Sunshine Blogger Award

This post is inspired by Bryan at Income Surfer who nominated me for the Sunshine blogger award. For those unfamiliar, this is a fun way of sharing details about the nominated blogger (in this case, me) with a few questions posted by the person nominating. Thanks for the nomination, Bryan.

1. Name the top three experiences from your past, that help form who you are today.

  • Having a near-death experience. I fell off a cliff a few years ago and ended up with injuries that could have either killed me or left me paralyzed, but as luck may have it, I just came off it with just some cuts and scrapes, some fractures and a new found love of life. This caused me to re-evaluate a lot of things in my life and do some soul searching. I would say that a big part of me today is because of that experience.
  • A death of a close family member. Again – nothing like death to remind you how precious life is, right? A death of a close family member shook me up and reminded how important it was to take care of myself and people I care about. I used to be quite overweight and it was a wakeup call and decided to live a much healthier and active lifestyle after that. Even to this day, living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle remains a top priority for me.
  • Seeing people around me not plan ahead financially enough. Time and again, I’ve seen too many people not have a game plan when it comes to retirement and living paycheque to paycheque, while spending on unnecessary things. I started saving for my retirement the moment I was out of university and got a full-time job.

2. Where did you go on your last trip, and what was your favourite part of that trip?

My last trip was visiting my wife’s parents for a week. It was a much needed relaxing down-time after some hectic weeks at work. They live on the shores of Lake Huron and its truly a fantastic place. To give you an idea, I took this picture from the deck while having brunch. Also, my wife and I got married under that tree 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 12.38.30 PM

3. Do you have a hobby or passion that balances your work life? If so, what is it?

I train and teach Jiu Jitsu, a traditional Japanese martial art. I started learning Jiu Jitsu in 2006 and have been hooked onto it – its a great workout, therapeutic and balances my work life with a physical and social aspect.

4. What is the best book you’ve read in 2015? What did you like about it?

I havent read any extraordinary books so far this year. The top two that come close to being good books are (note: affiliate links included):

  • Pour Your Heart Into It – a business story by Howard Schutlz – the founder and CEO of Starbucks where he recounts the challenges he faced while starting and growing the company. It has a different take than other business books and he speaks/writes from the heart and it was a refreshing read.
  • Business Adventures – I have to admit that I still haven’t completely finished this book, but so far it seems like a decent read. This book was recommended by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates as a must-read. So far so good – I will hopefully post a full review soon.

5. What is your favorite sport to watch? What is your favourite sport to play?

Soccer. Both to watch and play. Its called the Beautiful Game for a reason 🙂

Continuing with the tradition that is with this award, I nominate two bloggers and pose my set of five questions for them. I nominate Freedom Thirty Five and Dividend Hustler – two bloggers who’s articles are always entertaining and enlightening. Co-incidentally, they are both based in Vancouver, Canada.

My questions:

  1. Name the top three experiences from your past, that help form who you are today. (I decided to re-pose this question from Bryan as I thought it was a great question and everyone’s inspirational stories are great to read)
  2. If you have one piece of advice for investors starting out, what would it be?
  3. What was your worst investment so far in your life? How do you avoid making the same mistakes?
  4. Outside of work and investing, what is your biggest passion in life?
  5. Which is the last movie you watched? Do you recommend it?

20 thoughts on “Sunshine Blogger Award

  1. Wow interesting experiences that definitely shape who you are today. Very lucky that you only ended up with a few cuts after falling off the cliff.

  2. Thank you for sharing these personal stories with us R2R. Thank you for nominating me and I appreciate it. These past experiences really dictate who we are and there’s only better and greater tomorrow. Hope you’re having a great time and enjoy the weekend bud. Cheers.

    • The experience sure do make a big part of who we are – its how we grow, dont we? Looking forward to your answers on the questions posted. Have a great rest of the weekend, buddy.


  3. A week to travel is great! So far this year, we’ve done 5 vacations. Another long weekend is coming up at the beach. 🙂 Who says Financial Freedom Fighters can’t enjoy life? 🙂 My soccer season will start again soon, it’s going to be great!

