Why You Should Choose Experiences over Materials

In Life, Philosophy
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The core of a man’s spirit comes from new experiences. – Chris McCandless

A Not So Distant Past

For a long time I clung on to what I owned and searched for happiness in material accumulation.

I thought the latest clothes, car or technology would bring me the sustainable happiness I was looking for.

But it never did.

There would always be something new that I wanted.

I didn’t make me feel good and I needed a change.

In 2012 I hit the road with a purpose to challenge my mindset by collecting experiences rather than materials.


Experiences ‘vs’ Materials

After a few months travelling and some great experiences, I realised that materials would always be separate to me.

I figured that they only existed in the external world, making them susceptible to change, and beyond my control.

It became clear to me that I was looking in the wrong direction all along, and that my quest for happiness through materials was an endless pursuit.

I came to understand that if I chose to continue living life this way, my happiness would be shaky and unsustainable.

After reflecting on the “experience vs materials” debate for quite some time I came to understand that, unlike materials, experiences:

  • Don’t break, become obsolete, need to be updated or replaced.
  • Don’t need to be stored and aren’t heavy to carry.
  • Don’t deteriorate in value.
  • Don’t have to cost you a penny.
  • Can be co-created with other people.
  • Are 100% exclusive to you.


An Experience Era

It’s 2016 and we’re living in an exciting era where people, particularly Generation Y, are placing more importance on collecting experiences rather than materials.

With the rise of social media, and hundreds of means to share our experiences, the narrative is no longer based on what you’ve got, but rather what you’ve done.

With technology improvements, globalisation and cheaper airfares, there has never been a better time for Gen Y  to travel, see the world and grow through their own unique experiences.


Bag Of Experiences

When I think about life and experiences, I find it useful to use the follow analogy:

Imagine that you have a bag which you can use to collect experiences.

Each experience you have in your life, whether good or bad, is a little nugget of your story and can be added to the bag.

Once those experiences are added to your bag, you embody them.

At any given moment, you are the sum total of all of your experiences in your bag.

You can share your bag of experiences with other people to inspire and empower them to fill their own bag full of experiences.

The world is ready to be explored and you have a great opportunity to craft your own unique story by filling your bag full of experiences that matter to you.



The more you search for happiness through materials, the more happiness will escape you.

Don’t listen to the noise from society. A happy and fulfilled life isn’t determined by who finishes with the most toys.

At the end of it all, when you are lying on your deathbed, will you remember the materials you spent your life accumulating or will you reflect on the great experiences with those who mattered to you?

I know what I’ll think about.

Thanks for reading and all the best, 

Daniel Beaumont, Thursday 26th January

About the Author

Hello everyone, I’m Daniel – a 27 year old writer from the north of England, currently living in Bucharest, Romania, where I’m currently writing my first book.

I am passionate by the human experience, especially the connection between travel, life and personal development.

Since 2012 I’ve been on transformational journey, travelling 40 countries across 4 continents.

During my journey, I discovered that travel is a great catalyst for one’s personal growth, and now I want to share want i’ve learned and empower others to embark on their own personal travel journey.

Feel free to read more about my story or get in touch with me here if you have question.

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