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Why do you value travel experiences over possessions?

We hear this a lot from the Trippy community..."I'd rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of stuff"

Tell me about a time you decided to spend money on travel instead of using it to buy material things. Where did you go and looking back how do you feel now about it? Why do you value these travel experiences over new clothes, cars, etc.

30 Answers

top answer by
Josh from Baton Rouge

Circumstances in my own life have made me value experiences over possessions, and for that I am thankful.  At one point in my life, I was very sick and not expected to live.  By the grace of God I am here today, but no one is promised tomorrow.  When you listen to older people tell stories, what do they talk about?  Do they talk about that thing they bought or do they talk about experiences with their loved ones?  Of course they talk about those moments in time they wish they could go back to and re-live.  So my philosophy now is to take experience life now rather then hope to experience it later.  Live a life of no regrets.

13 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Kristal from San Francisco


When I graduated college with my MBA I was officially on my own financially and I decided to take some of my savings and instead of splurging on a graduation gift for myself I decided to take a trip to Eastern Europe. It was the best decision I made. 1 month and 6 countries later (Bosnia and HerzegovinaCroatiaAustriaSerbiaSlovakiaMontenegro) I came back ready to start life as an "adult". I not only chose this over material goods, but I decided to put my job hunting on hold until I got back. I think traveling is the most important thing. I love the quote that says something like "the world is like a book and without travel you're only reading one page". I think traveling makes you a better person: more aware, more accepting, more empathetic and more loving. Traveling helps you find who you are, what you love and gives you a sense of freedom and perspective that the trendiest shoes or biggest mansions never will. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bosnia and Herzegovina (attraction)
  2. Croatia (country)
  3. Austria (attraction)
  4. Serbia (attraction)
  5. Slovakia (attraction)
  6. Montenegro (country)
9 thanks

answered by
Rosie from Marblehead

The world is a classroom. Travel experiences transform your outlook in life, for the better! Somehow, they make you see the big picture in the grand scheme of living the life! Somehow you are transported somewhere that rejuvenates you, that makes you feel alive, that makes you smiles from ear to ear.   Wherever I go, I make sure that I bring my daughters with me and we embark on self-discovery. These experiences stay with them as they stay with me.  We build lasting memories over meeting peoples and seeing places! Travels broaden their horizon and understanding of the world we all live in. They are fearless and less judgemental. They are curious and comfortable with people of different skin color and culture.  In my experience, in a room full of people, the one that stands out above the crowd would not necessary be the one in a pair of Prada shoes or a Gucci dress.  It will be someone who talks about the thrills of reaching the Dead Woman's Pass on his/her way to Machu Picchu! 

Travel experiences transform your outlook in life. 

6 thanks

answered first by
Maja from Stockholm

Easy one! Going to Australia several years ago.

I chose to go sailing in the famous Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race which takes place every year.

Was connected with a crew that needed an additional sailor through a mutual friend.

Flew out to Sydney, arriving on Christmas Eve - took a taxi to the marina and met the crew for the 1st time. 

We spent Christmas day all together getting ready to start the race on Boxing Day.

Race started on Boxing Day, and we arrived in Hobart (Tasmania) 5 days later. 

We all spent NYE on the boat over looking the fireworks in Hobart Harbor.

Ended up staying in Hobart for another 3 weeks, with the parents of one of my crew mates.

One of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Made all sorts of new friends, just because I took a chance and put myself out there! Instant bonding when spending holidays with new friends!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sydney (city)
  2. Hobart (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

We prioritize travel as a family. It's a gift that can't be broken, wear out, or go out of style. Instead of presents, we choose experiences.

The experience of travel teaches us things from new recipes to geography, new cultures and music, styles, art, language... there's education and the broadening of thought. My children learn about places in school and have a richer experience even in the classroom because many times they've been to the places they're studying.

