If my mom’s English was good enough and she read this post, she would probably not talk to me for a long time. My mother-in-law lovingly called us “traveling fools.” And I get it. I am sure their generation in general grew up on different values. House, car, furniture, jewelry and savings were all of paramount importance and a natural way of showing your status in life, your progression, your achievements. Don’t get me wrong, all of this is still important (and I wish more people could afford all the material pleasures of this life without sacrifices and budget planning). However, my generation is starting to progressively shift towards a different mindset – where experiences matter more than things. The priorities are shifting from collecting things to collecting experiences.

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My husband and I are just another couple with average income making most of our lives and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Given the choice and budget constraint, I’d rather drive a Honda, but vacation four times a year, than say no to travel and spend next 10 years paying off 100K Mercedes to show my status. We also agreed early on that we’d rather splurge on a date night at a 3 Michelin star restaurant than spend money on exchanging gifts.

You might call me an addict, and you might be right about that. Although, I prefer to call it passion. Either way, the symptoms are clear: I feel like I’m suffocating if I stay in one place for more than three months; I need regular weekend getaways (near or far); I plan my vacations one to two years out; I do meticulous research and prepare detailed itineraries for every trip; CondeNast Traveler, Culture Trip, National Geographic and Travel + Leisure have turned into my bibles; I also frequent websites like booking.com just to daydream of the wonderful destinations around the world.

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So, why do I choose to invest in travel versus things? The reasons are simple:

BROADEN MY PERSPECTIVE

As Mr. Twain once rightly pointed out, travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Two years in Haiti opened my mind in a totally different level. You might see the hardship of developing countries on TV, but until you experience it first-hand you cannot truly appreciate the every-day struggles of people who live there. Thankfully, our living conditions in Haiti were nothing like those living in an absolute poverty. However, I started appreciating even the simplest things like paved roads, traffic lights, grocery stores, movie theatres and shopping malls – basically, everything I took for granted before.

MEET NEW PEOPLE

Seeing the main sights of the destination is not enough for me. It honestly blows my mind how some people live in a foreign country for years and don’t have any local friends. I don’t think you can really learn anything about the country or its culture without interacting with locals. I think I’m the richest person because I have friends all over the world, because multicultural engagement is key to understanding the beauty of this world. Besides meeting locals of the host country, travel also gives opportunity to interact with other nationalities and learn a little bit about their culture. Every person that you cross paths with during your travels has a story to tell.

You guys, what a day! I finally made one of my biggest dreams come true and traveled to Wakayama to spend some time in Koya-san, the sacred mountain. We are spending the night in a Buddhist temple (see my Insta Stories for details) and just came back from a night tour of Okunoin – the largest cemetery in Japan, which is one of the most sacred places in the county and a popular pilgrimage spot. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป | www.travelwithnanob.com | #foodblog #travelblog #Koya #Koyasan #Wakayama #Japan #discoverjapan #traveljapan #JapanRevealed #InstagramJapan #JapanLoverMe #visitjapanau #TokyoCameraClub #NikonPhotographers #NikonNoFilter #NikonPhotography #Nikon #NikonArtists #LoveTheWorld #IamATraveler #TheWanderlustClub #PassionPassport #FemmeTravel #globelletravels #girlsmeetglobe #ladiesgoneglobal #girlsvsglobe #girlslovetravel #WomenWhoExplore #inspirationculmag

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EXPERIENCE NEW CULTURES

Whether it was a luau night in Hawaii, climbing The Great Wall of China, overnight in a Buddhist temple in Japan, diving in St. Kitts, sumo tournament in Tokyo, or dune-bashing in Dubai – the possibilities of immersing into local culture at your new destination are endless, and the thrill of experiencing how people of other nations live and experience the same things that make their hearts tick is incomparable. As you trot the globe in pursuit of new smells, sights and sounds, the extent of your understanding of the world around you and of new cultures that are different from yours broadens and enriches you.

TASTE NEW CUISINE

It’s no secret I love good food and I always make an effort to try local cuisine everywhere I travel. No matter how much people try to recreate food it never tastes as good as in its original country, simply because the local produce and spices cannot be replicated anywhere else. Thai food will never be as good as that in Thailand, or Indian as mouthwatering as in India. I still remember our mind-blowing food tour in San Juan, when we savored the local specialties while touring the beautiful cobble-stoned streets. Our latest favorite was sampling Sichuan cuisine in the most unassuming little eatery in a random Chinese village on our way to the Forbidden City. It was cheap, simple, yet so so good.

