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Why Gen Z And Millennials Value Experiences Over Things

It’s often assumed that owning physical possessions bought with one’s own money would hold greater sentimental value than a visit to an art museum. However, it seems this assumption no longer rings true for many individuals. According to research, Gen Z and Millennials are now prioritizing experiences over material goods, opting to spend their money on activities like music festivals, trips abroad, or impromptu road trips rather than the latest gadgets or trendy items. This shift in values is hardly surprising, given the allure of creating lasting memories through unique experiences.

Why Gen Z and Millennials Value Experiences over Things

The concept of hedonic adaptation is to blame for the fleeting excitement we experience when acquiring new physical possessions, such as cars or phones. As we become accustomed to their presence in our lives, the initial thrill wears off and we grow accustomed. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced among Gen Z and Millennials, who are more susceptible to boredom due to their age group. While physical products may initially bring us joy, they fail to provide long-term fulfillment, unlike experiences that allow us to connect with others. The true source of meaning lies not in the possessions themselves, but in the relationships we form through shared experiences and human connections.

Creating Memories

When we embark on the journey of creating memories, they not only bring joy but also impart purpose to our lives. Our passions are fueled, and our interests are illuminated. A single music festival experience can lead us to explore new destinations and discover unimagined events. This is a wonderful outcome, as it enables us to deepen our love for music, broaden our horizons, and encounter incredible people and fresh talent.

While we often receive criticism for capturing moments digitally, these memories are precious and deserving of preservation. When you’re at an event and feel compelled to freeze a moment in time – do so without hesitation. Who are we to care about others’ opinions when it’s our own special moment? By capturing it digitally, you ensure that the memory will last forever and can be cherished by future generations.

Experience of a Lifetime

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The allure of experiences over material possessions is a philosophy shared by Gen Z and Millennials alike. Rather than lamenting the lack of a new smartwatch, they’d opt to take their friend up on that invitation to spring break in Florida – an opportunity to create lifelong memories. This value placed on experiences is rooted in the understanding that feeling good far surpasses looking good. While high-quality clothing may still hold significance, it’s often traded for the chance to embark on a dream trip or try something new. The unpredictability of travel outcomes notwithstanding, taking the leap guarantees a sense of fulfillment and closure, rather than dwelling on the ‘what ifs’.

Core Values

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As Gen Z and Millennials, we share a common thread – our values. We’re driven by an insatiable curiosity, a sense of urgency to make a positive impact, and a desire to explore the world. This manifests in mission and volunteer trips, backpacking excursions, or simply immersing ourselves in countries that need our help. Our love for the planet is evident in our actions – we prioritize experiences over material possessions, recognizing that helping others brings us greater fulfillment than accumulating wealth. For instance, I’m grateful to Brendan Williams for joining me on a trek up Mont Blanc and capturing its beauty through his photography. His values align with mine, as he too prioritizes experiences over worldly goods.

Redefing Success

The concept of success has undergone a significant shift in recent times. Gone are the days when it was all about material possessions, such as grand houses, flashy cars, and cutting-edge gadgets. Instead, we now equate success with happiness, freedom, and the ability to pursue our passions without restriction. For instance, having jobs that align with our values or offering flexible schedules can bring a sense of fulfillment. This mentality has given rise to new career paths, such as full-time travel bloggers, who have found a way to turn their love of exploration into a profession. I feel fortunate to be part of this movement, as it allows me to experience the world and inspire others to do the same. As we look to the future, it will be fascinating to see how the next generation defines success and what brings them fulfillment. For now, I’m content knowing that my peers and I value experiences over material possessions, finding joy in our relationships with friends, both old and new, and the way we spend our time outside of work.