Travel brings us closer together as a family, giving us crazy memories and shared experiences. Even awful moments like mildewed, buggy Tuscan villas on New Year's Eve provide wonderful moments for us to work together, then laugh and reminisce later.

We treasure the memories, the photographs, and the stories, the people we meet, and the friends we keep.

2 thanks

answered by

It provides such prospective on what's really important.   Meeting new people, learning about difference cultures and history.    Travel makes you realize that each country has it's own great things and own short comings.   If you don't travel you have a very narrow knowledge of the real world.   

2 thanks

answered by

I think travel experience and stuff are completely differnt things to Me, which are hard to compare. I cherish my travel experience because it gives me a glimpse into the culture and heritage of where My forefathers came from after the 30 year war. I travel back to Europe quite a bit. Although the airline tickets, hotel and such are bought. The experiences, places I go and people I meet on my travels are priceless. It is memories for a lifetime, as well as experiences. I have taken My Son with Me numerous times. He is actually in Munich, Germany as I type this. It was, is important to Me that My Son travels. So that He can see how other people live, think & interact with one another. Hopefully it'll give Him a better understanding of how the world is. Also how the world sees Us. Maybe spawn question that will encourage Him to think and question. It is interesting to Me how people see Americans.....and sometimes how Americans act when they are outside of their own country. I hope to one day travel to New Zealand & Australia. As well as Patagonia (Argentina) in South America. There's still time for that:) I say traveling is important because it is a experience, first hand. That generally will last a lifetime. Stuff usually has a shorter shelf life.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Munich (city)
  2. New Zealand (attraction)
  3. Australia (attraction)
  4. Patagonia (Argentina) (metro area)
2 thanks

answered by
Maria from Dublin

I find that travel enriches your life like no possessions ever will. At 15 I first travelled by train all over Ireland usually solo. I loved new places, new people. When our daughter was 2 years old we took her camping to France driving all the way. She got the travel bug then. After that we took her to New York City Boston Florida. Then Australia Sri Lanka and lots of other places. She always loved travel and new experiences. We saw the world in a new light, through her eyes. When her Dad (and my husband) became terminally ill we treasured the wonderful memories from our wanderings and now the memories sustain us during the lonely days. These days my daughter and I travel together, or alone, and value every single experience.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ireland (attraction)
  2. France (attraction)
  3. New York City (city)
  4. Boston (city)
  5. Florida (attraction)
  6. Australia (attraction)
  7. Sri Lanka (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Rocio from Costa Rica

Hi Jillian. Every time I come back from a trip, I am filled with this unique feeling that completes me. When I close my eyes, watch a video or see a picture of a special place that I have visited or think about a perfect moment that I shared with my family, it assures me that I am right. Material things have an end, but memories are carved and sealed in the heart forever.

I started to work very young, at the age of 20. I remembered that I used to save money the entire year to travel. My friends used to make comments and tried to convince me on spending it on clothing, parties, etc., however I always ignored them. I went to Colombia (Bogota) and Bolivia (Cochabamba) in South America for the first time back 1981...


2 thanks

answered by
Samia from Bangladesh

I save like crazy and I have always been miserly. I dont regret my choices- buying no gadgets, or upgrading phone, eating out so much in town, buying shoes and at least I can afford to eat in another country. 

I love the planning that goes towards the trip... I have polished my leadership capacities by traveling or arranging trips for friends together... enjoyed so much and learnt alot. My modest home has relics from many places and the fridge magnets look cool. 

I make friends and make more travels to meet up with them :p Nowadays travel is more about people, rather than places. I lived with locals and enjoyed life from their perspectives, ate their local delicacies. 

hope there will be more opportunities to travel at every point. 

1 thanks

answered by
Spencer from Los Angeles

I love this question so much. Been chewing on it for a few days and my answer to your first question is this: Travel experiences, contrary to possessions, are an end to themselves. It's not something you buy at the store that's a means for something else, like an iPhone, slow cooker, scooter, or whatever. Travel isn't quantifiable like that. I love what Louis L'Amour said, "The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for." We travel for the sake of travel.

