Does travelling make you happier than material wealth?
Travelling back in time, I was like many other teenagers: I wanted to have the latest technology (Smartphones, Game Boys, consoles etc.), nice clothes and dreamed about buying my first car once I started working.
However, my first trip after finishing school completely changed my mind about material wealth.
I found out: Travelling makes me much happier than any material purchase ever could.
Actually, you know it: All material things have an expiry date!
One day they deteriorate or become outdated. One day, their satisfaction level is gone, often without a trace. They are – ephemeral.
Travel experiences, however, last a lifetime and leave their traces in the form of memories that nobody can take away from you. They are – ETERNAL and UNTOUCHABLE.
Let me show you with some examples;
How different does it feel waiting for a NEW SMARTPHONE compared to awaiting a TRIP THROUGH SPAIN?
In the first case, you are of course excited to receive a new Smartphone. When it arrives, you are happy until a certain peak is reached and the electronic device doesn’t satisfy you anymore. As the satisfaction dwindles, you are likely to buy a new and a better one. And thus, the vicious circle of mass consumption goes on and on…
When buying material things, you know what you get.
Hence, I assume that most people think like, “Just give me that feeling of happiness now – I know what the product will give me.”
In the same way, we are attracted by long-term investments: You pay monthly, such as your car or house. Why not? YOU KNOW WHAT YOU GET AND IT IS SAFE.
But does it REALLY make you feel HAPPY and FREE when you work a life time paying for a collection of possessions?
Unfortunately, people are not willing to invest in something which the outcome is uncertain.
What blocks people, is the FEAR that something might go wrong, for example, when you have to TRAVEL ALONE if your friends aren’t free to fly off with you.
Thus, some would prefer to stay at home instead of starting an amazing trip on their own. Obviously, it is tempting to spend that “saved money” on something else, such as material things, that might satisfy them – but only for a short time.
Isn’t it better to invest your hard earned bucks in something that rewards you with long lasting memories?
That “investment in something”, I call it: EXPERIENTIAL PURCHASES. This can be:
- any kind of trips (adventure, holiday, sport…)
- going on events (concerts, movies, dinner, extreme sport…)
- or learning new skills (language, surfing…)
When you travel, for example, you discover a different culture and meet new people. So, you learn new things and you make your personal experiences that become a LASTING REAL SOURCE OF JOY AND EDUCATION. TRAVELLING ALONE especially, immensely helps you to grow inward.
Even if you had some unmemorable situations, it is still worth it, to keep on collecting memories. One day, believe me, you’ll look back at the challenges with humour, pride and accomplishment that you have overcome them. “Bad experiences” are relative. For me it is more about life lessons. This also includes stepping out of your comfort zone, as they say, “where life begins”.
Would you rather talk with your friends about the new Smartphone that you have bought OR your crazy adventure in Tunisia? What makes you happier?
I noticed that people are more likely to talk about their recent travels (or movies and concerts they have seen) rather than about their material purchases. Isn’t it a REAL SOURCE OF JOY when remembering back the crazy adventures you went through, and nice emotions are coming up? It is the feelings and the personal memories that nobody can take away from you!
For me, travelling can be a kind of spiritual journey that everyone experiences on their own way. By discovering the world outside you explore more your inner world. Priceless moments and experiences on your own or shared with people feed your soul and help you to grow inward. But the personal enrichment depends on the way you travel! When you spend your vacations lying on the beach and partying, you won’t experience those “deep” experiences of which I’m talking about.
Discover different cultures, be curious and meet new people. There is so much out there – to see, to explore and to learn!
SO, COLLECT MOMENTS NOT THINGS!
This doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything and live like a Nomad! No, No… :’D
Most importantly, find your own balance between material and experiential purchases. It is the “middle road”, as Buddha said.
Set YOUR OWN PRIORITIES, but don’t forget the little small things in life that can bring you “REAL” and LONGTERM HAPPINESS.
What do you think guys? Do you share the same opinion as me?
Have a safe trip and see you!