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Seize the Moment

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip for January, 2006

Sometimes, having fun cheaply is simply a matter of seizing the moment, of coloring outside the lines.

I'm writing this on the first morning of 2006, after the nicest--and completely unexpected--New Year's Eve I can remember in years.

Dina and I did a couples bodywork weekend at a yoga center, and when we arrived we discovered a Yogic New Year celebration was on the agenda for Saturday night. Several hundred people gathered together in a large, elegantly decorated room, to chant and dance and drum and rub each other's shoulders in a long backrub train, and then just after midnight, to share dessert.

It's not something I'd have sought out--but we had a great time! And then we got up voluntarily (and without alarm clocks) five hours later for an early morning yoga class.

As I write this, just after the class and before the first session of our workshop, I feel refreshed, invigorated, and once again glad that I was open to the serendipity around me.

Following that serendipity has led to many amazing memories over the years. For example...

* Skipping Delphi because we missed the bus from Athens, and going instead to a lovely Greek island, making our hotel reservation on the docks as we left Athens.

* Being invited to see the mosque of a group of Muslim converts in Cordoba, Spain, because we happened to strike up a conversation in a cafe.

* On that same trip to Spain, wandering into a gypsy cave early for a flamenco concert, and hanging out with the dancers and musicians before the show. That also happened to be a New Year's Eve, and the buses weren't running--but the bus driver for the 40 Japanese tourists who were the only others in the audience drove us back to our hotel.

* Accepting the challenge in a Paris park from the old man who wanted to play chess with me. He turned out to be a Polish Jew who had emigrated after World War II, and gave us a personal tour of Paris's largest Jewish neighborhood.

* As a teenager, staying up all night with some friends in my native New York, riding the Staten Island Ferry and crossing the Brooklyn Bridge footpath at dawn.

Hundreds more memories could crowd this list.

So my advice: offer friendly smiles, be willing to talk, be an avid reader of bulletin boards...and tell me what amazing adventures result (I might even publish them in some fashion).

Wishing you a happy, healthy, adventurous, and frugally fun 2006.

PS--speaking of serendipity, I thought I was going to write about something completely different this month, but I got inspired to share this with you.

Shel's e-book, "The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook," includes 38 pages of great ideas on bargain shopping. The book is 280 pages of powerful frugal fun tips for a mere $8.50. To learn more, please visit

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Preview Shel Horowitz's Penny Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook a 280-page e-book that shows you how to save a big pile of money on travel, dining, entertainment, recreation, and all sorts of other fun.
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