Embracing Travel Over Things

This year I visited five countries. In this same year, I’ve placed more online orders than I can count on two, three, four, heck even five hands. What has left a more lasting impact? I am sure you wouldn’t be shocked to know that the travel definitely stayed with me more.

When I was a freshman in college, my boyfriend at the time asked what would be my first splurge when I was really financially stable (not rich). Without hesitation I said a designer bag (don’t remember the brand). I had designer bags, but had never bought one on my own. So, this to me seemed to be the pillar of success.

The ex was highly unimpressed with my answer. He said, “Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on something of value? Something that leaves a lasting impression?”

For those who are curious, his answer was a house built around tree. A literal treehouse, if you will. So as you can see, we were never a match heaven made.

I may not remember the designer, but I do remember the cost. It was $3000. I remember because my ex’s eyes nearly popped out of his head when I said it. “3000?! On a bag???”

I blinked at him wondering why on earth he was making a scene. He continued, “Think of all the meaningful things you could do with that money”.

This conversation with “Treehouse Guy” was by no means life-changing . My perspective on the importance of things took a while to shift. I just wanted to illustrate where my values initially lied.

The shift happened when I started to think about the fact that certain Gucci bags cost as much as a trip to Europe. I could buy a flight to the Caribbean for the same it costs to buy a pair of Christian Louboutin ‘So Kate’ pumps. When I started to think of experiences and things as apples to apples versus apples and oranges my attitude changed.

I am a fashion lover, so this definitely is not a condemnation of designer. If you have the financial means to swing both, I say go for it. I for one, have to choose between one or the other.

This year I’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, Parthenon, Via Dolorosa, and Buckingham Palace. I’ve drank bottles of wine while staring out into a Parisian street and having meaningful conversations with my mom and sister. I’ve sat at cute little Greek restaurants, looked up at my boyfriend, and felt a contentment I’ve never experienced with anyone else. I’ve visited an island that will forever have a special place in my heart for a multitude of reasons.

When I think about all of the things I bought this year, the ones that stand out, they just can’t compare to all of the amazing memories that I’ve made traveling. The belly laughs, priceless moments, and even the occasional blunders will always be cherished. So if you ask me, experiences will always outweigh things.