Every week, I try to follow the resolution posted by author Gretchen Rubin on her blog, The Happiness Project. About two weeks ago, the resolution was to Buy some happiness.
I tried it and it certainly helped me boost my happiness.
Research shows that people enjoy a lasting happiness effect when they spend money on experience rather than material things. An experience could mean anything from a holiday to classes.
I just came back from my 4th anniversary holiday with my husband and another couple in Langkawi and it was one of the most enjoyable holidays I have ever had.
Most of our money went on experiencing new things, things that we would not do/get to do in our daily life.
During my recent 3-day holiday, we went on the cable car-ride despite being scarred of heights. We went on an eco-cruise despite being pampered city folks. And I personally went on the Segway and rode in the middle of the public despite having this unnatural fear of hitting a pedestrian.
My knees were shaking by the time we got off the cable car but I was happy because I got a beautiful view from 630-odd metres above sea level. I was so afraid of going down the bridge on the Segway but I survived — without hitting or injuring anyone (including myself). It also felt really good to be so close to nature on the eco/mangrove ride — watching eagles feed, feeding stingrays, and going into a bat’s cave and being peed on (by the bats).
Besides getting out of my comfort zone, this holiday was also about making new friends and getting to know the locals. We tried so many local food, talked to the locals, and discover insights into a holiday destination that not all tourists get to do.
I think that is what made the trip truly memorable.
The next time you book a holiday somewhere, try to include some learning experiences into your itinerary. Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone. Try a scary-looking local fruit (durian); rent a car so you can drive on your own although you have a tendency to get lost; have a friendly chat with the tourist sitting next to you if you’re naturally shy.
If you come across an experience during your holiday that you have been meaning to try because it’s not available where you live, just go for it!
Remember, spend money on experience and not material thing. It’ll make you happier in the long run.