What Makes You Happier? Investing in Adventures, Not Things

Do more of what makes you happy

 width=The pursuit of happiness… Aaahhh, that’s what most of us is after, right? Do you actually know what makes you happy? Researchers say that investing in experiences (outdoor activities, traveling, learning a new skill) brings people more happiness than investing in material things.

In the study “The hidden cost of value-seeking: People do not accurately forecast the economic benefits of experiential purchases” conducted by Paulina Pchelin & Ryan T. Howell for The Journal of Positive Psychology (read it here), it was suggested that when people prioritize the value of money, they tend to invest in material things rather than experiences. When they prioritize the pursuit of happiness, the opposite occurs; they “enjoy greater well-being from life experiences and consider them to be a better use of money”. Sounds logical anyway, but…

Even though most of us are consciously aware of the fact that material things don’t make us happy, we still regard them as ‘more valuable’. Why? Because generally speaking, we don’t have our priorities straight!

That and the fact that it’s difficult to actually measure the value of an experience than it is of an iPhone, makes us unconsciously end up spending money on things and justifying that we need to stay home during our vacation because we ‘can’t afford it’. Sound familiar?

[quote align=”center”]“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Robyn Yong[/quote]

As an experienced tour operator in Africa, we know what makes travelers happy and since Christmas is around the corner and the new iPhone 6 is on the market, we thought it’s the perfect time to help you get your priorities straight and do more of what makes you happy. Forget a new phone, your current one works just fine!

6 Reasons for Investing in an Adventure

1) You create memories.

Memories are invaluable and last a lifetime. As stated in this article: “Research has shown that reminiscing has the capacity to reduce loneliness, boredom, stress and depression. It brings you closer to friends and family.”

Memories keep us – and our past loved ones – alive.

When you go on vacation, you will leave everyday life behind for a few days/weeks. Everything you do on vacation that is different than your everyday life will become a memory.

If you travel with your children, they will also learn to value experiences, hence, they will get their priorities straight before they grow up. Bingo!

2) You deserve it.

Happy Tourists at Tremisana Game Lodge - Kruger National ParkFor many people, traveling to foreign countries is a sign of wealth. It costs money to fly, sleep, sightsee, board your pets, eat out and shop.

If you stay home during your vacation, it’s basically ‘free’ and you can get a lot of things done. It’s more practical.

But, if you stay home, you’ll be looking at work and you’re not getting the necessary break you so desperately deserve after working all year. You’ll spend the whole vacation working on home repairs. Either that or you’re going to get lazy, bored and tired, wondering ‘what just happened to the past 2 weeks’ on the Sunday night before going back to work the next morning.


Everyone deserves a break from everyday life, housework and familiar surroundings.

3) You learn and become more open minded.

Traveling to a foreign country gives you a new perspective on your own life back home. You learn things about a different culture, language, wildlife and history. You learn ways to adjust to a new situation such as having a soft drink without ice. You are apt to try new things, like ziplining or scuba diving. You also learn how to relax and enjoy the moment, because hey, you’re on vacation!

4) You’ll be more interesting.

When you go on any type of trip, it’s an adventure and you’ll have a completely new topic of conversation with your family and friends. If you travel regularly, you’ll become that person you once admired yourself: someone who is exciting, takes risks, tries new things, sophisticated and worldly.

5) You become more productive.

Can your company survive without you for a couple of weeks? We know so! According to the Project:Time Off powered by the U.S. Travel Association: “Nearly two-thirds of US American workers say their concentration and productivity at work improve with taking time off and 61% report greater satisfaction at work after taking vacation time. This sentiment is echoed by senior business leaders, 91% of whom believe employees return from vacation recharged and renewed — and ready to work more effectively. Believe it or not, you will make your boss happy!

6) You’ll please Steve Jobs.

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” What did Jobs mean with those words at the end of his Stanford University commencement speech in 2005? He wasn’t talking about the new iGadget. He was talking about the word ‘experience’. Seek out what keeps you motivated. Continue to do the things that make you feel alive. Stay young at heart, adventurous, daring.


When you are on vacation, what happens? You’re more relaxed when you want to be relaxed, energized when you want a rush, curious when you’re seeing something new, but most importantly, you become happy because of all these reasons and more.

So, go ahead, plan your next trip!

Give the Gift of Travel

Christmas is around the corner and yikes, you have gifts to buy! Instead of looking at your partner’s wish list on Amazon, think about what would really make him/her happy. An adventure perhaps? If that’s the case and you and your loved ones are interested in African wildlife, contact us. We can send you a gift certificate for any of our trips.



Wanna Be Happier?

Start Your Journey!

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<p align=We are very interested in hearing your opinion on this topic and what makes you happy! So please, don’t be shy, comment below.

Enjoy every Adventure!