I am writing this article from the living room of a family friends house. We have been traveling with this family up and down the cost for the better part of this week. This is our family vacation for the year and I wouldn't have it any other way. We have seen a mystery house, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Road, Hearst Castle, the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz - all while catching up and spending great quality time together.

When I'm not on vacation, I spend my summer working at a sleep-away summer camp for children and families affected by Type 1 Diabetes. There is no cell service at camp not really any civilization around which makes near impossible to get things. However, there is a vast array of experiences that I could not get anywhere else. Watching a child give themselves an injection for the very first time, to try swimming, to learn how to count carbs, to play and enjoy childhood. We also sleep under the sierra stars and are surrounded by gorgeous pine trees and mountains- beauty that is truly astonishing. To me, these experiences are more valuable than anything I could buy at a Target.

See things come in and out of season all the time. Why spend hundreds of dollars on something when you know you are going to want the newer version in a couple of months. Sometimes, at least I know this is true for me, something looks amazing in a store and then when we get it home we never use it/wear it. That is a waste of money that could have been used on an amazing adventure and experiences. I still have some memories of my first summer at camp- nine years ago

Instead of wasting money on things that you know you won't even be interested in within a few weeks, why not put that money towards an experience. Spend it on gas and food for a road trip, go camping with family and friends, drive up your state and see all the things you never got around to seeing - take lots of pictures and make lots of memories. Do something kind of scary - go ziplining, try to stand up paddleboarding, a horseback ride with your friends

The most important part of having an amazing experience is to be present. To be present that also means using your things less. You'll have much better conversations if everyone isn't on their phone. While it's important to take pictures of the amazing sights you see and the cool things you do- don't get so caught up in taking pictures that you forget to take a moment to take it all in.

I'll leave you with this, while the thing you are about to purchase might be really cool (for about two weeks) the memories and experiences you can get by putting that money towards an adventure ae truly invaluable (plus, you'll have some pretty cool stories to tell your kids too).