Face it. We've all probably fantasized about being fabulously wealthy. Maybe the wealth in your daydreams comes from hitting it big in the lottery, or perhaps (if you're a writer) the fantasy casts you as the next J.K. Rowling or Nora Roberts. But whatever the source, I'll bet you've also thought about what you'd do with all those millions.
There are the altruistic and practical uses for sudden wealth -- paying off bills, funding scholarships, giving to causes such as cancer research and children's hospitals, helping friends and family. I'll admit that would be my inclination, to help others. Tops on my list would be buying my parents and my sister's family new homes wherever they wanted them. And because our family has lost so many members to cancer, I'd donate a good chunk to research, the Ronald McDonald House and St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Because I'm a fan of national parks, I would fund educational projects and needed infrastructure repairs that government funding doesn't cover.
But let's say I REALLY struck it rich and I had not only enough money to help lots of other people, but there was enough left over for me to just enjoy. What would I do?
1. I would buy a beach house on the Gulf Coast of Florida, home to the prettiest beaches and water I've ever seen. Part of me likes the cute little colorful homes like this blue one.
But another part really likes the look of this beauty. It's big enough for the the Banditas and all the Bandit Buddies to come have a party!
2. I'd also buy one of those gorgeous log homes like you see in magazines, in the Paradise Valley of Montana, just north of Yellowstone National Park. It's stunningly beautiful there and a nice place to spend the summer when it's roasty hot in the South.
3. And speaking of National Parks, I would visit every single unit run by the National Park Service, all 390 of them. Places like Yosemite National Park in California.
4. And since I don't like to fly, I'd do all that traveling in my brand new Toyota Prius. I'd much rather have it and its outstanding gas mileage and lesser impact on the environment than a larger, luxury vehicle. Plus, I just like driving smaller cars. Driving my husband's truck feels like driving an Abrams tank.
5. I'd take a year just to explore Alaska. I'm writing a book set there now, and all the research is making me want to visit something fierce.
6. I'd start a bookstore/cafe with my sister. It's this wild dream we have, but we both loved the bookstore/cafe in Nora Roberts' Three Sisters Island trilogy.
7. I'd go to every fan conference I wanted to for my favorite pop culture fandoms, ComicCon, DragonCon, Harry Potter conferences, you name it. Embrace my inner geek girl. :)
8. I'd hike the Appalachian trail because I wouldn't have to worry about funds or time, and Hubby would no longer have to work in Cubicle Land and could go with me.
9. I'd finance whatever fun projects my hubby wanted to try because he's been an awesome supporter of my writing and been the main breadwinner for the past three years since I quit my job to focus on getting published. He rocks, and he deserves not to ever have to sit in a cubicle again.
10. I'd go on a humongous shoe shopping spree until I had a shoe collection to rival those of Tawny and Anna S.
So what about you all? If you suddenly because as wealthy as Oprah, J.K. Rowling and Bill Gates rolled together, what would you do just for you? And on your altruistic side, what causes would you support?