yet more justification for travel

a great article in the NY times confirms what many of us already believe--and, if you think about it, also encourages packing light. if by 'packing' you mean 'living'. i thought about this a lot on our recent trip--if i could live for three weeks with what i could carry on my back, what on earth was i doing with all of the other crap in my life??? great article...

Posted by Paul
Tuscaloosa, AL
884 posts

The article mentions at least three things that most of the readers of this Forum have likely found to be true on their own:

  1. Spending money for an experience produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.

  2. Anticipation increases happiness. Thinking about a purchase or trip for a longer period of time increases the amount of enjoyment.

  3. Paying for experiences gives us longer-lasting happiness because we can reminisce about them. If lucky, we remember the good things about a trip and minimize or forget the negative.

[Truth in Posting Notice: Some of the above is quoted directly from article even if no quotation marks are shown.]

Posted by Gio
Chicago, Illinois, USA
586 posts

Agree with everything Tracy and Paul have written here, but just wanted to point out--and I do this, as well--how odd I'm beginning to think it is that those of us who find travel abroad so enriching find it necessary to somehow justify it, to others OR ourselves. Even RS does so in "Travel as a Political Act," a book I really like. Had a friend looking at some of our Venice photos remark recently, "I would never go on such extravagant vacations, with or without the kids," and yet the family visits Las Vegas about 3x a year! I, for one, am done trying to show how much personal or ethical or financial or artistic value European travel has, or the unique perspectives it engenders. To me it's like wine: you can analyze it all you want, write about the terroir, the wine-maker, the history of the vineyard, the varietal, the science employed in its making...but in the end it comes down this this: if you like it, you drink it. I like the taste of Europe, so I drink it. The rest is just icing on a very delicious Sacher torte.

Posted by BG
Albany, CA, USA
1545 posts

I liked the NY Times article and sent it to a lot of my traveling friends. I agree, spending money on wonderful travel experience is the best! Each time I look at my pictures or recall one of my several European trips with family or work-mates we all re-live our experiences, and it brings us a lot of happiness.

Posted by Brigette
Nice, CA, USA
69 posts

Great response!!
I LOVE wine, I LOVE sacher torte, and I have a great feeling I will LOVE Italy when I visit in October!!!
One important thing my parents taught me was.........all your possesions can be taken away from you, but NO ONE can take away your memories!!
How true :)
Off to making more memories....

Posted by Bob
Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada
625 posts

Great article. When I look at how much we sometimes spend on material items it does make travel seem a lot more reasonably priced and way more fufilling.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21480 posts


Interesting article. Thanks for posting! It sounds somewhat like the concept of "Voluntary Simplicity" that seemed to be popular a few years ago.

I definitely agree with this philosophy! I'm now trying to simplify and "de-clutter" (but I won't be giving up my computer or my camera!).


Posted by kpf
chicago, il, usa
171 posts

Yesterday I was having a tired, down-in-the-dumps sort of day at work,and looked forward to lunch. I decided to take a walk to my bank, where I transferred $50. from checking to savings for my up coming trip to Austria next year. Knowing I was $50. closer to my goal, a little step closer, made all the difference to my day! Nothing I could've spent that money on could've made me as happy. A HUGE part of my passion for travel is the enjoyment I get from the planning, for months in advance. Saving that $50. was like buying myself a gift I really wanted! I wasn't able to read the article but I certainly know that my planning for trips, and then the memories of them are worth more to me than anything else I could spend my money on.

Posted by Marilyn
Mentor on the Lake, OH, USA
251 posts

After returning from our trip in June, I looked at my closet and said " Why do I have so many clothes!"
I have started a give away bag. I do this every year- but this time I'm giving away things that fit and that I still like, just because I know I don't need it.

Posted by Marsha
Sheffield Lake, Ohio, USA
37 posts

I too am living with too much stuff. Several years ago I had to spend 3 months away from home caring for my adult daughter. Yes I had food & a roof or my head but a live for 3 months with one backpack full of clothes. When i returned home I was overwhelmed when i looked in my closet! I read somewhere we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Time to simplify. I donate to my local Vet Nam Vets Society ever 6 weeks, maybe someday I will get down to little more than that backpack?!?!?