    • Awesome, Vivianne. Looks like you are having a great year so far. Way to go! I cant wait to start playing soccer in fall again. After a long break, I joined a group where we play soccer once a week during lunch hour on Wednesdays. Well, the group plays Mondays and Wednesdays, but I can only do one day….still, I have a great time though.

      Thanks for stopping by

  4. Awesome that you train and teach Japanese JJ. I’ve trained for several years in Jeet Kune Do and Brazillian JJ is incorporated strictly as ground game. I’ve always been curious about Japanese JJ, it’s my understanding that it incorporates more classical and traditional movements, katas, weapons and that it’s not limited to ground only.

    • Great to hear from you and your experience there, DC. The traditional JJ traces its history to the way of the Samurai – and other arts inherited with their own take on it – Judo, Aikido, Kenjutsu, Iaido etc. Our style (Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu) has a lot of focus on throws – which is close to Judo, but also incorporates lots of locks, groundwork (similar to Brazilian JJ), weapon work etc.


  5. Wow, R2R. Nothing like some scary life experiences to remind us about the important things and life and what really matters. Glad to hear that you are okay and you were able to survive the cliff experience.

    As crazy as it sounds, it seems like you have a very well balanced life in terms of work, blogging, and activities outside. We sometimes can overload ourselves and cause a burnout. Without our getaways, you don’t have an escape where you can clear your mind. It sounds like you have the complete picture.

    Have a great weekend and thanks for the great post!


    • Hi Bert,
      Thanks for the kind words. Balancing my work and life has been another one of my top priorities over the years. Yes, I have lost out on some exciting opportunities in the past because I chose not to be married to a job – but overall, I think I made the right choice there – theres more to life than just work and career.

      Have a great rest of the wknd

  6. Wow, I can’t imagine what it must have been like to experience falling off a cliff. I ALMOST fell off a cliff during a trip to Las Vegas when my friends and I went into the Mojave Desert on ATVs and mine suddenly shifted to the left on a narrow path a hundred feet up. But I managed to stop myself and kept going, unfazed. Not exactly a near-death experience like what you had. Thank God you only had a NEAR-death experience.

    That’s cool that you are into martial arts! I would have never have guessed that you were into that. No real reason why; I guess we all sort of imagine a person’s blog as BEING that person rather than simply one of their hobbies that it’s easy to forget that the blogger has interests completely outside of personal finance and investing.

    These Sunshine Award questionnaires are a great idea! I enjoyed it very much.

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

    • ARB,
      Good to hear that you didnt have to go through any of that falling-off-a-cliff experience. ATVs can be dangerous — too many times I hear horror stories of people getting into serious accidents on ATVs or ski-doos. I was lucky for sure – and lived to tell the story.

      I hear you on the picture that one can perceive simply by reading a blog. Its hard to tell what a person is into unless some personal details are shared. I hadnt shared anything about my martial arts background so far – so this was a first. It has been a big part of my life over the last decade and its a fun way to unwind outside of work, while developing a different skill or art-form, whatever you want to call it.

      Glad you enjoyed the sunshine award post.

      Best wishes

  7. R2R,

    Thanks for sharing those details about your life experiences. Good thing you had some good karma on your side that day and lived to tell the tale. I used to hike a lot and ride up in the mountains, those cliffs are no joke. Your martial arts sound awesome, glad you turned your life in the more positive direction. Keep up the good work, it’s appreciated.

    – HMB

    • I sure did turn my life around from all the experience Ive had in my past. Ive continued hiking after that accident, but over the past couple of years, Ive cut back – just mostly because of lack of motivation and time. I intend to get back to more hiking in the coming years.

      Glad you liked the post and the stories.


  8. Hey buddy. Sorry it took me a couple days to read your responses. I spent 19 hours finishing a home improvement project this weekend, before the hurricane arrived. Fortunately, it didn’t…..but I am exhausted.

    I am with you on the love of soccer! I grew playing and watching as well. I haven’t played in four years…..and really miss it. My mens league team disbanded. Glad you didn’t get hurt any worse with that cliff incident! Have a great week

    • Hey Bryan,
      Great to hear that you didnt get hit with the hurricane. Was thinking of you when watching the news.
      Too bad that your soccer league disbanded – I had stopped for a few years but am back playing again since last year – missed it a lot.

      Thanks again for the nomination

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