A valuable lesson

“Experiences are more valuable than possessions”. Simple premise, right? But I had to learn this one the hard way. Like most of you I spend my 20’s working on my education and finding a career. My 30’s were devoted to moving up the corporate ladder and supplying myself with nice things. I had beautiful clothes, shoes, and handbags. I was the consummate shopaholic. The thing is having all those things didn’t make me happy. I felt an emptiness like a deep hole in my life. My solution at the time was to stop accumulating things and concentrate on accumulating experiences. When I traveled, something I’ve always loved, I didn’t shop, I did things. I went to museums, saw performances, hiked or simply wandered on a beach. I hoarded those experiences like candy and used them whenever I was having a bad day to relieve my stress and remind me how good life could be. Travel, even if it’s only to the local zoo can be a real bonding experience.

2 Replies to “A valuable lesson”

  1. I started working in the media when I was 19, simultaneously switching from full-time to part-time university study, so I guess that helped me to mature faster and appreciate the ‘meaning’ of travel sooner, but I certainly had a few years there in my 20s when like you, I was the great accumulator of possessions. But I’ve still bought beautiful locally-made things when I’ve travelled because, like you too, I love the memories they provoke (like photos) when I look at them. It’s funny though – this year we spent a month in Milan, and 3 months in Italy in total, one of my favorite shopping destinations, and I didn’t buy a thing – not that I didn’t want to! I was just too busy working! But I totally agree – it’s far better to accumulate experiences. And they needn’t be expensive ones either. Sometimes it’s the simplest experiences that are the most special… an image that comes to mind: eating deliciously fresh and enormous strawberries in a market in Casablanca, Morocco – yum!

  2. You are so right. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that stay with you. A cold beer on a hot day, a green park where you can have wine and cheese or just walking through a city at night.

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