What do you do when you are in an unassuming little town, and have an hour to kill till your connecting train?! Find a tiny local mom-and-pop shop where elderly couple cook their heart out. My karage was ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป & I only paid $7 for the entire set (main+miso soup, pickles, rice). The host came up to briefly chat with us in the end (cause Japanese are welcoming & curious), and when we said we were Americans he pointed to his t-shirt (which read New York, New York) saying it was by @abercrombie – "his favorite" brand. ๐Ÿค— | www.travelwithnanob.com | #foodblog #travelblog #Wakayama #Japan #discoverjapan #traveljapan #JapanRevealed #InstagramJapan #JapanLoverMe #visitjapanau #TokyoCameraClub #NikonPhotographers #NikonNoFilter #NikonPhotography #Nikon #NikonArtists #LoveTheWorld #IamATraveler #TheWanderlustClub #PassionPassport #FemmeTravel #globelletravels #girlsmeetglobe #ladiesgoneglobal #girlsvsglobe #WomenWhoExplore #inspirationculmag

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TO NOT LOOK BACK AND WONDER, WHAT IF?

Life’s too short, and at the end of the day, the only “thing” that will stay with me forever, are all the adventures and sweet memories I made with my loved ones. I don’t want to put off anything that I can do today, this month or this year. I don’t want to look back in regret and say I wish I went there, or done this. Honestly, I don’t think this travel bug will ever go away. I will always have that itch to pack my bags and book the next flight out. I don’t think there is right or wrong answer to living your life. Doing what feels right now is probably the best answer, because we don’t know what tomorrow holds.

What are your thoughts on travel vs. things?

Which one would you pick if you had to choose?ย 

Linking up with Monthly Travel Link-up, Faraway Files & Wanderful Wednesday.

xoxo, nano

Let’s connect onย Instagramย |ย Twitterย |ย Facebookย |ย BlogLovin’ย |ย Pinterestย 

 

Written by Nano @ Travel With Nano B.

Welcome to my site! I'm Nano, a serial expat trotting the globe to discover wonderful places and savor the gastronomic treasures of the world. Via Travel With Nano B. I'm spilling my love for travel and detailing my international culinary adventures one lil' blog post at a time. Currently based in Japan, I'm on a quest to explore this magnificent country and share my unique insight with you all. Worldly adventures, gourmet discoveries, cultural experiences, wanderlust photography, savvy travel tips - find it all on my page. Needless to say, I am thrilled to have you here reading!

334 comments

  1. Very nicely captured! I couldn’t have described the uniqueness of travel any better. I’m looking forward to being able to write articles similar to this one as my travel experiences will be skyrocketing shortly!

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  3. I feel the same way Nano! Traveling is such a privilege, and something everyone should experience for themselves. Meeting new people and absorbing new cultures around the world, really is the best way to learn hands on, while also making new amazing relationships. Thank you for the post :) – Nadine

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  6. LOVE your outlook on travel. Some may not be able to travel world wide right now, but in our own backyards (mine being Michigan), I’m able to experience new, exciting attractions, restaurants, and art/culture. Thanks for sharing your insight on travel!! What an exciting life!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wish more people would think like this! If we consumed less and traveled more I firmly believe that all the current problems with society would go away.

    You can’t hate people when you really open your mind and get to know them.
    You can’t tell me things are more important than memories after a tour of the world.

    When someone asks how we, “college kids” getting married, can afford vacations, we tell them to look in our house. We don’t have much and are happier that way. What you can’t see in our house are the lessons learned and memories made in new places.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your post! It is so true. Especially the last point, ‘to not look back and wonder, what if?’ I’ve listened to so many people say they’ll never be able to do certain things, and I promised myself that if I ever found myself saying that, I would find a way to make what I want happen. Thanks for sharing and keep traveling :)

    Like

  9. This is a wonderful post – I couldnโ€™t agree more. Travel really shifts your perspective on whatโ€™s truly important. We have such a short time on earth, why not experience as much as we possibly can!

    Like

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