Last September my husband and I went to the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. The breathtaking mountains that surrounded Lake George were like looking at the finest art God has ever created. The rich history could be felt by the spirit everywhere you turned, and the purity in the mountain air was unlike anything I had ever experienced. No great adventure is ever complete without meeting people along the way, and boy did I meet some amazing people! I met a firefighter crew straight out of New York City as we soared down the whitewaters of the Hudson River. Their passion for life was infectious and their love for serving others was inspirational. I met an aspiring Appalachian hiker in training to complete the 2000 + mile Hike. We also met an amazing couple at the top of a Pilot Knob observation point that were encouraging us to never quit hiking together. They said hiking has brought great joy in their marriage and they said to keep going as long as our body is able. Out of all the amazing people I met, I’ll never forget Dave. Dave was the owner and operator of our lodge we stayed at overlooking Lake George. Him and his wife ran the lodge together and had their forever home detached next to us on the lake. He taught us how to Stand Up Paddle, and let us play fetch with his rescue labs on the beach. After making small talk for days I finally asked Dave how he ended up in Bolton Landing, NY. His answer will forever be embedded in my mind. He was a Manhattan resident working as a highly successful investment banker for a large national bank. His success was great there and Dave had a bright future at the bank. He loved what he was doing, until he found Lake George. After years of working long hours and never feeling fully satisfied in what he was doing, Dave decided to do something crazy! He said three words to me I’ll never forget.
“I left Manhattan”
At age 38, with high blood pressure, and a high mortgage, Dave left Manhattan. He sold his apartment, sold his car, and bought this little rundown multiplex off of Lake George and turned it into one of the top lodge resorts in the city. He never returned to Manhattan.
Dave left everything that made sense and was safe, for everything that wasn’t. This was ridiculous and over the top. Who would ever do that?! Who would leave the city that never sleeps with a promise of wealth and success for a Lake house and a dream? Dave did and he did it to save his life. He said he didn’t want to wake up living for someone else when he knew he could do this for him. He left Manhattan. He left the money, the job, the benefits, and security, for something he knew was greater. Not necessarily greater in dollar signs , but greater in quality. A better life, with peace, laughter, freedom & the ability to live the American dream. Together they built a life they can both be proud they lived. A life full of memories and abundant in experiences. Just a clarification, Dave became debt free just a few years after moving and is now a millionaire as a successful entrepreneur running the Lake Lodge. Dave’s Story wasn’t long. Just 10 minutes or less, but it will stay with me forever.
I have to ask myself “what is my Manhattan?” What do I need to let go of in order to create a great life. A life that is well lived and abundant in the things that matter? What do I need to walk away from even though long term it’s safe and secure?
What is your Manhattan?
I pray I live a life like Dave. I thank him for his 3 words that have impacted my life greatly. God puts everybody in our lives for a reason. Even if they seem insignificant to you they are purposeful according to God . I only knew Dave for 5 days, and I only spent maybe 45 minutes with him while on vacation & yet my life is different because of his story. He may not know how inspiring “I left Manhattan” was to me, but it’s changed the way I live my life.
I hope you find your Manhattan, your future self depends on it.