Happiness. How do you obtain it? A new big screen TV? Dinner out with friends and family? A solo vacation to Italy? A new car? Helping the less fortunate by volunteering? For many people, happiness is achieved many different ways, so who are we to judge what makes others happy?
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy nice things, who doesn’t? In my opinion, I think humans are pretty much hardwired to like nice things. I once had a luxury car, bought a top of the line motorcycle, which I’ve had for over 10 year now and is my most prized possession of course and is the one object I’ve purchased that still provides me with experiences as well. I used to buy tons of clothes, shoes, boots and went out with my friends a lot and would take the occasional vacation every few years. Life was good. It still is good, but I’ve changed the way I spend my money now.
I decided in 2014 that I wanted to spend less of my money on material things and more of my money on living and having great experiences. Those experiences for me came in the form of travel experiences.
Snorkeling between two tectonic plates, snowmobiling on a glacier and having a unique dining experience in a tomato greenhouse in Iceland. Attending the Holi festival and seeing the Taj Mahal in India. Going on safari and seeing wild elephants in South Africa. Exploring old towns of Europe and eating incredible food. Riding ATV’s and being one of the last people in the world to see the Azure Window in Malta before its collapse in 2017. These are all experiences I will never forget. The sweater that I barely wear and sits folded in my drawer, ya, I’ve probably forgotten about a few of those actually.
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Now I know what you’re thinking? “Must be nice to have all that additional money for travelling and live at home.”
Yes, it is, BUT I also don’t live at home for free (I don’t pay full rent though) and I save my money. I wrote an entire blog post on just how I ended up saving more money by changing up a few things in my life…plus I’ve invested for the future. I also understand that everyone’s situation is unique and this is my story to tell.
Spending my money on material things made me happy at the time of doing it, I enjoyed it for a bit, then that was it…now what? Buying things was like a drug addict always chasing a high and once the euphoric high wore off, I wanted to buy something else. I wanted more.
I’ve always loved travel and exploring new places, learning about other cultures, what drives people in other parts of the world and of course, eating great food from other walks of life, but it wasn’t until my first solo travel experience to Norway back in September 2014 (just shortly after my 30th birthday) that I felt that desire to want more of something over and over again.
Read more: The Trip That Opened My Eyes To Solo Travel
I wanted to travel. I wanted to see more of the world. I wanted to experience more culture. I was in love. Travel become my drug of choice and I was and still am, constantly chasing that euphoric high of exploring a new place, wandering around in a strange city without knowing my way around and setting my eyes on landmarks that I’d only ever seen on television, or the internet.
That feeling of excitement before boarding a plane in my home country and then landing on foreign soil ready to explore the unknown is why I now prefer to buy experiences over material things.
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Travelling solo was another thing that made me absolutely happy. Like, happy with a shit-eating grin kind of happy. I loved it. I loved the freedom. I loved the challenge of learning how to navigate a foreign city’s transit system. I also loved how strangely comfortable I felt being alone in a strange city and meeting other people from around the world, some even from my own country of Canada. I also loved coming home and sharing my experiences from my travels with my family, friends, coworkers and even you guys reading this on my blog. My travel blog was created because my love of travelling, photography and sharing my stories and tips. I’ve also met some pretty rad people through my blog, so there’s that awesome aspect of incorporating more travel into my life as well. 😉
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As I mentioned before, happiness is subject to opinion and whether you enjoy buying material things to achieve happiness, or if you’d rather book a trip to experience a destination, than you do you. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes down to what you’d rather do to achieve happiness.
So tell me, what makes you happy? Do you prefer buying material possessions, or buying experiences like travel? Maybe you enjoy both? Tell me what your favourite material possession you’ve purchased is and tell me your favourite experience! I’m curious! Let me know in the comments below! xo