Earlier this week, a Facebook post said simply:
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.
At first pass, this might create a, “Ya sure”, kind of response. Further, perhaps the cost of your last trip for leisure just showed up on your credit card statement and you don’t feel richer at all. But when you allow it to sink in just a bit, there is far more wisdom in those 11 words than one might think.
The reason lies in how you interpret “richer”. Your financial planner would see the expense and come to one conclusion and it has nothing to do with creating more wealth. But the reality is your life is made richer from the experience of travel and there are very few who will argue that is not true.
How do you value a memory that is indelibly forged in your mind, available for perfect recall either at your demand or when it just shows up. A memory rich in sights and sounds and smells, perhaps with the giggles of your daughter or the belly laugh of a great friend. What is it worth to be able to relive your grandson falling asleep on your chest in a hammock near the beach? The ability to recall perfectly his breathing and the smell of the fresh breath of an innocent 4 year old? How do you measure your own laughter as you try to avoid getting knocked down by the waves as you wade into the ocean?
No, travel doesn’t make you richer as defined by your financial planner. No argument there. But the quality of your life is made richer, enriched, in fact, by the magic of leisure time spent with those you love, whether family or friends. Or both. And those memories are priceless because, in the end, your memories and your life will become one. It is certain that when one stands at St Peter’s gates, one's memories will not be of the commute to work or the big deal you closed or the smell of the factory. Count on it. No, it will be the moments that perhaps unbeknown to you at that moment, were, in fact, some of the highlights of your life. In that profound way then, the quote of, “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” compels us to think deeper than the initial response.
Life is short. And as author Daranna Gidel said so well:
“You lose sight of things. And when you travel, everything balances out”.
Make the decision that says you are not going to wait for the perfect time in your life or resist the joys of leisure travel until you reach this goal or that. The kids are growing up, your friends are getting older, and so are you. Create memories now and lots of them! Because life offers no guarantees.