At the end of the day it will not be the items that one possesses that will be fondly remembered, but it will instead be the experiences and people involved that one has gathered that will be looked back on with warm memories. All to often, people get too wrapped up in having the latest and the greatest material possessions and lose track of what is important in life. Keeping up with the Jones’ becomes more important than making reminiscences with loved ones that will far outlive the individuals involved. The real key to happiness is one’s lifetime of experiences and those who are there to share the experiences with.
Psychology professor Dr. Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University states, “Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods. You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences” (Cassano, 2019). Adventures such as family camping trips to Yosemite, solo treks across Asia, or horseback riding the South Chilcotin Mountains, all create, develop, and shape a person’s ideology, personality, and values. The challenges and the thrills one encounter then change how a person will then see and encounter the world around them. This change in perspective will forever alter an individuals’ life and the choices they make there on out.
Out of the norm adventures are what expands a person’s comfort-zone, further evolving their perspective of the world. “[Some] travel experiences have the power to change the way we see the past, and envision the future” claims Ted Teng, CEO of Leading Hotels of the World. (Transformed by Travel) This change is not always slowly and methodically, but radically and completely, and sometimes without realization. Luckily, this change is often shared with others.
Humans are social creatures. They enjoy doing things with other people; people who can be a part of a lifechanging adventure. Therefore people share stories and will tell them over and over and over, to share a bond with others who have experienced similar adventures. They do this to feel like they are a part of a greater network of people than just themselves.
People will continue to be shaped and molded by the adventures they take and the mountains they climb, both literally and figuratively. It is not about the materials one surrounds themselves by, but instead about the experience one collects that make up one’s unique thumbprint in the world. So, where it is scaling a mountain side in the ice, or gazing at wildflowers along the coastline, people will continue to seek out adventures, grow from them, and then share them with others.
The Science of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things by Jay Cassano
Transformed by Travel