prouder of what they’re doing. Number nine for Steph is, “One of the biggest things was learning I could take a trip like this with so much less than I packed. That applies across the board. I’m excited to try it again and meet the weight limit for one bag only.” That’d be great. That we would have to haul that along.
One of the great places we stayed in took mercy on us. We went to France, Paris, and we stayed this amazing hotel. This is the number one sexiest hotel in all Paris. It’s a converted brothel, just absolute gorgeous place. Twenty rooms down the street from the Moulin Rouge on the north side of Paris. We got there at roll holder bags and they’re like, “The room you have booked, probably won’t hold all your luggage, would you like to upgrade to a suite?” They were very nice about that. It’s one of the amazing spots. Literally one of the episodes I have coming in is things that I learned from staying in a brothel. The next episode of the Note Closers Show is nine things I learned from staying in a French ex-brothel.
Cody says, “Time off is the biggest hurdle than the cost of content you and the WCN crew put out has been very innovative.”
Thanks, Cody. I appreciate that. You just got to look at that and know that it’s easier if you may not have a time off. Look for your own time off. If you’re replacing your job, replacing the things that you do, just takes time to do that. Takes a little bit time to do it but put a plan of action. That was one of the things that I think when I posted the question this morning to the WCN crew Facebook page group about what to cover. Some people are talking about, how do you time block? How you schedule things? How do you stay focused and motivated? We’ll cover that going forward here. Stephanie has to clarify me. The place that we stayed at was a girls’ school and then a brothel for three years and then something else. I love all the comments you guys are doing. Thank you so much for sharing.
Time Is Short
Yesterday was a long flight. We spent roughly about nineteen hours traveling yesterday. It gave me a lot of time to think of some great topics and some things that we want to focus on differently going forward. I’m glad to be back and helping me out with stuff. If you love it, share it on the Facebook page. If you’re listening to this on any other podcast platforms, thank you so much for listening. I know you got a lot of great content over the last three weeks from our guest hosts. I listened to a couple of them. I was able to actually help facilitate, produce a couple abroad. I almost forgot one person, for Katie Moton. Katie did a great job as well. Big thanks out to Katie Moton, Gail Villanueva, Gail Greenberg, I also forgot Patty Ped. Patty did a great job. That’s the four ladies and then the four guys. Chris Seveney, Bill Griesmer, Eric Hyde and then Cody Cox jumped in and helped out with stuff like this.
Here for Steph’s number ten. Tenth thing is the biggest thing of all. It’s to force yourself to find a way to take that time to go and visit places that ring dear to you. Spent the time to connect again with those you care about and get out to do things with them. I was shocked that I realized it took me twenty years to do this. I don’t have many blocks with twenty years left either. You got a few blocks of twenty. We all got a few blocks of twenty left. I would say it was great catching up with a few of Steph’s friends that lived in Europe. My friends too, great catching up with and meeting those people and hanging out with them and in their experience.
If you can do anything, we all worked so damn hard. I know everybody out there works so damn hard with what you do. You either have your JV or work full time as a real estate investor. Take the time to get away, take the time to book it. Is it expensive? Does it cost money? Yes, it’s going to take some time to do that. It takes some money to do those things but limit, because at the end of all our lives, you can’t take things with you. The last thing you want to have is regrets and finally when your time is up, the last thing you don’t want to have is regrets about things you didn’t do when you were young.
The things you didn’t experience the opportunity to, and right now, we have amazing experiences that you can take advantage of. There are travel discounts. There are things you can do that are relatively cheap. They’ll go and do some things. There’s internet in every hotel. Every hotel had Wi-Fi, a very decent Wi-Fi. The only time I didn’t make it is because I was busy being a tourist. I’m glad that eight of our guest hosted a great job and provide a lot of great content, a lot of great episodes. I’m looking forward to listening to the ones that I missed. First and foremost, thank you for listening and thank you for being here.
Steph says, “Time is shorter than we think.”
Let the notes fund your why, and the things you love along with the things you love along with being and enjoying the people that you love. Go out, make something happen. I look forward to seeing you all at the top. Thanks for having me back guys.
- Gail Villanueva
- Bill Griesmer
- Cody Cox
- Gail Greenberg
- Eric Hyde
- Chris Seveney
- Singer Law Group
- Katie Moton
- Patty Ped