“Greed…is good.” Sorry, Gordon. Not these days.
Baby Boomers, born between 1946 to 1955 (or 64 depending on where you read) are considered the wealthiest, most active generation. They were the group that worked hard, played hard. They wanted stuff. They wanted status. They wanted the stability that came with working for one company for years at a time. Turns out that what many of the Baby Boomers bought were “Golden Handcuffs,” and now are not onboard with the Millennials, who currently make up the most significant portion of the workforce.
Because Millennials are vocal about wanting crazy things like flexible work schedules, freedom to pursue their dreams and work-life balance. They are all about following their true north, personally and professionally. They are not putting personal pursuits on hold for “someday.” For them, someday is today. The Millennials are not prescribing to the previous generations’ drive to make money, then enjoy life. They want both, to make money and take pleasure in experiences. In fact, they will take experiences over things.
Hmmm, $5200 for two weeks in Europe or paying a house mortgage. Personally, I will take Europe. Plus, I do not have to mow the lawn, clean the gutters or repaint a living room.
Millennials want meaningful jobs that are in alignment with their core values and will gravitate toward companies that allow flexible hours, will cover tuition for degrees, provide more than just sick daycare or offer profit-sharing. They want to support organizations that lead the charge in humanitarian efforts. When they hit the road to soak up the experiences they desire over house payments…
Guess where are they going?
Well, according to PR Newswire, in 2017 the most sought after Millennial travel experiences were bathing in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, checking out the Pyramids of Giza and walking the Great Wall. Further down the list, at number seven and eight, was floating along the canals in Venice on a gondola and kissing someone at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Aw, how romantic. In my humble opinion, the Millennials have it right. Grant it, I am painting with a thick brush stroke, though go with me. There are genuinely proven benefits that sailing through the Greek Islands is better for you than buying a Tesla, ergo experientialism over materialism.
One, travel relieves stress. The Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin noted that females vacationing at least twice a year are less likely to suffer chronic anxiety and depression versus those who vacation less than once every two years.
Two, it boosts your creativity, especially international travel. Research from Columbia’s Business School shows that intentional immersive experiences enable cognitive flexibility and depth to integrate, making for deeper connections to other cultures and places.
And my favorite, travel experiences plus-up your level of happiness. A Cornell University study showed that just planning and anticipating a trip will raise your mood.
Moral of the Millennial story: he who dies with the most experiences wins.