Browsing through the markets in Savannah yesterda, I came across a table of locally crafted jewellery. A silver bracelet with a large rainbow-butterfly shaped stone wrapped in silver twine caught my eye. I tried it on and saw that it was made just for me.
I looked at the price and the familiar note to self was, “Do you really need this?” I turned it over to look at the cost and soon found my answer. A feeling of disappointment and loss began to take over my common sense. For all of my life I have been denying myself little pleasures like these; my focus always being on saving my money for travel.
Underneath my traveling self, lies a girl who loves clothes, shoes, and jewellery and longs to dress each day in the latest high end fashion. I like to visualize my stylish self prancing around with a Gucci purse, eating lobster at expensive waterfront restaurants and then leave in my convertible BMW CLK 500, with white leather seats, when I am done.
After awhile, the image turns to emptiness and I think, “But what value would that add to my life. It’s just stuff- outside stuff, transient stuff that stays looking good on my wrist for a time before it breaks, or its beauty fades, or becomes outdated.”
Is buying this piece of jewellery worth giving up travel? Could this beautiful bracelet be worth more to me than watching the sunrise over the world’s highest sand dunes in Soussesvlei, or to have rice wine shots with the locals in a small restaurant in the mountains of Vietnam? Which would I remember more? What would enrich my life the most?
I don’t have a lot of stuff but I have a lot of memories. My sacrifice has been materialistic possession for the exchange of something far greater; something that never fades, or breaks, or becomes outdated. All I have gained from my life of travel will stay with me forever and contributes to my personal growth. There is no price you can put on that.
Many people won’t take on extended travel because they aren’t willing to make the sacrifice. And that’s okay, different strokes for different folks. I will admit the sacrifices are large but the reward is even larger. Whatever it is you want in life you have to pay a price to receive it. You have to decide what that sacrifice will be. You cannot get without giving first.
- What am I sacrificing in order to get the stuff?
- Do I want this to be the representation of my life’s experiences?
- Is buying the _______________ worth it?
- What value will it bring to me and how will it enrich my life and bring me closer to my goals?
For me, I want my life to be more than shiny, bright objects. I want my life to be a story to tell and there are not many stories that can come from materialistic possessions. So for now I’ll stick with my sacrifices and look into the horizon to the time when I can afford to have both. It is possible, and there is nothing wrong with it either.
What are your goals and what price are you willing to pay to get them?