You might have read my rant last week about the less than stellar service I had received from AMA Travel but they've redeemed themselves and we are officially booked to go to Barcelona in November. Hooray!!! We'll be spending 8 nights (7 full days) taking in all the sights, food and sangria that Barcelona has to offer. If any of you have any tips on what to do or where to eat while we're there feel free to let me know in the comments, I'm always looking for good tips!
Now this trip is a result of a super awesome 30th birthday present I got from my parents earlier this year and I think I'm taking full advantage. Barcelona feels like a real trip, one that I'll always remember. Before taking the plunge we had talked about just holding onto the gift card and using it for the odd trip to the mountains and whatever other small trips came up over the next few years but that got vetoed for one big adventure. Feels like the right way to celebrate my big 3-0.
This also got me thinking of the importance of spending money on experiences instead of things. I like buying new clothes and splurging at Sephora every so often but when I think of all the stuff I've bought only to throw out years later after just a handle of uses it makes me a a bit crazy. That never really happens when you spend your money (your carefully saved vacation fund!) on trips, concerts, festivals, or whatever other "experience" type splurges you can think of. The memories you create from such activities will stick with you longer than that new dress you've been eyeing. This is proven science! Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich wrote a paper on this very subject and basically discovered that although buying material things starts out bringing you about the same amount of happiness as buying an experience that level of happiness doesn't stick around. After some time the memory of that experience will bring you more happiness than the physical object (even if you still have it).
All this means that I am making a concerted effort to stop buying material things and save my pennies for experiences that will create long-lasting memories. I think I'm off to a pretty good start, we've got a long list of plans for the summer that include concerts, festivals, and local hiking trips.