More Life Experiences or More Stuff?

The picture above was taken in Kenya’s Masai Mara. A cheetah mum and her cub on the lookout for lunch and shortly to explode into an (unsuccessful) pursuit of a passing Thompson’s Gazelle. The photo will not win any photography prizes but it was me behind the camera living the moment.

The picture below was taken in tea country in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. That’s me doing my cheesy tourist best smile.

This is me again in the middle of what proved to be a super pod of dolphins off the Portugal coast.

Why am I telling you this?

Experiences like these, and many other amazing ones, have been possible for me in the last few years because I am fortunate enough to:

1) Have enough spare income to be able to afford the opportunities

2) Share my life with someone that has a passion for the travelling life

Mostly though, experiences like this have been possible because I’ve made them a priority over other stuff. As importantly, I’ve made them happen.

I am a consumer, I always have been and I’m sure always will be. However, I realised a few years ago that only the right sort of more really matters.

More stuff, more material things matters less to me than it once did. I like nice things don’t get me wrong and I can be quite particular with what I do like but there’s only so much I really need at any one time. I don’t need a lot of stuff to feel happy. I just need the right amount of enough.

More experiences however do interest me. They are a priority. Being able to plan for and then realise lifelong dreams excites me and gets my blood rushing.

The trade is easy for me to make.

Being able to wake up to the sights, sounds and smells of an African morning on safari is worth not having the latest smartphone for.

Being able to run in the warm, soft sand of Mui Nei beach in Vietnam while the sun rises is worth not having the latest super-duper TV for.

No amount of wishing for life experiences and adventure to happen is likely to make them happen. No amount of dreaming gets us to where we want to get to without being backed by a plan and some action.

For me there’s only one real winner in the stuff versus experiences conversation. I try to live accordingly.

How about you?  If it’s more experiences you really crave, are your daily actions supporting your goals?

Note: This is a refreshed and reworked post from an earlier piece on my site.

Carl writes short books full of big ideas. He is also the proud owner of Frictionless Living which is focused on helping readers find and live their own version of a simpler, good life.

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