To answer your second question, for me, most recently, it was this most recent trip abroad, several weeks in Southern Africa in South AfricaNamibiaBotswana, and Zimbabwe. Any work or other opportunities were secondary to being present on that trip. Sure, maybe I missed opportunities, but I truly believe I'm better for those several weeks of travel and that the version of myself right now, is a better version of myself than before I left. I find myself still thinking about and applying some of the things I learned on that trip to my day-to-day life several weeks after.

Those are things money can never buy. You probably can't pinpoint the month you bought something like a TV or a phone or something of the like, but you're more likely to pinpoint the date/year/details of a big trip to Africa. That's the power of travel experiences. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. South Africa (attraction)
  2. Namibia (attraction)
  3. Botswana (attraction)
  4. Zimbabwe (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Russ from Ohio

Simple: You own the travel in your mind and can never be taken away, Stuff owns you.

1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
DP from United States

Possessions are just stuff, and can be replaced, travel cannot.  

You learn more from travel than you can from buying possessions.

1 thanks

answered by
Elle from Bangalore

I value both :), but yes, travel way way more than material possessions. 

There are some great answers on here that cover some of the many of the reasons to travel. In addition to those, I find that travel expands my mind and my heart like little else. It puts things in perspective for me by showing me both the universe of unexplored possibilities out there and by helping me be grateful for what I have and the opportunities that have been made available to me.  That despite all our physical and cultural differences, all of us are really the same underneath it all. 

And if you are a cynic like me, I find there is little that compares to the unexpected kindness of a stranger in a strange land to make you believe in people again.

And because I'm on a bit of a Wild ride right now,

1 thanks

answered by
Nathaniel from Boston

Stuff owns you, experiences grow you. Getting a greater return on the investment of your time helps you to be richer in the way you experience life.

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answered by
Rasto from Edmonton

Possessions possess you, traveling enriches you for life.

Most of people will not get it or have their own world enjoying pure consumerism and resort style vacations. They don't know how to live but they got a lot of toys and are not happy anyway.

1 thanks

answered by
Alan from Dallas

It is all in what the individual person derives the greatest joy from. My wife and I regularly evaluate "things" in terms of what kinds of travel opportunities we would have to give up if we were to buy a leather couch, a new sound system, or a shiny new sedan. For us, the chance to see a remote corner of the world will normally trump whatever new thing we consider. As some wise soul said, you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul!

answered by
Tonco from London

It's simple, memories last longer than the watch or a new phone, I have lost 2 phones over last few years, 1st lost in San Francisco and 2nd was stolen in Rio de Janeiro

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Francisco (city)
  2. Rio de Janeiro (city)

answered by
Laura from Buenos Aires

I am fortunate enough to have a good life but eventhough every time I think on buying something I compare the valeu of that thing with a travel or a travel expierence. I'd rather spend money in a tour, a nice meal in a tipical restaurant or a hotel night in a new place than in any item I could buy for my house or myself. 

answered by
Judy from Memphis

Because "travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness" (Mark Twain quote). Travel opens your mind and heart to see, taste, experience new cultures and is an opening to make new friends and listen and see the world and their perceptions of it from a new dimension. It will give you learnings, discoveries and adventures that are priceless...they will make your soul soar!

answered by
Björn from Munich

Instead of driving a fancy car (I have an older VW Golf, which I love) or living in a big apartment I simply use that money for travel. When I hear people telling me: "Oh wow! I don't know how you manage to finance all those trips" then I usually respond : "Well... Instead of leasing some BMW for 400,- € a month (excl. Service and insurance) I go travel. "Those 5000,- € is a hell of a lot of money to travel, don't you think?" ;-) Its all about priorities. And as you pointed it out: I also prefer to experience different cultures and new countries instead of worrying somebody scratching my shiny expensive new car :-)

Cheers from Munich


answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

There's just rarely anything I would want more than travel. There have been times when I've had to spend money on things that aren't travel related (plumbing, a new garage door, new brakes for the car) and every time I think of what I've had to spend in relation to where I could have gone. Nothing I've ever bought has ever changed me as a person, either, but traveling certainly has. 

