Before this past May, I only went on vacation three times in the last six years.
Aside from the typical, family Dominican Republic trip, I went away to visit a friend with two of my boys in Orlando and took two vacations to Mexico and Germany with my ex-girlfriend. Both gave me the opportunity to see different parts of the world. They were vacations that I cherish and will never forget.
But despite all the vacation time I had within these last six years, I never chose to spend it on experiences like the ones I previously mentioned. I spent them on things that provided me no return. Most notably, clothes.
Anyone that knows me knows my closet and cabinets might as well be a store. I know a lot of my friends wondered how I ever afforded the clothes I had. But I was never the one to pay an exorbitant amount for a pair of shoes or a piece of clothing. I would always go on EBAY and try to find everything much cheaper. But even when you find shirts at $10.00 on EBAY or a $249.99 retail price pair of shoes for $50.00 on Gilt, it all eventually adds up. I really couldn’t tell you how much I’ve spent on these sites. Just know it was a lot.
In my less mature days, I would literally place these two things on a paper and write the pluses and minuses to both.
Prada vs. Barcelona
And somehow, someway, the former always won.
But in the last five months (including my trip to Colombia in October), I will have visited four new places.
I went to Barcelona by myself for five days. I traveled to Barbados with my girlfriend. I have plans to possibly go to San Diego to see my horrible Padres (MLB team) and enjoy the sunny weather with one of my best friends in a few weeks. And last, but not least, travel to Cartagena, Colombia with my girlfriend for her birthday in October.
Now, I look back and revisit the man I was and look at the man I am now.
My closet isn’t as stuffed as before, but my passport sure is stamped more than ever.
So when I put those two things on a paper now – Antonio Mauritzi shoes vs Colombia – I just look in my closet and the female-esque collection of shoes and clothing I have, put some in a bag for poor relatives in the Dominican Republic, and get something back not in just feeling good for providing clothes to those who need it, but in the experience of seeing a new place and learning about a new culture.
The moral of this post is: spend your money on experiences, not things.
I probably won’t remember all the Jordan’s I’ve ever bought when I’m on my last legs in 2070. I’m also sure I won’t have them because I’m not a collector. But that trip to Barcelona — the sights, the sounds and the pictures are things that I will never forget.