man at top of mountain

b&b107 Is travel the new status symbol?

Is travel the new way to show off these days? Before it was an expensive purse or coat, a piece of jewelry, a nice car, the hot new electronic, but now, with social media, it feels like people are showing off in a different way – through experiences.

The ability to travel and travel often is something that can be taken as a sign that you’ve “made it” on some level – you have a certain amount of discretionary income AND you have discretionary time. Is it the new status symbol for financial freedom?

We explore a number of new status symbols that have replaced the old, from traveling to outsourcing household chores, to delivery on demand. How does this change our own perception of wealth and value and how do you decide what’s really worth it for you?

Episode Highlights:

Pam: Has travel become the new status symbol? It used to be diamonds, it used to be a big car, it used to be a big house, or a fancy car and all that kind of stuff.

Pam: Even if the intention is not to feed into the status symbol-y-ness of it, it is a part of it, and it is something that’s worth thinking through the intention of what you’re doing, and how you end up feeling on both sides of it, how you feel as the person putting up the stuff, how you feel as the person viewing it, how that affects you psychologically and all that kind of stuff.

Pam: What the bulk of this article is about is recognizing that if you are in a position where you can travel regularly, then you probably did have some advantages that other people who can’t do that and who would love to do that just don’t have. They are not in situations where they can just travel like that, or they can just drop everything and go. And to be able to recognize that about yourself if you are in a situation where you are traveling is one thing that needs to be acknowledged, and then I feel like on the other side of it too, recognize that you are not any less of a person or any more of a failure at all because you can’t do it right now. Because you’re life situation doesn’t allow you to do that.

Pam: This idea of selling a lifestyle. That’s really what this is, and it is slightly predatory, and I think that’s really what we have to recognize here in the fact that because travel has become a status symbol, people are now trying to capitalize off of it. Literally. How many businesses have you seen where instead of actually worksheets or info about the business, it’s pictures of them on the beach in their bikinis, and look at all these places that I’ve traveled too, and look at this me standing in front of this tower in France type of stuff. When they’re saying, “Hey, I’m gonna teach you how to work so you can do it like this too.”

Pam: The takeaway here is to understand why you’re doing something, why you want to do something, and also it’s another form of advertising in a weird way, and brands are catching onto it as well. Their whole thing is realizing that the brand itself doesn’t need to tell a story, the brand itself needs to give the consumer a story to tell their friends.

Pam: Are there things that you’re spending money on that could instead go towards a travel fund? That could instead of towards this thing that you’re telling me now that is really important to you. Because there’s all those sides that you really have to consider. How much can you save now? How much is it gonna cost? How much less can you spend, and how much more can you make? It sounds pretty sensible and it’s much easier said than done, believe me.

Pam: Are you traveling while you’re working, or are you traveling because of work?