A few years ago I decided that for birthdays, Christmas and other special events, I wanted to give people the gift of an experience, instead of a material item. To me, the importance of creating memories, living through something and feeling passionate, beats out a material item any day. I’ve been getting my friends and family tickets to sporting events, concerts, festivals and mini trips, and these gifts are always a big hit. This year for mother’s day I wanted to do something extra special for my mum.
My mum is the most selfless person I know & is always doing things for other people. We always talk about our dream trips, but lately for my mum, travelling has been more of a hypothetical concept than a reality. I decided that since my mum is always putting others first and would most likely never save up the money to go on one of her dream trips, I would help do it for her.
I told my brother the idea and asked if he wanted to join in on it & he thought it was a great idea. Going on a trip can be quite expensive and we knew we wouldn't be able to pay for the full thing right now, so we decided that we would give my mum portions of money until she has enough for a fun, stress-free trip.
I went out and got my mum a passport holder with space for credit cards, change & other travel documents. I created vouchers for her and tucked them into the different pockets throughout it. I wrote her a card explaining what the plan was and that we want to send her on her dream trip. I also explained that the real money is hidden away somewhere and that she’s just getting vouchers for now so that she doesn’t end up using the money on something else.
Today we gave my mum her present and her reaction was priceless. It was a good feeling to know we had given her something meaningful that she really appreciated. Seeing the people you love be full of happiness and excitement is an unbeatable feeling.
Giving a gift of experience is especially nice because the feelings that come along with it last a long time. When you give them the gift, they now have something to look forward to until it happens. While they are there, they are soaking in the moment and (hopefully) having the time of their lives. Then, once it's over, it’s not really over. They have memories that they can hold onto and relive forever. I think that the gift of experience is the definition of a gift that keeps on giving.
I think that doing something like this for someone in your life who wants to travel is a really good idea. So many people have the dream of travelling but thinks it’s impractical due to the costs, or they start saving up but life gets in the way and they have to use the money for something else. If you help them save the money and have a specific purpose for that money, it’s almost guaranteed that it will be kept and used for that purpose.
Travel may not be for everyone, but I think it’s important for everyone to at least try it out. The things we gain from travel are hard to gain from other experiences. Travel isn’t just about going away for a week to relax and lay on a beach (although it can be about that). Travel is about learning, teaching, growing, feeling, seeing and so much more.
It will feel so good to help your loved ones live out their dreams.
By the way!! Travel doesn’t always have to be crazy expensive! Stay tuned for a post with my tips & tricks for travelling on a budget.