Experiences vs. Stuff

8 Sep

As I was huffing and puffing while riding up a slope at Great Swamp this Friday afternoon, it hit me: you will be happier if you invest your time and money into experiences instead of material things… Simple! And then nature showed me this, as if to prove a point:

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Don’t get me wrong, I love having STUFF. And I don’t think Bill Gates or Oprah ever complain of having houses on 5 continents and more money than you can spend. However, I will still argue, that if you choose to invest into life experiences, you will feel happier and more fulfilled.

I have been choosing experiences over things for quite a while now. I’d rather not spend on a purse or a piece of technology but on a road trip or salsa lessons. Experiences stay with you. A big one for me, and my most favorite – traveling – has opened my eyes and mind to some amazing things. I have flipped through pictures from my travels to Peru, Cambodia, Ireland, etc., many times. And every time just looking through these images fills me up with joy, satisfaction, and happy memories of becoming a small piece of that culture.

Needless to say, that bike ride was quite enlightening. Cruising along Great Swamp roads, stopping to take in the scenery and to listen to crickets, breathing n lungs full of war, fragrant air… I spend 2.5 hours just riding! I met two interesting people – they were also riding – and had some great conversations about life… I discovered a little hidden cafe where every customer is on a bicycle!

People that passed me always acknowledged me, either with a quick “how ya doin’?”, “hello” or just a nod… There were NO, absolutely none, miserable people on bikes! I thought, I need to do this more often…

Lastly, as I got in the car, put my foldable bike in the trunk, packed lunch, and headed out the door, another simple truth hit me. About doing what you want. I felt like going biking, so I did. How many people in this world can just do that? How many people on this planet want but cannot do such a simple thing as packing your bike and taking off, without worrying about safety, weather, food?… Really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

Here are some pictures from this legendary bike ride at Great Swamp Refuge:

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So, let me ask you, what are some simple, little things that affect your life in such a big, positive way?

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