Gay 101. The value of experiences over things.

 

Living a life with very few material possessions has taught me to value experiences more than things. The money I have is limited so I have always preferred to spend my time and my money doing things that I thought would enrich my life.

I don’t have a house full of stuff, I have only enough clothes to get by in summer and winter, I don’t buy labels I own two pairs of shoes and 1 pair of work boots. If I had to relocate my life tomorrow I could to it with a backpack and my camera.

There is something incredibly liberating knowing that you can fit your life in to a backpack. When I was travelling around France and Spain, being able to just get up and go wherever I wanted was a great feeling. Obviously there are things that I have that are hugely important to me. My camera and my laptop are the two things I couldn’t do without and there are a few family heirlooms that I have hidden away for when I eventually do put down some roots.

I don’t own much but my life is full and I believe the reason is that I have put value in the experiences that I have  over the things that I own. I’ve had plenty of conversations with friends who complain that they can’t afford a holiday, they are stressed out, they hate their live but own 10 designer jackets.

“Things” don’t bring value in to your life.

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The idea that we are the sum of our experiences is true. I am the sum of all the things that I have experienced in my life and the more that I experience even the tough times, the happier and more fulfilled I feel. From sailing the Queensland coast to visiting a Vietnamese orphanage, from sipping hot wine in Lyon to hiking the Dandenong ranges all of these things are a part of me, I carry them with me wherever I go and I can share them with the people I meet a long the way.

Things might bring us happiness for a time but they don’t really leave us feeling fulfilled. They are external to us and when they are gone they leave a hole that needs to be filled by other things. The $1000 jacket might make you feel happy for a time but when it’s gone the hole returns.

Right now I am the most content I have been in a very long time and yet I don’t own any designer clothing, a fancy car or the latest iJunk. My money is going on a trip to Machu Picchu or maybe the Great Wall or possibly Burning Man.

See you there?

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