Looking at the sleek handbag in the window display; the cool sports car in the car showroom; the extravagant clubhouse facilities in the nice apartment; who doesn’t want to be their owner? When we were younger, we used to adore these things. In fact, I should admit that even now, I still crave for trendy material objects every once in a while. Nonetheless, as time passed, we realized that we have always been fooling ourselves with these short-term happiness gains. The so-called investments in these material goods do not actual provide us with emotional longevity. We realized that our pursuit of happiness through our search for material goods is actually a never-ending journey.
We can never be satisfied with what we own, as the more we acquire, the more we desire. The vicious cycle of the consumerism will become a burden in life, as we will always have new things that we want.
The key to happiness is not actually how much you can acquire, but how much you can experience. we learnt this from my son. Being first time parents, like all parents, we wanted to provide him the best that we can afford. This made us fall into the consumer trap of purchasing toys and plush of every kind to make him happy. Nonetheless, Karson, like the typical child, is always fond of the toy for the first day or so, and then ends up abandoning it afterwards. The vicious cycle continues as we continue to please him with new toys.
It wasn’t until our trip to Seattle that transformed our perception. I remember walking into the Museum of Flight, and he said his first word aloud “airplane”, he was only 16 months old at that time. I remember that his eyes were glittering as he looked up to the airplane displays hung above our heads. That trip changed Karson, he became more curious about the things around him. He started babbling new words throughout the trip. Both Kelvin and I were so overjoyed by what we saw that we decided to bring him to experience more of the world.
Moving forward, we have been travelling a lot with Karson for the past years. From 1 year old up to 5 years old, every time we come back from a vacation abroad, we see that there is something different about him. Besides expanding his cultural and heritage horizon, he also constantly retold the enlightening stories. He can still remember the different experiences, senses and encounters. These assets he gains through the trips are not things that he can gain through reading, and as parents, we found these investments much more worthwhile than anything we have invested in for him.
Remember the experiences which you share with your child is priceless. Through travelling we invest in more of them, which your child can relive whenever they want.