Imagine sitting on your front porch during your twilight years. What memories do you think will bring you the most joy? Hopefully, some of the mental screentime will be devoted to moments like the birth of a child or a trip down the aisle, but in the curriculum of life, those are required classes. What about the memories of the extracurricular variety? What about those cool, out-of-the-ordinary, adventurous things you can choose to do? While it is true that we need to make practical choices, there are certain experiences that can help you craft a meaningful life.
Each day is an opportunity to create awesome memories—the kind that will bring a smile to your face. Although spending money on experiences can be tough, here are eight life experiences that you can pursue to start creating memories worth remembering—it’ll be worth it.
1. Go on a trip alone
Traveling in itself is a valuable experience, as it expands your view of the world. However, going on a solo trip elevates the travel experience a few notches higher. Traveling alone gives you complete freedom—you can go wherever and whenever you want. Likewise, going on a trip on your own opens up opportunities to meet new friends. But the most important benefit one can get from solo traveling is the chance to be comfortable with oneself. With no one else to rely on, you get to appreciate yourself for who you are and build your confidence in the process.
2. Live abroad and experience a different culture
Learning about other cultures and heritage emphasizes the fact that there is a diverse world out there waiting to be discovered. Traveling and touring may give you a taste of a particular culture, but living with the locals is the best way to gain a deeper appreciation. Of course, adapting to another culture is never easy and will require you to step out of your comfort zone. After the adjustment period though, living abroad will prove to be a rewarding, inspiring and humbling experience.
3. Finish a graduate degree
Spending money on experiences does not only mean spending on recreation. Post-graduate academic degrees can be a great way to invest in yourself. Pursuing and completing a graduate degree opens a wide range of prospects for you professionally. Individuals who have completed graduate studies are often regarded as highly-qualified employees, and the degree will amp up your market value and potential for a higher salary and position. Likewise, being in a graduate degree program gives you an opportunity to influence the future through research in your field of expertise. This way you can contribute to society and make a difference in people’s lives.
4. Learn and master a second language
Learning a second language will help you appreciate another culture at a deeper level. Studies have found that speaking two or more languages has a positive effect on the cerebral process and may even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The brains of bilingual people work differently from that of a monolingual person. Moreover, individuals who speak at least two languages were found to be smarter, possess greater multitasking skills, and have improved memory.
5. Climb Mount Everest, Kilimanjaro or Denali
Mount Everest in Nepal, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Denali in Alaska are three of the top climbing destinations of the planet—and as self-esteem boosters go, there’s nothing quite like conquering a mountain! Climbing one of the highest summits is a life-changing experience. You will gain a sense of achievement that other activities can’t offer. This endeavor may also be a chance for you to participate in a charitable experience. Groups are known to support expeditions for a good cause. Additionally, preparing for such a dangerous expedition requires extensive mental and physical training. You will benefit from this as you set yourself up for a better level of fitness you may never have experienced in the past. Of course, Everest, Kilimanjaro, and Denali may be a little too extreme, but there are a number of other easier mountains—like Mount Fuji, Pikes Peak, and Mount Hood–to conquer. ….
6. Learn how to fly
A lot of people, young and old, dream of becoming a pilot. The thrill of looking down from the sky while flying an aircraft can be an awesome goal to set. As an adult, learning how to fly can offer more than just being up in the air. It requires knowledge about the aircraft’s mechanical structure and the weather system. Earning a pilot certification also gives you access to the aviation circle, which not a lot of people have the privilege to be in.
7. Attend a convention or conference
Learning can happen using various platforms. You can listen to podcasts, or watch webinars and YouTube videos. But conferences and conventions have a certain kind of power to them where learning is concerned. Perhaps you want to know the latest developments in your field? Or are you looking forward to meeting and learning from the experts? Conferences and conventions are a great way to expand your network and create new connections. Depending on your goals, there are a number of conferences throughout the year that you can attend. From motivational to technology to marketing and sales conferences, the choices are endless.
8. Go on a sailing holiday with family and friends
Sailing is a recreational activity that’s been gaining popularity, and several places are now considered sailing holiday destinations. Whether you prefer the rich marine life of The Great Barrier Reef, the teeming wildlife of Galapagos Islands or the azure seas of Greece, going on a sailing holiday is a great way to create memories.
Our time is limited and life is fleeting. These are the realities that we have to remember as we go about our daily lives. By spending money on experiences that can change your life will be well worth it.