Give Memories, Not Things

A group of friends laughing and enjoying a sunset picnic on a beach.

Give memories, not things.

With the arrival of our first son, Christmas took on a whole new level of extravagance.

At first, our movie nights were epic, with shelves stacked high. But soon, the living room turned into a toy wonderland where laughter and imagination roamed freely, creating a new kind of family adventure every day.

Not long ago, we took a sweeping glance through our home and discovered a treasure trove of trinkets, bursting from every nook and cranny. From basement to attic, our abode has become a captivating labyrinth of forgotten wonders.
We realized our kids liked adventures more than things. So, we decided to give them cool experiences instead. We wanted to create awesome memories that would inspire them and help them grow.

Here’s what made a difference for us: We began going on more family trips. Every year, we set aside at least two whole weeks just to create unforgettable memories together.
Initially, our expedition into the realm of fun began with a cascade of amusement parks eagerly marked on the children’s must-visit list. Naturally, we explored several, each offering its own flavor of excitement.
Yet, amidst the thrills and spills, Universal Studios emerged as the ultimate favorite, captivating us so much that we impulsively snagged season tickets for a year. It was a deal so irresistible, with the annual passes costing less than what we’d normally spend for a single day’s adventure. With our entry secured, our focus shifted from meticulous planning to simply relishing the joy of togetherness, letting spontaneity guide our escapades.

The pinnacle of our travel adventures thus far remains our week-long escapade to a quaint beach house nestled just north of San Diego. Picture this: six glorious days spent on what felt like our very own private slice of paradise, all for a steal at less than $200 per night. No itineraries, no agendas—just pure, unadulterated spontaneity leading the way to some of the most cherished memories we’ve ever created.

Our culinary escapades took us to Ocean Beach, where we indulged in mouthwatering delights at our beloved burger joint, Hodad’s. But the real magic happened on the shoreline, where we immersed ourselves in the ocean’s embrace multiple times a day, even daring to ride the waves with surfing lessons. Between moments of exhilarating adventure, we reveled in the simple pleasures: lounging, games, and savoring homemade feasts lovingly prepared throughout our stay. It was a week when time seemed to stand still, and every moment was a testament to the beauty of living in the present.

We had an amazing time on our trip to a beach house near San Diego. It only cost us $200 a night, and we spent six wonderful days enjoying the peaceful beach all to ourselves.

Instead of making strict plans, we decided to go with the flow and see where our adventures took us. We had so much fun, filled with laughter and joy.

We couldn’t resist trying out Hodad’s, a famous burger place in Ocean Beach, where the food was delicious. But the highlight of our trip was learning to surf in the ocean. It was thrilling to ride the waves and feel the sun shining down on us.

Each day was like a new adventure, whether we were splashing in the ocean, playing games under the sunny sky, or enjoying homemade meals together. It was a simple but perfect getaway, where we savored every moment without worrying about time.

Those days in the beach house felt like a dream, where time seemed to stand still and all that mattered was the happiness we shared.

The holiday season brought about a remarkable shift in our family’s traditions this year. Rather than focusing solely on material gifts, we decided to have a heart-to-heart with the kids, presenting them with a choice between tangible presents and the priceless gift of shared experiences.

To our delight, their response was nothing short of heartwarming. Despite the allure of shiny gadgets and toys, each child expressed a desire for modest gifts, valued at less than $20 each, and a resounding eagerness to continue building cherished memories together as a family.

Our memories are our most prized possessions, worth more to us than any material wealth imaginable. It dawned on us that our children would soon spread their wings and venture out into the world, leaving our nest behind. In hindsight, we recognized the selfishness of our relentless pursuit of memory-making, but to our children, those moments were priceless treasures.

Their laughter, their smiles, the sparkle in their eyes—each memory is crafted with love and shared experiences. As we reflect on the past, we can’t help but eagerly anticipate the memories that lie ahead, waiting to be woven into the tapestry of our family’s journey.

Costa Rica, Alaska, Hawaii, the Florida Keys, and New York City—who knows where our next adventure will take us? The world is our playground, brimming with endless possibilities waiting to be explored. Each destination holds the promise of new experiences, breathtaking landscapes, and unforgettable memories. With wanderlust fueling our spirits, we eagerly await the next chapter in our journey, ready to embrace whatever the world has in store for us.

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