When I was in my early 20s I worked a full year to save up enough to move to Paris on my own. Can't imagine there's anything I possibly could have purchased that would have changed my life as much as that did. It was an amazing if very imperfect experience that completely changed the course of my life. Wouldn't trade it for anything. And I do mean any thing

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)

answered by
Joshua from Charlotte

By possessions, I'm assuming you mean objects without utility that quite often just sit there. These do little to add to my life other than creating clutter I can't easily carry with me. Travel experiences change me as a human being and allow me to grow by integrating what I've experienced into the core of who I am.

answered by
Ashley from Calgary

I value both -- and it's okay to! Generally speaking though, memories last longer than things, and a house full of stuff is fine and dandy but if you haven't really seen anything beyond that you only get a small glimpse of reality.

answered by
Gerry from Boston

To me, it`s history. I go to China, and to visit places that are over 4000-5000 years old blows my mind. To see what people were building or planning in those years is unbelievable.

Recently I have visited the Terra Cotta Warriors in XI`AN, for an Emporer to replicate his whole army to be buried with him is amazing, since 1975 they have found over 2000 of these statues, and figure there`s another 2000 to be discover, dating back over 2500 years.

Possessions can never compare to experiences like this!!!!

answered by
Maria João

I often say that money does not buy happiness, but buying travel, which for me is the same thing as "happiness" :-)

answered by
Ema from Los Angeles

It's as close an answer as to why value education over materialism.

answered by
Johnny from Las Vegas

Maybe along that line... I actually "retired" at 32 for awhile.  I was living in Minnesota and had enough of the winters so I put my "things" in storage, converted a van into a camper and just left.  Started driving west and kept going without a specific plan.  Stayed overnight in Des Moines, then Omaha, then Boulder and then went into the rockies and spent a couple of months exploring towns like Nederland (Colorado)Central City (Colorado)BreckenridgeVailAvonAspen, Steamboat Springs (in a way I did part of the Dumb and Dumber drive!  mmmm... Aspen?  California!  Nice!).  I continued on to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Santa FeAlbuquerquePetrified Forest National ParkFlagstaffGrand Canyon National ParkHoover DamLas Vegas and finally settled in Salt Lake City for awhile, enjoying the mountains there.  I lived in my van for about 6 months like a hippie. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Minnesota (attraction)
  2. Des Moines (city)
  3. Omaha (city)
  4. Boulder (city)
  5. Nederland (Colorado) (city)
  6. Central City (Colorado) (city)
  7. Breckenridge (city)
  8. Vail (city)
  9. Avon (city)
  10. Aspen (attraction)
  11. Steamboat Springs (city)
  12. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (attraction)
  13. Santa Fe (city)
  14. Albuquerque (city)
  15. Petrified Forest National Park (attraction)
  16. Flagstaff (city)
  17. Grand Canyon National Park (park)
  18. Hoover Dam (attraction)
  19. Las Vegas (city)
  20. Salt Lake City (city)

answered by
Matt from Scottsdale

Why?  Because travel experiences are totally creative - you choose where to go, what to see and do, and most importantly, what to "make" of your travel experience in your own mind.  It becomes part of who you are. Alternatively, possessions are just pieces of s**t that you collect, and which weigh you down.  As you're dying, your travel experiences will all still be with you, whereas your possessions will be gathering dust in some rental storage unit that you're paying $295 (plus tax) per month for.

answered by
Hazel from Port St. Lucie

I now have the time to travel, and not the energy or physique. So l take mini day trips. If you can make time for it, then the experience is worth the risk. There in lies the treasure.

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