“We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them“.- Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University
How many times have you thrown your arms up and squeaked “I have nothing to wear, and I swear I spent all my money on clothes last month!” Mate, I hear you. I’ve been there approximatley 67,846,356 times.
A new study, which was surely conducted to make us all feel entirely better about galloping of to the Gallapagos instead of plunging head first into office life after uni, argues that travelling creates experiences that shape us and become a very real part of our personality… and that, you can’t get bored of.
So, the red Bardot dress that makes you feel like you’re sipping red wine while over looking the french riviera may make you look and feel great but, according to science, it’s not a substantial substitute for the real thing. “Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, study conductor “You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.”
But, it’s an odd one. Buying a car could give you happiness for 10 years, whereas sky diving only lasts for five or ten minutes, thing is, our brains react completely differently to a life affirming rush than they ever could to a physical object, because they’re programmed to adapt to objects. It’s why we are conditioned to always want more, we get used to things. What was once incredible and unusual becomes normal over time. Trends- whether their fashion, interiors, tech or beauty – come and go. Something you adored at 23, could make you cringe at 33 (and probably will) so it stands to reason that soaking up real moments that open your mind, and change your perceptions stay with you long after they’re over.
So, grab that tenner from your pocket, stick it in a jar, and this time next year you’ll have acquired enough pretty pennies to create memories abroad that you’ll remember for years, instead of far too much cash putting together outfits you’ll wear for only days.