Why You Should Travel More And Buy Less.
In life, we have two choices with our money.
Spend or save.
And we can all attest that one is much more fun than the other.
I live a pretty nomadic life (you can read about it here), and it requires that all available money goes into flights, rent at our current location, and life's necessities: food, prosecco, toiletries - the important stuff. I know that choosing this lifestyle means that I don't get to buy nice things and that's ok, because I'm spending it on something so much more valuable to me.
Your money is yours to splurge - who am I to tell you what to spend it on - but I'd like to make my case for why you should buy less 'stuff' and more experiences.
Here we go...
Life is short.
So we should totally just buy the bag AND the holiday, right! Well, I know that Murphy's Law would mean that I'd end up living a long and healthy life burdened with debt from all my frivolity, so let's scrap that plan. Which leaves me with priorities for my cash - would I rather a thing or an experience? As much as a new pair of impractical shoes would make me super happy (don't even tempt me), they're not going to create a memory or give me a fresh perspective on a culture or country - which are my priorities right now. The shoes would just be fulfilling the desire to look nice and feel good about being on trend, which leads me onto my second point...
We only want these things because they've been cleverly sold to us.
Ok, you might not be on board with this one, but I've had a big think about this and I am steadfast in the belief that, more than ever, we're just constantly being sold stuff. So many YouTubers and bloggers are only featuring sneaky sponsored content and it really takes the enjoyment out of it for me. And don't even get me started on those who only blog when they've been sent something for free. (Good vibes only Lauren, good vibes). I just feel like I'm constantly getting to the end of a blog post and seeing that little disclaimer (if they disclose it at all, of course). And resist it or not, that sponsored content does it's job and worms it's way into your psyche. It's basic Freud, innit.
Let me explain.
I'd always dreamt of having a Chanel bag because, for me, it's the pinnacle of handbag buying; an absolute marker of being financially successful and achieving my goals (wonder where I got that idea from). But when I lived in Chelsea they were EVERYWHERE. It was laughable! You couldn't get away from them, which made the concept less of a luxury and more of a cliché. Soon the YSL bags became the next hot buy, then the Chloe bags with their unmistakable buckle. It was a constant uniform according to the latest Instagram trends. We'd all been sold the idea that these brands means quality, status (horrible, yet true) and are a well-earned reward for your hard work. Which of course, they are (and well done you for reaching your goal), but wouldn't you rather be individual and line the pockets of an independent designer rather than a huge conglomerate?
Before my nomadic lifestyle, my regular healthy income meant that I shopped pretty much every week and constantly treated myself to the things I'd convinced myself I must have. But where is all that stuff now that I'm in Australia? In my mum's loft in England, where I've pretty much forgotten all about it. I can't help but think that it wasn't the wisest financial investment. Sure, I get sick of wearing the same outfits, but with trips to London, Italy, Sweden and Singapore in the mix, I'm pretty happy with my choice.
All I'm saying is that when the bags, shoes and clothes deteriorate over time, there won't be anything left but the memory of the purchase. Which probably won't feature in your highlights reel when you're 90.
You deserve some time out.
I just don't believe that there anything better than getting away from real life. So for me, money spent on Airbnbs, trains, planes, automobiles, is money well spent.
You find out interesting things about yourself.
Good and bad. Last year we set aside money for a trip to Germany to stay with some of David's non-English speaking friends. I learnt that I do not do well with being the only one who doesn't speak another language and found the whole experience draining and isolating. I also learnt that I can be a bit of a brat when I feel out of my depth. So I now know I need to pull up my socks and learn a language, embrace the challenge or avoid a similar situation in the future.