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Why Investing in Experiences and Ourselves Heightens Our Happiness

Updated: Jun 4

Camel Ride
Camel Riding Morocco

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Ibn Battuta 

Today I rode a camel.

Riding a camel is nothing like riding a horse. Not the mounting, dismounting, riding/swaying or the itchy, smell and overall discomfort. However the experience concluded by watching the sun setting over the Sahara dunes followed by a dinner, drums and drinks in a Berber tent and under a star filled night.

An experience to leave me speechless and one I will cherish for the rest of my living days.

This journey and most recent experience has taken many years. From an initial thought, followed by an interest, then a plan and lastly a committed action.

Those of us who love to travel understand the experience is more than the destination. Know that travel draws on one’s inspiration, hope, and motivation whilst richly rewarding the journeyman. Even so far as leaving a legacy of inspiration for future travelers to enjoy.

Travel enriches our souls through new experiences, leaves us in awe of nature’s grandness and beauty. Elevates our understanding through the diversity and richness of different cultures and motivates us to do more in the knowledge of our time being so brief and precious

Every year since 1996 (my 25th birthday) I have worked, saved and invested.

Each year, I have also redeemed a small amount of my investment profits (not earnings or savings) and reinvested it into my travel experiences.

Why? Because doing so affords me the opportunity to save for the future whist also being able to experience the now.

We all travel for our different reasons, however I believe all who travel are even more richly rewarded with experiences and life long memories.

Here is what some of the travel experts say about the benefits of travel as well as some helpful tips for your journeys ahead.

Karlina See Kee. Investing in experience

Karlina is founder, adventurer, guide and author for Island Girl Discovery. If I was asked to describe Karlina in a single word it would be Amazing!!! She truly walks her talk while on her own journey of self-discovery, discovering new places and helping others discover new places of their own.

Travel is a personal thing.

What you get out of it depends on your individual personality. For some, travel could mean a much needed 2 week break from your everyday life. Or, it could be that once in a life-time ‘gap year’ where you spend 3 to 12 months exploring several countries to tick off your bucket list. Or, travel could be a way of life – which is what it is for me.

Travel has enabled me to see with my own eyes what they tried to teach us at school through books; what I read in newspapers; and what I watch on TV. To see these things come to life before me makes me realise how REAL they are: the humpback whale surfacing to breathe sending saltwater spray onto my face; the explosive sound of a volcano erupting behind me; the reality of war seen as bullet holes left in buildings with memorials remembering those who died; the pungent smell of fresh fish and meat in a traditional wet market; the taste of new spices and flavours in my meal cooked over a crackling fire. Experiencing all this first hand, makes me feel ALIVE! Each journey widens my mind further as I learn from each new country’s culture, traditions and people.

Travel has benefited me in a number of ways:

  • Satisfaction – to successfully navigate my new surroundings, and to see a new country;

  • Confidence – to meet new people and learn from them;

  • Fitness – increased exercise simply by sightseeing;

  • Less stress – no pressure of schedules or appointments to keep like at home;

  • Increased knowledge – of world issues, politics, history, culture, my own self;

  • Appreciation – of how lucky I am to live in a country like Australia with my freedom, absence of war, access to clean water, healthy food options and sufficient housing;

  • Personal growth – as I challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone, I grow with each experience and realise what I am capable of.

Helpful travel tips:

  1. Whatever your motivation to travel, ensure you achieve the things that YOU want, not only what the rest of your party may want to do. Live without regrets!

  2. Make a shortlist of the top 3 to 5 things you want to see or do on your trip. If additional things happen, then they will be a happy bonus. Make sure your list is achievable to avoid disappointment.

  3. Some useful items you may not have thought of:

  • appropriate adapters for chargers;

  • Power Bank (when lacking access to power);

  • bike chain/lock (to secure luggage to furniture for added security);

  • clothes line (thin rope with some pegs);

  • sarong (as a towel, protection from cold/sun/wind/dust, privacy screen, picnic blanket);

  • reusable shopping bag;

  • pocket knife;

  • zip lock bags (for snacks & liquids);

  • wet ones;

  • Betadine (for cuts to prevent infection);

  • nail clipper 

  • photocopy of your passport

  • a potato peeler (to peel skin off fruits/veg you should avoid in certain countries!).

