A few weeks ago I interviewed the amazing Marta Nowinska, founder of Swapsity, for a comic about swapping. We drifted to a discussion of bartering. She told me about the wonderful Shannon Lee Simmons, a financial planner who quit her job and bartered for a year, mostly just to see if it could be done (answer: yes and no. bonus answer: you may die of overconsumption of lasagna). I’d long been looking for a new financial planner, my present one being slower than a bag of molasses dragged by a lazy snail. So, I contacted Shannon, and the rest is trade. Though her year of bartering is now over, she still trades for about 5% of her monthly income. And she happened to want a highly specific piece of art. In truth, I had kind of been hoping to just pay Shannon. I worried she wouldn’t like what I’d do, or I’d put way too many hours into it to justify the trade and feel resentful. Though I did spend more time on it then I intended (Curse you, Google Earth), I loved the experience. I met a great, no-nonsense financial planner and character. And I learned a lot about Toronto geography. Also, I can sell copies of the map (contact me for details and prices), which Shannon can then help me budget. A circle of good vibes and happy results for everyone. Would I keep trading? Yes and no. I really hate lasagna.