Travel is Good For the Soul


You may have heard…

Cornell Psychology research says experiences are a key to happiness as opposed to things making one happy. Things make us happy for the short-term, whereas experiences make us happy over time.


They did not really need research to come to this conclusion. Anyone that buys things to make themselves happy realizes that this particular happiness fades which leads to more buying. Their research found experiences shape our identity when reliving the experience over and over. Anyone that visits somewhere new can tell you this even years after.


The assumption made when spending money is that since a physical object will last longer, it must give more gratification. Many people think it makes them happier longer than a one-time experience like a vacation. But that is not the case. For another little traveler and a post about “joy can come from things we do, not the things we own”…. see Lessons of the Hummingbird, One for the Road.


I spent some time packing for my trip to Germany this morning, and got a few new items to make packing even easier and neater. My D750 camera will now be safe in Eagle Creek’s handy packing cube and the iPad has a new padded sleeve. I am big on travel conveniences and anything to make travel better.

Newest to my travel conveniences is my Nexus card. It certifies me as a trusted traveler with all the benefits afforded to Global Entry. I can swipe my passport at an airport kiosk, which digitally takes the customs’ declaration. I can now skip the processing line of travelers from the flight when I fly into Washington’s Dulles. With TSA-Pre, it will help leaving from Newark. This trip will be a good trial run for seeing how that works out. I can bet my Nexus benefits makes me happy, after all, it is an experience.


Living on the Canadian border, I visit Canada frequently, even walking over. Now I don’t need my passport when visiting Canada if crossing the bridge only for Nexus travelers. I live between two bridges to Canada, and can walk to both. A Nexus card is for convenient and speedier travel between the two countries – avoiding those long lines. The card gets TSA Pre-Approval ($85) along with Global Entry ($100). Nexus costs only $50, so that is a great savings. You need a reason to get a Nexus card though (the interviewers ask why you want one), not everyone can have one I am guessing. I was fingerprinted and had an eye-scan in Canada. There is no doubt about who I am on flights or at customs now.


New purchases are a rain poncho from Magellan and new, packable rain boots from Hunter. I am going to be dry and look cute too! I never care much about appearance, but do like my new boots. So I guess you could say, my new boots make me a little happy since they will keep me dry. I suppose that is an experience.

So is a garden an experience or a thing (possession)? Did you see my garden on the last post?

Post 900 today. That is quite a few, no? Next post from Austria hopefully. Fingers crossed. Thank you for all the best wishes on my health too. I received many visits, phone calls, cards, flowers, emails, and comments on the blog. Everyone has been so wonderful. Have a great day…

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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21 Responses to Travel is Good For the Soul

  1. I love your palm tree picture. Would love to be there! I am tsa pre-checked and love it. Looking into global entry.

  2. Sounds like you are all set….enjoy and safe travel!

  3. Charlotte House says:

    Enjoy each new day and experience! Looking forward to pictures! Wishes for good health as you travel.

  4. David says:

    Nice set of photos and congrats on 900.

  5. Great post. I literally just wrote a post on travel and happiness last night. It was like Déjà Vu reading your first 2 paragraphs. Safe travels.

  6. A.M.B. says:

    Wow, 900 posts! Have a wonderful time in Europe.

  7. Congratulations on 900 posts! That’s definitely something to celebrate. I agree: Anything I can do to make the travel experience smoother and easier is great. Before and during our trips to Europe, we found many tips and tricks through Rick Steves’ website and books. Have a fabulous trip! I can’t wait to see pictures and read about your adventures!

  8. Maria F. says:

    Great, thanks for a great post, take care.

  9. alesiablogs says:

    Lots of good memories from your photos!

  10. Great travel tips…Love the rainbow. Have some fun, enjoy yourself on your journey.

  11. Have a great trip! It sounds like you’re prepared.

  12. johnvic8 says:

    Hoping you have a wonderful, refreshing and SAFE trip.

  13. I agree that experiences make us happy. Though is a garden an experience or an object? Some of each, I guess. Nexus sounds great. I love travelling, but HATE airports. Have a great trip!

  14. Yes, experiences are so valuable to the person as a stress reliever. It motivates us on our return to try new things and look in different directions.
    Safe travels (can’t wait to see photos of your new boots) and have fun!

  15. londarmonica says:

    Wish you good health and happiness!

  16. bittster says:

    Have a great trip and congratulations on 900!!

  17. I am glad that you still have the go-ahead from your doctors to take your trip. That must mean your health has improved and the medications are working. Have a great time!!!

  18. Hope your European trip will be a real joy! Wait….did I miss what kind of boots you got?? Have a wonderful time and continued good health!

  19. Wishing the girl with the boots a wonderful journey!
    Indeed experiences are key to happiness. Here’s to your joyful experiences and to our pleasure in experiencing your experiences through your eyes! 😉
    on a side note: take care of Donna!

  20. Safe travels and wishing you many wonderful new experiences. I’m also a big fan of global entry.

  21. Enjoy your travels and a garden is an experience as like a pet it grows and gives different kinds of joy at different stages. A fully living experience!

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