A very wise person once told me this: “You can have one of two things in this life. Things or experiences. I always chose experiences. No, I don’t have a big house. Or a fancy car. Or a diverse portfolio. But I have great memories.”
Ever since I heard this from one of my favorite people in the world, I have lived my life the same. I knew one day I would be 80 years old (God willing) and would need my memories to keep me company, keep me smiling and keep me sane.
But, as Whit likes to point out, my experiences sure haven’t been cheap. (And neither have his, for that matter!)
They started in college, when I first heard that tidbit of advice. With a newfound love for French, I headed to France to study. Yes, Mom and Dad paid a lot of it. But I matched in savings what they gave me. And when I finished the study abroad program, I backpacked through Europe. On Visa’s dime.
I kept telling myself (oh-so-wisely) that who knows when I would be back (still haven’t, though I bring it up at least once a month) and that I should “splurge”. I brought so much stuff back from Europe that I broke the wheels off my suitcase.
Then I graduated college. Good Lord it was hard to live without Mom and Dad’s allowance. And Good Lord. I was a newspaper reporter. I could have been paid more at McDonalds. So Visa helped me through that, as well. What a good friend it has been.
Then I got married. And, yet again, Mom and Dad paid for most of that. But Whit and I paid for seven wonderfully blissful days in a fancy Mexico resort. And that’s when Mastercard came in as the pinch hitter.
One year after marriage, with about 20 cents in our savings acccount, collectively, Whit and I decided to teach abroad. It turns out if you teach in Korea, they’ll pay for your flight over. That’s all we needed to hear.
Well, we did want to travel through Thailand first, of course. So we sold our cars. (Much to Dad’s chagrin–though I will say I haven’t missed it yet!!)
And now, after 11 months of teaching English in Korea–what an experience!!–I have to say I taken my old professor’s adage to a new level: Not only have I had some adventures, but I’ve paid them off with an adventure in itself.
As of 7 p.m. Thursday night, June 26, 2008, Lindsay is now debt free!!
Mastercard, Visa: It’s been fun. But I just don’t need ya’ anymore. (That is, until the next life experience starts calling.)