A generation ago, a young woman longing to walk the pebble stone streets of Italy would hope for the opportunity during retirement or once the kids were raised. Today’s 20-something would be packing a bag and booking the flight online, all while planning to work from the road (or pebble stone street). Why imagine sitting at a small café in Paris sipping a classic grand crème when you can do it? The idea that we must wait a lifetime to make memories of a lifetime is lost on millennials, and rightfully so.
While the traditional milestone purchases of a vehicle or home were marks of achievement for previous generations, millennials see those material things as a daunting commitment. A Harris Group study found that 72 percent of millennials would rather spend money on experiences rather than tangible objects. From music festivals to hiking Machu Picchu in Peru, 20-somethings don’t want to see photos; they want to see their favorite musician and the view from the top of a mountain.
If it’s hard to understand the desire for experiences and making memories so young in life, Holly Butcher’s story may help explain. The 27-year-old left her message to the world on Facebook, just one day before her passing. Holly suffered from a rare form of bone cancer, a disease that would cut her life short but could not tame her spirit. On Jan. 3, Holly posted a self-titled ‘note before I die’ on Facebook, and it perfectly sums up the beauty (and need) to live a life worth living.
“It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives.
Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.”
There is a need among today’s largest generation to share their story, to invite others in, not out of a sense of boasting, but more of a “Here I am. See me. Listen and let me listen to you.”
As we step in to 2018, perhaps it’s worth taking a look at your goals and your priorities. Certainly there will be a time in life when your focus will be dedicated to something…or someone…other than yourself and your experiences will change. For now, you will never be younger than you are in this moment. We could all stand to see life through Holly’s eyes and take just a piece of her advice…
“Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit.”