Things in Our Lives

"Do you really need that vacation house at the beach? Do you really need that 5000 sq ft house? Do you really need that fourth car for the two of you?" Those were the questions our photo instructor asked the audience during our recent trip on board the National Geographic Explorer. The lecture was on climate change and conservation.

Seals happily napping without owning a single thing in the world

His question struck me by surprise. I caught myself thinking about all the things I own. I am guilty of owning more things than I need. We, as humans, accumulate things as we go through life. It is a bad habit for our wallets and for mother earth.

I still remember reading an article about a couple who sold all their belongings and traveled the world for two years. The more things we have does not necessarily bring us more happiness. Many of us are trapped with the "keeping up with the Jones" syndrome. We think that more material things will bring us more joy. We are usually wrong about that. We can own all the things in the world and still feel empty inside.

Mr Y and I stopped buying additional things starting a while back, including clothing or any other furnishings for the house. As I mentioned in another post, we spent more than 60% of our annual spending on travel. The experience of travel brings us tremendous memories into our lives. The time we finally reached the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu, the time we stepped foot onto the Antarctic continent, and the time we rode camels into the sunset were memories we can never forget. Those are just fragments of our trips that will always bring me a smile just thinking about them.

Life is too short to be wasted away working, but should be enjoyed and treasured with memories of happiness.


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