Experience: the new social currency

Nobody who is interested in minimalism is trying to buy more stuff. We’re all trying, to varying levels, to consume less, be more thoughtful about what we do have to buy, and jump off the consumer merry-go-round.
And while there are lots of people who are shunning ‘stuff’, I can see a slow creep of a new trend where ‘stuff’ is being replaced by ‘experience’.

Don’t get me wrong, people can choose to live their lives in whatever way makes them happy; I’m not judging. I just find it interesting that in circles where items are decreasing in worth, the social currency of owning the newest car has been replaced by having the most fulfilling experience.

It’s a new type of social currency and is a fascinating lesson in human behaviour. There is still competition among people who have essentially opted out of competing in the traditional consumerist, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses sense of the word. 

I’m guilty of it myself. We have stopped buying ‘stuff’ but we’ve bought plane tickets instead and have had four weekends away in the past six weeks.

Did I become a minimalist in order to have more money to spend on travel? Partly. But it doesn’t stop the inevitable low feeling of getting back to the grind on a Monday (and that’s coming from a person who really likes their job).

By choosing minimalism I’m removing the items in my life to make way for a more fulfilling life but I don’t think that buying an experience instead of a new outfit is the way to go, no matter how happy I am travelling.

I think I need to look more closely at just what I’m trying to achieve, what I’m trying to make space in my life for rather than filling it automatically with something else.

I don’t have the answers yet, but I’ll definitely keep talking to you all about it and let you know when I do.


8 thoughts on “Experience: the new social currency

  1. Very honest piece. There is no right or wrong – those were your choices for that day/week/month.
    I like how it makes you stop, think and consider a purchase. I desperately need a sleep / eye mask. I’ve let go of ones that weren’t right some time ago. But do I go for one I’m lusting after (Holistic Silk) (please don’t ask me the price!) or for a more practical alternative. The good thing is… I’m mindful of the planned spend. I’m not sleep walking into it.
    Minimalism is an individual’s journey. We minimalists cluster together in bird like patterns but each of our experiences are different. Respect and honour that. It’s not right or wrong, it’s your collective journey. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m certainly finding that as I’m nearing the end of the major decluttering efforts that I’m spending less time maintaining but still seem as busy. Blogging has definitely occupied several hours but I want to be mindful of how I’m choosing to spend all my time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t consider my path to minimalist to be one of deprivation. If having less things to take care of allows me the time and money to travel, then off I go. I sometimes get the feeling that minimalization is a race to nothingness…if you have more than 100 things, 50 things, whatever, then you’re not a true minimalist. I like having what I need and being able to do/go when/when I want.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very thought provoking. I’m guilty of consuming experiences rather than material things, but I think of that as building memories and creating a life well lived. I can see how it might just be replacing one with the other. Minimizing is empowering, but I guess we just have to keep in mind what the end goal is. What do want to minimize your life down to? What are the values that “stuff,” or experience or travel taking away from?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly Kelsie. For me personally I haven’t figured out what my end goal is and filling my life with experience instead of stuff isn’t helping me figure it out. Obviously that’s just me – it might turn out travel is the end goal but need to have time out to work it all out. M


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