Money can’t buy love. However, according to scientists, it might be able to buy happiness. No, really. Read on, and find out why you’ll want to grab your bags and attach snazzy personalized luggage tags to achieve a bit of this scientifically-proven bliss.
No, we’re not claiming that purchasing a brass luggage tag will, all by itself, make you start skipping down the street. However if it does, yes, do write to us, immediately.
Writing for The Wall Street Journal in an article titled Can Money Buy You Happiness? Andrew Blackman describes how researchers found that if money is spent on the right things, it can lead to greater feelings of well-being. The two things cited were spending money on others, and spending on travel, i.e. experiences. And he writes about how these two things might bring lasting happiness, as opposed to what pleasure one derives from material goods.
This makes sense to me. When you get older, are you going to turn to your loved one and get misty about the time you bought a large screen TV? Will your kids grow up and tell their friends about the time you got them a pair of designer sneakers? I highly doubt it.
However, it’s easy to see how experiences do make for lasting happiness. My husband and I often reminisce about travel. The ski vacations at altitudes that made us giddy on one glass of pinot. Or the inn we found in the South of France. The one with a flamboyant Greek chef who’d ask what you liked best before shopping the local market for dinner. Waiting for dinner among the walnut and fig trees out back. And how the over-ripe figs dropped on the ground and were left to bake in the sun making the patio smell exactly like a pâtisserie. And don’t get me started about the light glinting off the poplars or… you get the idea.
Even when travel goes wrong, somehow it becomes a wonderful story to be passed on for generations. My brother and I laugh about the rustic B&B in England our parents found that served “hairy” chicken and prawns with their heads on. The shrimp were looking at us with beady black eyes, so we couldn’t bear to eat them and instead started narrating in their voice, as if they were puppets. Then there was the way our father badly rigged up a cover on top of the car to protect the luggage from the perpetual rain, and it flapped so loudly in the breeze we terrified the all the sheep in the UK as we toured England, Scotland and Wales.
Of course, being surprised by things while you’re on the road is fun, but no one wants to invite disaster. Two years ago we took the family to a wedding on a far-flung ranch in Colorado and… the bags didn’t show up. Being at a wedding with two small children and no luggage is not something we reminisce about. It was the fault of the airline and they eventually got it to us, but… not fun.
Here’s what’s also not fun… being on line at a crowded airline counter (is there any other kind?) and filling out one or more of those little paper luggage tags. As you slip the elastic around the handle of the bag, you say a prayer that it will remain on. I’ve done that way too many times. Or you look at one you filled out on a previous trip, and marvel at your frenzied handwriting that might require a NSA code breaker to decipher. Or you just feel sad about how your dirty crumpled tag looks. You wonder if you should be making a new one, but then the kids are pulling at you or the gate is calling and. . .you don’t.
Apparently, when airlines began, there was no need for luggage tags. According to an article in Slate, back in ye olden days of air travel “a passenger’s chauffeur would drive the passenger to the aircraft side, and stewards would load the passenger’s bags directly from the car to the aircraft.”
That’s why personalized brass luggage tags can make you happy. You could give them as gifts, thereby satisfying the “giving away” road to happiness. Or you could use them before you embark on your next joy-inducing life experience. Never having to grab a pen for one of those paper tags would be nice, right? Instead you can have your ID etched forever in brass. Brass… the alloy that is an ingenious marriage of copper and zinc that shines like, but is much stronger than, gold.
Now, I could go on, but it’s probably time for you to pack and get going on your own road to happiness.