Monday, September 21, 2015

Trips Over Gifts

My wife and I have an agreement:  If at all possible, we don't buy each other gifts for birthdays or holidays, but instead use that money towards experiences.  This agreement forces us to use our imaginations to come up with something fun to do for special occasions and compels us to step outside of our comfort zones to try new adventures.  I'm not saying we haven't ever bought each other something, but the idea is that an experience, if at all possible, takes precedence over material goods.  And they don't have to be huge, expensive experiences - just something thoughtful.  A nice night downtown or a   A few of my favorites have been:

-Hot air balloon ride in Asheville, NC. 
-Great American Beer Fest in Denver and offseason stay in Vail
-Deep Sea Fishing in San Diego

Each of these coincided with a trip that we already had planned.  With sites like Groupon and LivingSocial, these types of experiences can fit within a budget.  I'm not going to try to tell you that they are cheap, because they aren't, but they also don't need to break the bank.  There are many activities that can be enjoyed for much less than a gift would ever cost. 

We happened to be in Colorado for a trip and decided to spend a couple of days in Vail during the offseason.  With a gamble on, we had a couple of nights in a four start resort for the price of a Holiday Inn.  The town was dead since ski season hadn't yet started, but the trees in the Rockies still had their orange leaves that late in the fall . . . it was beautiful!  We had the hot tub, sauna, fire places, bar, etc. all to ourselves and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!  Not to mention, all the top notch restaurants were advertising specials to lure any patrons they could during the down season.

I'll never be able to remember the gifts I've received from year to year for birthdays or Christmas, but I'll never forget when my wife reeled in the biggest fish in our boat in San Diego Bay.  Isn't that what it's all about, anyway?  I've never once looked back on one of these experiences and regretted it - no matter the cost.  You can't put a price tag on those types of memories. 

It's never been about what we have, but always been about what we do! 

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