Stuff vs Experiences


There is nothing better to open up your senses and relax your mind than traveling. Thankfully, Lenah and I are aligned when it comes to where we spend our hard-earned money. We have decided not buy property (can’t really afford it) and lots of stuff. Instead we’re focusing on eating and drinking well, traveling and enjoying life to the max. Because what good is buying lots of stuff really? In fact, we don’t even own a car, we rent one when we need it. It’s cost- and environmentally friendly.

This might sound like we live some kind of extreme lifestyle – we don’t. We just want to make sure we live our lives and not get too bound down to stuff, houses, cars, which usually equals loans, which in turn equals stress and unhappiness. It’s about being able to control that initial desire you can get for a new car, a house, a new computer, etc. We still buy things, obviously. Things that matter to us. Clothes is one of them. Not lots and expensive, but enough to make sure you feel good about yourself. The same thing goes for health and beauty stuff (lotions, gym membership, medicine, massages, treatments, dentists, doctors – what you require to make sure your body is in good shape), if we can extend our lives – then that’s money well spent.

There’s nothing strange about this philosophy. We’ve done the journey (at least partly) around buying, buying, buying, owning, owning, owning – but when the buying and owning starts to interfere with the things you really appreciate, then you need to ask yourself a few questions.

So the main question we’re asking ourselves now is: do we/I really need that? A lot of the time the answer is no.

One step we’ve taken is to clear out a lot of stuff. Things we don’t use that other people might need or have better use for. That stuff we give to charity or sell (it’s damn hard to sell used things so we end up giving most of it away). And it feels really good to do it, not only the giving but also cleaning and clearing up. You not only clear the space around you, but also your mind and soul. You de-clutter your life.

After we made the decision to de-clutter and anti-hoard, we booked two well-needed vacations. First we’re going to Valencia in mid-April (only two nights, but still a nice getaway) and then we’re going back to one of our favorite places in the world, La città eterna, Rome. Because like I wrote in the first paragraph, there is nothing better than traveling to open up your senses and relax your mind. To really experience things and enjoy life.

And that’s what we need right now. Actually, that’s what all of us need more of, at least in my view. More than a new LCD TV, a new car, a bigger house or something else that we feel we need there and then, but lose interest in after only a few days, or maybe weeks.

To summarise, make sure you live your life. Don’t bind yourself to stuff that when you ask yourself, deep down, really doesn’t matter.