When not thinking about finances…

Compared to the vast majority of my friends and family, I am a financial nerd. I do have the feeling that I spend more time looking at personal budgets, plans and the markets than others. So what, it is a subject that interests me.

There are luckily other things in life I like: photography is one of them.

Photography gives me both a slower pace of life and high thrills. It is alsoΒ  hobby that I practice very often with friends. When on the road, we have a lot of fun. It is this combination of different emotions that pleases me.

Why I like photography

The slower pace comes from the fact that you need patience to take a picture. It takes time to set up the tripod, wait for the right conditions, compose the picture. For me, this is actually a good exercise as patience is not my middle name. But with a camera in my hands, I am more patient.

The thrill comes from the kind of photography that I often practice: Urbex or Urban exploration. In short, we go and explore empty and decaying buildings to see the beauty inside. You would be amazed by the beauty that you find inside old abandoned house and factories.

It also takes you to a lot of places. We have gone exploring in more than 100 locations already, covering Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Italy.

Some pictures

Factories can go bankrupt and are then left alone, or the owner decides it is cheaper to let it decay. For us, this sounds like music in our ears, for the employees it is sad.

Old Coal Mine

This old coal mine went out of business as the cost to dig up the coals was too high compared to coals coming from other regions.

This is a shot from the dressing room of the workers. They put clothes in the cages and pull them up. If after the shift, there are still cages up, this means someone is missing.


What always intrigues me is why house are left abandoned with all the belongings inside. Where did the owners go, why is no one taking care of the house

Old house

This is an old house in the middle of nowhere in Italy. Given the size of the house – it had its own church, multiple rooms and bathrooms – and beautiful ornaments, this must have been a rich family.

Now, it is all abandoned, waiting to fall apart, or for someone to fall in love with it. This someone better has deep pockets as it seems to be empty for decades and lacks any form of basic modern comfort.


When not thinking about finance, what do you do?

Bear in mind that urbex is dangerous and that I do not recommend you to go and and enter buildings. Just as with investing, you need to do your own research and decide how much risk you are willing to take.






52 thoughts on “When not thinking about finances…

  1. You and I have common interests besides stocks and finance. I too have been a life long photographer. I owe that to my dad who had his own darkroom and got me started at a young age. I also happen to be a sports junkie, mostly football (American), and assist with my kids youth football practices. I’ve also been known to watch basketball (when it counts like during March Madness) and Baseball – in October.


      1. I do not currently post many pictures. Just a few of the kids and family events on FB to share with other friends and family. However, I do have a bucket list item to digitize all my photo’s and slides from when I was younger and doing dark room work. Perhaps someday I will have a dedicated site.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Empty and decayed buildings with no life inside? ……I think of local or national government!!πŸ˜‰

    New to the blogging community and glad to come over to your site.
    Right now we are starting baseball season for both boys so four nights per week and two spots at the weekend are filled with games and practice. On top of that, both of us working, we are incredibly busy…..life is a blur at times….
    Once that finishes up we head for the mountains every weekend over the summer and enjoy the outdoors……and think far ahead when snow will return and we get to chase the two small PIES downhill on skis.


  3. What? There is a life outside of (personal) finance, really? πŸ˜‰

    You must have enjoyed the photo series about Tsjernobyl that were posted on many news sites lately. There were some very cool pictures in those.


    1. It turns out there is indeed life besides FI… Accessible only via a dark hole!

      Tsjernobyl pictures are great indeed. I had a friend that went to prepaid a few years back. Great pictures – and he now glows in the dark πŸ˜‰


  4. I reluctantly admit that I get very absorbed into the world of PF and that I am a PF nerd as well. Thanks to the blog, I have discovered a desire to improve (dramatically improve πŸ˜€) my photography and have been learning more about it. It’s nice to keep a variety going in your life. Looking forward to seeing more of your great photography! – Mrs.FE


      1. I have a very small amount on Instagram. I posted a couple of Instagram links on the blog so it would be easy to find. πŸ™‚


  5. Had to laugh, commmented to a designer friend. everyone gets excited when the new collection comes out, I get excited when the financials come out LOL


  6. NIce angle AT. When not researching investments we like to travel, write and volunteer. We think it’s important to be well rounded, and our other interests have helped us maintain a balanced life. “All work and no play…… 😦 ”

    I hope your week is going well

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey ATL, when not looking at other personal finance blogs and investments/investment news/investment sites, I spend a fair bit of time writing our own blog lol.

