*This experience gifts blog post is a collaboration with Tinggly
There's no denying 2019 has been a tough year for all. But I've decided, 2020 is going to be the year for all of us. No more sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. It's time to start living! After all – it's just a few months until I turn 30 and while I'm pretty excited for the next decade of my life. (I've got a new passport with extra pages ready!) I'm also very aware that there are some bucket list items that I'm keen to tick off before my birthday rolls around. I've always been a big advocate for sharing experiences with the people you love, rather than just giving things. Whenever I'm back in the UK, I value quality time with people over missed presents for birthdays and Christmas.
I've got some exciting news coming up soon about where I'll be spending my 30th birthday. But for now, let's talk about why experience gifts are the way to go in 2020. Why bother with those crappy Lynx bath sets this Christmas? Instead save the money and put it towards creating beautiful memories with the people who mean the most to you. I'm so over stocking fillers and bath products, for me, that's not the true spirit of Christmas. Instead of focusing on the giving and receiving, why not take a step back and just appreciate the people we are lucky to have. I've never been more appreciative of my people, and I've loved spending this summer making memories with all of them. These memories I will hold close to my heart the next time I'm far from home.
Leave fast fashion & frivolous gifts behind
Give stories, not stuff. That's the motto of Tinggly and I have to say, I agree. In a world where we are constantly bombarded with advertising, fast fashion and disposable products. Perhaps it's time we all stopped placing so much importance on the clothes in your wardrobe, or the latest gadgets. After all, when I'm old and grey, I can't imagine sitting there reminiscing about the time I wore the red dress with the black boots. I'll be thinking about the day I went pumpkin picking and how much I loved exploring my home in Norfolk.
With Black Friday and the festive season approaching, why not think about what you really value in life? For me, it's travel, home, friends and family. So those are the things I prioritise. When it comes to buying gifts for people, I don't see the point in giving stuff that will live in the back of the cupboard. What's the point in another pair of shoes, or yet another bubble bath set? When you've lived out of a backpack for years – you realise what's really important to you. It's not frivolous gifts, but rather the memories you make with people. They're what we truly treasure as the years go by.
- Read: Why you should be investing in sustainable fashion
- Read: Nine great tips for helping you travel sustainably
The travel experiences I'll never forget
We've all got those standout experiences from our lives that will stay with us forever. I count myself very lucky to have so many amazing travel memories that it makes it hard to choose. But here I want to share five travel experiences that I will never forget:
- Getting on the plane to Thailand on my first ever solo trip
- Swimming with whale sharks in Western Australia
- The hot air balloon ride over the mountains in Sri Lanka
- The life changing yoga retreat in Cambodia
- Road-tripping across Europe for the summer
Experience gifts from Tinggly
There's nothing like finding a brand that aligns with your values and I was super excited to work with Tinggly. They're a global gift solution company who offer the world's best experiences in one collection. Most importantly, Tinggly is on a mission to change the culture of gifting from material things to experiences. After studying the science behind happiness, they see the long-term value of gifting experiences for memories that last a lifetime. Their range of inspiring and meaningful Tinggly gifts mean that long after the excitement of the experience has been lived, the memory, and the stories, live on. If you're anything like me, and you have a passion for storytelling, reliving these memories time and time again, is priceless.
Best of all – these gift experiences are tailored to suit all tastes. For the adrenaline junkies, there's opportunities to go diving with sharks or risk a stomach churning bungee jump. And for those who prefer something a bit more relaxing, why not indulge in a trip to the spa? While you purchase the collection or pack, it is up to the recipient to choose which experience they would like, so there's no chance of getting it wrong! Each recipient also has a full five years in which to book their experience which makes it a much more sustainable option. Instead of booking a trip especially for your experience, why not make the experience fit with your trip? There's so many to choose from all over the world, that it's easy to find the perfect experience gifts.
Why is Tinggly so special?
- Freedom to choose from hundreds of experiences in countries around the world.
- Simple – just choose a collection and let the recipient choose the experience for them.
- Global – the brand has sold gift vouchers to 72 countries with experiences in 114 different countries.
Five bucket list experiences for 2020
With my 30th (yes that's right!) swiftly approaching, I've been thinking a lot about what experiences I really want to tick off my bucket list before the big day. I've never been one for worrying about getting older, but what really strikes me is how fast the time goes. It seems like yesterday I turned 18 and had university and my whole life ahead of me. Barely a moment later I was going on my first big solo trip and now here we are, five years on and still going strong.
What I love about travelling is that it gives you the opportunity to live multiple lives at once. I don't mind so much if the time goes quickly, if I really feel that I've lived every second to the max. While life felt like it was put on hold a bit in 2019 for a focus on healing and recuperating. In 2020, I'm back to travelling with a bang and ticking some of the biggest items yet off my bucket list. Here are my top 5 bucket list experiences for 2020:
- A skydive in New Zealand
- Travelling New Zealand by van
- A festival in Costa Rica
- Hitting 40 countries before I turn 30
- Sailing the San Blas Islands in Panama
What are your bucket list experiences for 2020?