If you are one of my friends on Facebook and twitter, you knew that I took the family and vacationed in Greece this summer for several weeks. It was actually the longest holiday I have taken in over 7 years but what can I say other than I love what I do and its hard to keep me away from the office 🙂
At first we questioned our destination of Greece due to the media hype of the present financial collapse and desperation that may exist among the people. My wife and I quickly discovered that the opposite held true and were very thankful to have our daughters experience such a wonderful country, hospitality and lessons learned even on holidays.
I felt privileged to meet so many interesting people and when I asked the question of “What Happened?”, they were all willing to share their opinion of why they are in the state of affairs they are in. What you would expect to hear and the message I received from mostly everyone would surprise you. They all had a constant theme and none of the comments were radically different. The comments were:
“Nothing in life is free…You pay now or you pay later”
“If its too good to be true, it is”
“Save for a cloudy day. You can’t be paid on Friday and in debt on Monday”
“Now I know that nothing lasts forever”
Let’s keep in mind that most people were provided with loans they didn’t deserve and should never be approved for. Obviously what happened in Greece showed that we need logical well planned rules because people cannot self regulate. It is an amazing reminder of just how important is to manage our impulses and keep things in check.
I feel blessed that we live in a country that has a strong foundation and lending practices that keep the best interest of the consumer in mind. I have no concerns about our economy and long term health of our housing market. The latest mortgage rule changes act as just a simple check mark to keep us honest with ourselves. We must be honest and careful we don’t live beyond our means and plan for that cloudy day.
What this experience has also taught the people of Greece is to take nothing for granted and nothing replaces fantastic and authentic customer service. Every business owner that I personally talked to told me that this crisis has made them refocus on what makes the country historic, unique and unforgettable. Its not the sun and the water. As one gentlemen termed it as he was waiting tables “It’s the experience that we export with every visitor.”
Even on holidays we can learn great lessons!
RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc., Brokerage