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Give the Gift of Experience at Sequoia Lodge

It’s easy to become focused on buying and having things. We live in a consumer driven society, where at every turn we’re being bombarded with advertisements trying to sell us “things” that we need.

While it can certainly be easy to give into this temptation, when it comes to creating long-lasting happiness, the way to achieve this is through experiences rather than possessions.

For many years, the study of the key to happiness has been the focus for scientists and psychologists. Since 2003, the correlation between lasting happiness and buying material things has been the focus of Dr Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University. Through his research, he has concluded that happiness gleaned from buying things is significantly more fleeting than that gained from experiences.

As experience curators ourselves here at Sequoia Lodge, we wanted to talk about why experiences have such a profoundly positive effect on our happiness, and why we focus on creating incredible, unique experience opportunities for our guests.

Why experiences improve happiness

Reconciling the idea that an experience, something that is fleeting, somehow brings more happiness than a possession that is long lasting, can be complicated at first. After all, you might end up having this material item for the rest of your life.

There are a number of reasons why experiences have such a positive impact on our happiness, including:

Adaption – the happiness we derive from possessions is fleeting

When we purchase a material object there is only a short amount of time that we will be enamoured by it. That’s because, regardless of how long you have been lusting after purchasing it, you will, inevitability become used to it.

Once we become used to it, the shine wears off, and it starts to collect dust on the shelf. That’s not to say that you won’t feel any sort of happiness from buying something material.

However, when you buy an experience, the adaption period is a lot longer. That is because most of the time, the experience is something new, or something you’re unlikely to do very often.  During the experience, your mind is less likely to wander than during ordinary days, meaning you are present in the moment, which also has a positive impact on your happiness.

Adaption to an experience is a different process compared to that of adapting to a possession. As an experience is fleeting, you’re not likely to get used to it or bored of it, which leaves you with a lasting memory instead.

Anticipation – the uncertainty and unknown of an experience leads to excitement

It’s natural for our minds to wander, especially when we’re not stimulated or interested in what we’re doing at the present time.

When we have an experience on the horizon, the anticipation created by this upcoming event generates feelings of excitement, which elicits feelings of happiness. Compare this to the anticipation of purchasing a physical object, we’re likely to have feelings of impatience or frustration as we wait to make the purchase.

Part of the reason for this difference is that the unknown element of an experience adds a level of risk and further excitement. By nature, humans like to avoid taking risks, however, when we take on the risk of the unknown in an experience, we’re likely to look back on this time fondly, even if the experience didn’t turn out as expected.

Incomparable – it’s easier to compare a material objects

As we’re constantly exposed to amazing technical advances and various new or upgraded products, it’s only natural that we end up continuously chasing the next best thing.

When you buy someone a material gift, or even something for yourself, it’s very easy to compare it to other things. Whether it is the latest model iPhone or something your friend has, the ability to make the comparison is a lot simpler than it is with an experience.

As we said earlier, when we buy an experience, it’s likely to be something we’ve never done before, or at least not done very often, thus making it significantly more difficult to compare to something else.

You can’t exactly compare a private 4WD tour of South Australia’s Coastline and the prestigious vineyards that surround Adelaide (an experience you can have with us) to a new smartwatch, can you?

Socialisation – Experiences Feed Our Need for Socialisation

Whether you’re buying an experience for you and someone else, or one that is for you to try solo, the result is the same – socialisation. Relationships and socialisation are necessary to the human experience and certainly to experiencing feelings of happiness.

An experience with others – whether you know them or not – provides a connection, which is something a possession is unable to do. We thrive off human interaction and shared experiences. Even if you don’t know the people you have your experience with, by the end of it, there is a high chance of this connection having been developed.

This experience is something that will leave you with a lasting memory and conversation for the rest of your lives, providing that ongoing socialisation. We love hearing about someone’s experience but can easily grow tired of hearing about their latest gadget.

The sum of who we are – our experiences shape who we are

An experience becomes part of who we are. Our identity is formed through the things we’ve done, the places we’ve been, the lessons we’ve learned, and of course, the experiences we’ve had along the way.

The more we expose ourselves to new experiences, the more we learn about who we are, the more we learn about the world around us, and it’s through this that our perceptions can grow and evolve.

Humans are not defined by their possessions, it’s what they do, including what they do in their free time. And when you’re meeting new people, you’re not likely to list all of your important possessions, you’re likely to talk to them about what you do, what you like doing and these experiences. It’s how we connect with one another.

The Sequoia Lodge Experience

Experience is important to us here at Sequoia.

We like to think of your time at our luxury lodge in the Adelaide Hills as a journey that is made up of unique, one-of-a-kind experiences.

Whether you’re taking part in any of our exclusive onsite or offsite experiences, or you’re just enjoying the experience of being at the lodge, it’s guaranteed to be a time that is full of connection, learning, discovery, anticipation, and fulfilment.

Your time at our lodge can be just how you like it. Our suites and entire estate have been developed to allow you to step out of your ordinary world and into one where time slows down, and you can be present in the world around you.

We blend the feeling of comfort with the extraordinary. We want you to feel safe and able to do whatever you wish, and with the help of our experience hosts, you can do just that.

Anything is possible when you stay at Sequoia Lodge, especially unique experiences that lead to happiness.

Visit us today.

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