I wish someone had told me to spend money on experiences and not things.

“I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. Each week we hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by Rikus 

We buy things because we think they will make us feel a certain way. But the truth is those feelings pass and then all you’re left with is stuff. The material things we own do not define us or help us understand the truly important aspects of life. Yes, there are necessities to survive in our day to day life like food, clothes and having a safe home but beyond the basic needs it is up to us how we spend our money.

As a kid I would go on our family holiday every December to Cape Vidal in KZN and I can clearly remember those holidays like they were only yesterday. One December at about 3 AM in the camping site, a bunch of students drove through playing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond and singing as loud as they could. I don’t remember all the things I used growing up but I do remember events like that which I have carried with me into my adult life.

I only started traveling overseas about four years ago. It started out by doing musicals in the Seychelles and then doing Showboat the Musical for Cape Town Opera in the UK and Ireland. However the person I learn from every single day about traveling has been Carel Nolte.

My first trip overseas with Carel was going to The Kingdom of Bhutan. I had no idea where it was or what we were going to do. Carel just said it’s going to be lovely and beautiful. We ended up hiking the mountains of Bhutan for five days and in total we covered 95km (I have never even ran a 5km run in my life) but the memories that were made on that trip will never be forgotten.

This year CN&CO was privileged enough to go ski at Val Thorens in the French alps at one of our clients Club Med. As a South African I have never seen snow in my life, not to mention skiing in it. From our skiing instructor Shasha, the Club Med parties every night and La Follie Douch are all wonderful memories.

I recently got back from a trip to New York City and Nashville. Carel told me a few years ago that I would love NYC so I was looking forward to it greatly. This year I got to experience the magic for myself, walking through Time Square with my Starbucks coffee, seeing Bette Midler perform in Hello Dolly and seeing friends that live in NYC that I have met on previous travels was just amazing.

So I choose to spend my money on experiences that make me appreciate the world we live in. Once you meet new people, see new places, learn about the cultures and way things are done there, it opens your eyes and you can’t help but coming back to South Africa with new perspective and wanting to make a positive change.

Go and invest in the experiences that will make you happy. After all when you die all you’ll have is your memories so you better make some good ones.

Talented in music and the arts, Rikus not only has the voice, but also a natural eye for events. His attention to detail, organisational skills and ability to keep things moving are unique. He is also a people’s person and is always ready to embrace the festivities and the dance floor!