Hi Travelers! Juliette here. I’m so excited to feature Agness and Cez on the blog today from eTramping! As an amateur minimalist myself, I love learning more on how I can shift my focus from ‘things’ to ‘moments’. Read more on how you can let go of materials in exchange on fulfilling your life with experiences!
So you’ve just received your earnings from all your month’s hard work. Yet, you feel as if there’s something missing. You’ve got a substantial amount of money in your hand but you’re not racing towards the shop or an online store. Instead, your mind wonders about the possibilities of an escape. For instance, you may think about the price of a flight to Vienna or how much you’d need for a backpacking trip across Asia. It suddenly occurs to you that you’d rather spend your cash on experience rather than the latest laptop or a new item of clothing.
Agness and Cez, two travelers who chose experience over material things a long time ago, understand that feeling and know what it takes to dive straight into the unknown. That’s why they set up etramping.com, to show the curious adventurer that you don’t necessarily need heaps of money to travel or to enjoy life. Some people may argue that we need materials in our lives, at least basic ones. Which we do of course, however, when it’s about regular spending you have the choice to save or to instantly purchase. The choice is yours, yet this article is here to help you see both sides…
What is ‘Materialism’?
This topic has been around for centuries. Materialism in the sociological sense means that you value material objects more than people or experiences. For example, rather than spending your money on a community project that will benefit local people, you’ll spend money on a new pair of trainers because of how they make you look and feel. Materialism has the ability to turn into a habit where you become addicted to the adrenaline rush of buying something new.
In today’s world, materialism comes in many different shapes and forms. Recently, The Independent found that people view their online friends as ‘digital objects’. To be materialistic in the 21st century doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to stores all the time and buying items over the counter. It also carries on within the online realm. For example, some materialists possess a need to compare themselves with other’s lives on social media. They need to keep up to date and battle against the latest looks or their friend’s latest images. In this way, you could say that materialism merges in with experience as people post evidence of their adventures such as selfies and plane tickets online.
How does Material make you Happy?
According to B2C, many consumers enjoy the adrenaline rush that’s attached to a cheap deal or a bargain price. When we feel as if we are getting something for a lower value, we jump at the chance to grab it before other people do. It’s also about the way brands portray their products. A lot of items are linked to a lifestyle choice, so when people purchase an item, they feel as though they’re buying into that image. They begin to embody the brand’s story. For instance, a clothing company for camping attire may throw out really cool advertisement and happy campers wearing their clothes. However, if you buy that outfit it doesn’t mean that you’ll also be looking content and laughing around the campfire.
Yet, that’s what the commercial is telling you and that’s why you’re buying into it. The product itself may be low quality; however, it’s the most stylish option out there so you choose to use it. It’s not all about what you’re wearing or how you look when you travel. It’s about the smaller details, like the way it unites cultures and brings you closer to your freedom. The focus should be on what’s out there rather than how you look when you’re out there…
Why should you choose experience over objects?
In a report made by a psychology professor, it was found that we usually buy things with the idea that they will make us very happy. That they will dramatically impact our lives in some way and change the way we feel. This particular professor states that these objects only have a short-term effect rather than the expected long-term. As we assume, if we keep the item forever then its excitement will last. When, in fact, it’s the total opposite. Have you ever wondered why brands are constantly bringing out updated versions of their products? How you can jump from upgrade to upgrade whilst spending more and more? It’s to keep the cycle of materialism going and to steer you away from temptations of travelling to another way of life.
If the brands keep consumers stuck in this cycle, then there’s less chance of an escape. However, those who choose experience over an updated item may find that they’re actually upgrading their lives. Many who travel will tell you about the vast array of cultures out there and how they’ve found comfort in another way of life. Some cultures don’t even understand the concept of materialism and enjoy their journey by appreciating the little things in life.
Where are some worthwhile destinations to visit?
So, if you’re looking for a way out of a materialistic culture and you wish to spend your money on memories instead, where are some worthwhile places to go? Well, it all depends on your personal preference. To be daring, you could randomly pick a spot on the world globe and decide that your journey will begin there. Or, you could be a little more strategic and plan it all out. There’s so much out there.
For instance, you may want to trek through the Amazon or relax at one of the many Excellence Resorts. You could even have a go at pitching your own tent in the middle of the countryside. There’s no need to spend all of your earnings on an escape and you could always work your way along by becoming a digital nomad. The concept of a travel lifestyle is evolving into a norm in today’s society. So, after weighing up all the pros and cons, there’s one question left to ask…
What would you choose: Material or Experience?