    But away from that..I’m a gamer, I like PC games and Xbox. I like taking walks on the beach (the Aussie in me) and the countryside. I also like sport, reading and watching it πŸ™‚



  8. Like yourself I am a financial nerd. I spend at least 2 hours everyday reading articles by other bloggers or browsing through the investing world looking for my next opportunity. While I am not into photography as a side hobby I enjoy the outdoors and video games. They are very relaxing and take my mind off of everything. We all need a break from finances at some point :). Hope you enjoy the weekend and look forward to your next post.


  9. I love photography, that’s my way to express my creativity. Having said that, I also writing my blog because I get to express myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. We love thinking about finances and reading other blogs. When we’re not thinking about money or planning the next leg of our around the world trip, we like to go on walks. We’ve enjoyed some beautiful walks so far this year, and look forward to many more as we explore new places.

    We would like to learn more about photography so we can better capture the beautiful sights we are seeing. If we had a better idea of what we were doing, we might upgrade from just using our cell phone.


    1. World travel is a very good choice when not thinking about finances!
      Like with a lot of things, starting to do it is the most difficult step. With a few basic techniques and an entry model camera, you can do a lot.


  11. Looks like you have some skill in your hobby, do you have a site with all your pictures we can look through?

    I try to get out ice fishing as much as possible in the winter and hit all the Minnesota lakes during the summer.


  12. I am not a financial nerd πŸ™‚ – I spend up to 1-2 hours per week related to my money (and I hope less in the future πŸ˜€ ) . But I am ‘passionnΓ©e’ ( nerd, ok) about sustainable life, green & ecology & less waste, so I spend time to plan and toDo: cook, gardening in containers, handmade, sport (walk and jogging), travel, sew &knit etc. and of course, my money πŸ™‚


  13. I used to be kinda into photography. Now my main focuses are books, food, my dog (and a little bit of running) – don’t have so much time or inclination to mess around with my camera.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ooohhh….there is an artist lurking inside the financial engine….very nice! I personally like the old house picture.

    Photography, imo, is a lot about peeling the layers to get to the core of the picture. It requires patience and requires detail orientation. Are these skills required for finance as well πŸ™‚ It is awesome to have the time and the inclination to do something apart from work, family, and spend some time for yourself. Else life will pass you by….


    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow, those pix look amazing! The black and white at the mine is cool, how to use the color.

    I like to read fiction and write fiction. LOL πŸ™‚ I’ve been working on a book, but it probably won’t be able to get finished until I quit my job and write “fulltime” haha!

    We play a lot of sports. Mr. and I have been playing “street soccer/football”. We play at public parks, the game is fun and free. We get to meet a lot of people. We hike the mountains, see water falls, take tons of pictures. We are super outdoorsy. When I work a lot, so I’d get lazy, but Mr. would try to get me to do sports by tricking me with “it’s free, it’d give you materials for your blog”. I’d pretend to get “tricked” by him and go along anyways. Exercise release endorphin, so I do feel better after exercise. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sometimes, it is easy to forget that we all have hobbies and interests outside of personal finance. I love this stuff, but there are plenty of other things I am interested in and enjoy reading/learning about.

    Photography is quite the skill and it is not easy to master. However, a perfect picture can be such a powerful image that resonates with you and many others over the years. The pictures you took and included in the blog post are amazing. It is a shame that the building in Italy has deteriorated as much as it has. I would love to hear about the stories or events that went on there. I bet it had quite the colorful history.

    Thank you for sharing!



    1. Having a life next to work and FIRE is a must. We diversify when investing, so why not while living?
      On the Italian building, I have no data/back ground… I try to include only pictures I made on the blog. This way, I can combine 2 things I Like


  17. There sure is life outside personal finance. Outside personal finance, I do a lot of things depending on the season. During spring and summer seasons, I do some DIY stuff in the house. These seasons I am doing some stuff for my daughter such as table, chairs, and in-house tent.

    I would love to take so photography classes to get some more knowledge on it. Or I’ll just let my camera do the trick. I like the old coal mine picture you have right there. I thought, at first, it was an abstract.


  18. What lovely photos! The one of the old house is very beautiful but also very sad.


  19. I had DSLRs for many years. I loved looking trough the viewfinder and using 2 hands to take pictures. Then I the kids arived and I’ve found myself in the situation that I simply can’t afford to use 2 hands for taking a picture. I needed basically both of my hands all the time :). So I sold all equipment and bought a compact Sony RX100. I have to say, there are only very few moments I miss a DSLR. I still love photograpy and wish that I will have more time to really take my time and think about the pictures I take.
    Don’t forget to bring your camera to FIWE in Budapest. If there’s such thing a “photographer’s porn” you will find it there!


  20. I am also a big fan of photography.

    I particularly enjoy film photography.

    Something about manually focusing the lenses, and not knowing exactly how each photograph will turn out until I develop it is just really exciting and satisfying.

    Liked by 1 person

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