This week, the New York Times reported on an emerging trend in America: that spending money on experiences is more rewarding — and contributes to greater consumer happiness — than spending money on material goods.
For those of us who love to travel, this is hardly a revolutionary idea. Sure, a vacation may last only 7 or 10 days, but the photos and the memories (not to mention those oft-embellished anecdotes about haggling in Honduras or getting hopelessly lost in a Moroccan medina) last a lifetime. Why wouldn’t we spend money on a trip to someplace new instead of some high-tech gadget that will be outdated within a year?
But while most of us globetrotters can agree that the experience of traveling beats sitting at home on a brand-new couch, the reality of a satisfying and memorable trip is a little different for everyone. For some travelers, there’s nothing better than spending a week hiking in the backcountry without seeing another soul. For others, it’s being invited to join a local family for a home-cooked meal, drifting in a hot-air balloon above a patchwork of Napa vineyards, or seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time.
What kinds of travel experiences speak to you? What’s your most vivid memory from your travels?