Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume. ~Jean de Boufflers
Recently I read an interesting article that weighed the pros and cons of either spending money on material things or taking a trip. The article spoke about how, if you really want to get the most for your dollar, it is MUCH better to spend your money on a trip rather than buying more stuff. Sure, we all need certain essential things like clothing, transportation, furnishings, etc. but many of us have far too much “stuff” and don’t need to add more to the collection. When I read this my first reaction was, if I spend money on a trip then at the end of the trip I have nothing to show for it but if I buy something I will have that item around for perhaps many years. But the problem with this logic is after you buy something, the excitement of owning this new item is short-lived. That new car, computer, television, etc. soon becomes passe when next year’s models come out. But if you spend your money on taking a trip instead, the experience can create pleasurable memories that will stay with you the rest of your life.
When I think about this, it makes a lot of sense. Thinking back on all of the vacations and trips I’ve taken over the years, I’m amazed on how many fond memories pop into my mind. This is even true for vacations that occurred decades ago. It doesn’t have to be a really special place either, such as looking out over the Grand Canyon. Sometimes fond memories are created when you least expect them. For example, several years ago when we arrived early for a week long vacation on Kiawah Island, SC, we had to wait a few hours before our condo would be ready. It was a beautiful day so we bought some fried chicken from the super market and found a nearby park with a picnic grove to enjoy a long, leisurely lunch. We had the place to ourselves and it turned out to be a very enjoyable, relaxing afternoon and one of the highlights of that year’s vacation!
This brings up another good point – you don’t have to spend a lot of money or any money at all to create a special moment. For me, a simple walk in the woods, perhaps along a stream, can be extremely relaxing and cost nothing at all. The sound of the water flowing over the rocks and the scent of pine trees in the air burns an image in my mind that will put a smile on my face every time I recall it.
Which brings me to my final point, these fond memores never wear out, in fact they seem to get better over time. Like a bank account that never runs out of money, the pleasant memories from past events are available whenever I want to think about them. They can be wonderfully soothing during stressful times or immediately lift my spirits when I’m feeling down.
All of this talk of past vacations or trips has me looking forward to my next adventure. That bank account of pleasant memories can never get too full. What fond memories do you have in YOUR account?
Photo courtesey of dewollewei on Creative Commons/Flickr