Friday, August 10, 2012

Tip #33: Create experiences

Walk in the wild
Sometimes we think that getting more and more things we'll make us happier. Well, as you already know, maybe that can work at times. But I'm sure most of you would agree that getting stuff tends to result not in happiness but in clutter, even burden. There may also be other reasons why just buying things does not satisfy us. It turns out that this has also been studied. In a paper called "The Relative Relativity of Material and Experiential Purchases“ the researchers discovered that people enjoy buying experiences (like a vacation or a massage) much more than buying physical items because with the latter we tend to compare those items to other ones (I just bought a TV but the neighbor has a better one, or a new model came out, etc.) while it is more difficult to compare experiences (my massage was better than yours?). In addition, our memory tends to grow fonder with time in the case of experiences (we had such a great vacation in 1992), while with most purchased items, our expectations tend to diminish as time goes by.

But I also think that we can even bypass the idea of "buying" experiences and, instead, try to "create" experiences in any situation we may be. Of course, vacations are ideal for this. If you go to Hawaii for the first time, you will be creating an experience with everything you do. But you do not need to buy anything when you go for a hike, for example, and you have just "created" a wonderful experience (hopefully) that you can cherish forever, if you enjoy it in a special way, maybe because of nature itself, maybe because of the company, the weather, etc.

I'm still enjoying my time in Spain, away from my daily routine, so "creating" experiences seems very easy at the moment, but I'm hoping this is an idea that can be put into practice when I get back.

What do you think? Any suggestions? They are always welcomed!



  1. Pilar, I read an article a while back reguarding experiences but it was geared more towards creating an experience for someone rather then buy a gift. I try to remember to do this with the kids in my life - We try to take them places to create memories rather then buy them something. Your blog is a great reminder! xxoo

  2. Estoy totalmente de acuerdo. Los días de vacaciones con la familia son una experiencia que estará con nosotros siempre. Las anécdotas nos harán reir una y otra vez. Para todos, chicos y grandes. Kika.

  3. I hope you are having an abundance of memorable experiences while in Spain. Make the best of it too, Pilar and share some pictures if you please. I haven't been home in two years and miss Europe. And you are being missed too :-). When are you coming back?