Ashlyn is an editor for Unwritten and an accomplished writer. She has had her articles featured in prestigious news sites such as Huffington Post and The Examiner. Ashlyn is from Ontario, Canada. A self-confessed 24hrs a day travel addict.

The more I travel the more I grow.

You grow to understand people, to really see the different types of people all around the world. The different kinds of people that make the world go round. You start to understand the different ways people think, all depending on their background. You come to realize not everyone is your friend and that life is a competitive world. Mostly you are able to connect with people all around the world.

Traveling; it ignites your sense of happiness, it creates that fascial stretch from one cheek to another, and it ultimately provides you with a never-ending glow. The glow of living life the way you want it to be.

Find an adventure that makes your heart skip a beat. And embrace it with all your ability and drive.

Travelling will ultimately better your life and provide you with a new perspective about what life is like. Improve your quality of life, how you relate to others and enhance others’ lives as well. A never ending circle of happiness and adventure. Your hard earned money can be turned into something more than money; it turns into an experience– that lasts forever.

As with everything in life, we have two options. The first is to stay and live a mediocre life and the second is to risk it and see who we can become.  Most people believe bills, mortgages and a steady job are more important than living life the way we want.

Although it is scary, once you’re past the point of fear and finally realize you’re safe you can recognize how fortunate you are to have added another skill to your life. You will always have those memories to fall back on. You will earn life experience.

A photo is worth a million words, however being able to show your children, grandchildren, or just keep to yourself, those photo albums all about your adventures are priceless. You cannot put a price on having memories. 

If you doubt me, take a moment and think back to when you were ten years old. Now then tell yourself that your dream isn't achievable or realistic. The reaction you get should tell you more than you'll ever need to know about yourself and maybe enough to give you that needed push.

Cheers to Life and to making memories! Your adventure is waiting and calling your name, don’t let it down.

Monika started mymonpie to capture her adventures as she travels the world in a new way of living. After a solid stint in the corporate world Monica gave up the security, scrutiny and the stress for a nomadic lifestyle. In September 2016, she embarked on a whirlwind tour of the actual world with her partner Simon. Together they spend one to three months wherever takes their fancy – working remotely and exploring the globe. Real ”Citizens of the World” kinda stuff. While travel can push you to become the best version of yourself, a big challenge can be adjusting your fitness routine to fit your location.

So if maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important to you, be sure to book accommodation which has gyms, yoga studios, and fitness centres nearby. It can often take one to two weeks to really adjust to a new city so keeping to a routine is key.

Living a nomadic lifestyle can really mess with your gut and digestion. Frequent travel, new environments, water quality all play major factors - but the biggest is probably change in diet. Intermittent Fasting is also a great way to ensure optimum gut health and basically supercharge your body to repair itself. It can also improve one’s productivity and motivation, whilst actually decreasing hunger. 

Advice for aspiring digital nomads: 

  1. Have a plan of how to make income and get your online business up and running as soon as you can - the earlier the better. Even better before you begin traveling. This way you can start earning before you start traveling and be in an even better financial position. 

  2. Try and book as far in advance as you can. Six month slots, to even up to 12 months in advance for flights and accommodation. The earlier you book the more options you will have with Airbnb etc. 

  3. Ensure the country and your accommodation you are planning to experience has decent WiFi, especially if you are planning to work remotely as is becoming more common these days.

  4. Check VISA requirements well before you visit the country. Always have enough money in the bank to prove that you can sustain your travels if questioned. If you do not have a VISA, have your exit flights booked or proof that you will be in another country (i.e.; accommodation, wedding invite etc)

  5. Spread the travel out. Don’t travel every week/fortnight. Spend at least a month in each location so your body can adjust. Probiotics are essential to maintain a healthy gut as lots of travel can wreak havoc on it.

This post was written by Me, as such they are my personal views and not financial or general advice.

You should always seek independent financial advice when it comes to choices about your personal finances. This is one area of your life where it’s worth paying for it to be done right.

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