The era of experience is alive and well. More and more people are devoting their time and resources toward meaningful experiences versus owning more physical stuff. Look no further than your social media community, and most likely, you will witness most engagements focused on experiences. People are interested in pushing their boundaries by doing new activities like hiking or mountain biking, achieving sought after goals that test their endurance, or visiting our beautiful public lands. But why? We put our heads together and came up with some ideas about why people are choosing experiences over stuff.
- 1. Experiences create opportunities. Whether it is meeting new people, finding out about a new passion, or learning a new skill, experiences build upon themselves. Think about the effect a class or course has on someone’s future. Riding a challenging trail, climbing a mountain, or overcoming a longer distance on your bike pushes boundaries. These experiences create new opportunities.
- 2. Experiences make us happier (vs. getting more stuff). The evidence is all around us; getting more stuff doesn’t have a lasting impact on our overall happiness. Experiences, on the other hand, can have a powerful effect. For example, going to see your favorite band, or enjoying a great meal, or spending time being active in nature away from everyday stresses. All of these activities help release endorphins that have an overall positive feeling in our bodies.
- 3. Experiences create lasting memories and enrich our lives. In many cases, getting a new product or thing makes life more comfortable, but does it create memories for years to come? In contrast, going on a vacation with your favorite people creates lasting memories that you will continue to share. Spending time doing something different from your everyday routine stands out from the mundane and helps to develop impressionable moments.
- 4. Experiences help us make connections and meet new people. When you leave the comforts of your own home, your regular job, or your normal routine, you expose yourself to new places and new people. We have witnessed long friendships form on backcountry bike trips. Maybe it’s the fact that like-minded people choose similar experiences, or perhaps it’s because bonds form around significant experiences.
- 5. Experiences last. At some point, our new device, product, or thing will eventually make its way to the corner of our closet. Most physical products have a life span that is not that long. Experiences don’t share that trait. Experiences and their memories are alive with us and continue to grow with us for years to come.
We hope this list helps shed some light on the value of experience. Western Spirit Cycling has been creating incredible bike vacations for 30 years. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the era of experience. Creating memories has been our passion for decades and continues to inspire our efforts to share the beauty of our public lands and innovate incredible off-the-grid cycling trips.