5 experiences I want to spend on in 2017

There’s a lot of talk these days about spending on “experiences, rather than things,” and I for one am totally on board. Not that I’m not one to splurge on nail polish and cute accessories every now and then, and of course there are situations where buying practical things makes sense. This year, though, I’d really like to start focusing on creating memories that will last a lifetime, rather than spending my hard-earned cash on things that will wear out, run out, get lost, or otherwise serve no purpose in the future. Here are 5 experiences I hope to have this year that will be worth the price.

Exploring interesting places that are practically in my own backyard

Sure, there’s nothing like the thrill of crossing an international border, and I hope to do that this year as well (gotta love Europe’s budget airlines). But I think a lot of us underestimate the cool things that our own cities and regions have to offer. I’ve lost track of all the cute little towns in southern Spain that I want to explore, and most of them are less than two hours from where I live. As much as I love traveling, this year I hope I can really take advantage of all that my adopted home has to offer.

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Not everyone has a 1,300-year-old mosque in their town.

Hosting a dinner party, wine tasting, or other big-girl event

The planner in me loves the fact that I live on my own in the heart of a vibrant and passionate city. I’ve always dreamed of hosting events at my own place or even coordinating something fun for my family and/or friends somewhere else, and I finally feel like I have the means and maturity to do that. Nowadays it’s easier than ever to get an event going with tools like Eventbrite, which helps you get the ball rolling with just a couple of clicks on their event planning page. From bringing American Thanksgiving to my Spanish friends to hosting a tasting of Spanish wines for my fellow expats, the opportunities are endless.

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Maybe preparing THIS much food on my own is a little overambitious.

Stepping outside my comfort zone

Whether it’ll be skydiving or singing karaoke or eating a strange local delicacy, I hope to try as many new things as possible this year. At worst, I’ll realize it wasn’t for me but be proud of myself for having the guts to try. At best, I might just discover my new favorite hobby/food/whatever.

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Snails, anyone?

Learning something new

This goes hand-in-hand with stepping outside my comfort zone. I hope this year I’m able to invest in the opportunity to learn a new skill, whether it be signing up for language classes to perfect my rusty German or learning how to dance flamenco so I don’t stick out like a sore thumb among all the stylish Andalusian women dancing sevillanas at the annual spring fair.

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It might not be on this campus, but I hope to keep learning throughout the year.

Taking some time to chill out

People today are constantly busy. Even after living in laid-back Spain for a year and a half, it’s still hard for me to take time for myself and just relax – I feel like I need to constantly be doing something. This year I hope I’ll finally be able to fully accept the fact that taking a day or two every once in awhile to unplug and unwind is perfectly fine. I’m thinking beach days this summer – who’s with me?

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Post-work drinks by the beach are always a good idea.

What experiences do you hope to spend your money on in 2017? Let me know in the comments.

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