The other day myself and a few fellow backpackers were talking about what it would be like to be at home. We all agreed that if we were at home we would be much richer financially than we are now, but not much happier.

I used to think that money equalled happiness. I hated being without money and I loved indulging in things that quite frankly, I did not need. Things that gave me joy but then ultimately became mundane.

In the world we live in, we all need money to an extent. We need money for food and to pay for somewhere to live. We need money to clothe our bodies and to not only be able to accommodate our basic needs, but also to live comfortably. Money can bring everyone joy because it can buy warmth, comfort, and experiences. But this only goes so far.

Being in Australia, we don’t have that much money. Savings have been depleted quickly. Our wages are poor. But we are all the more happier. We live simply. We get home from our early shifts at work and spend the afternoon basking in the gorgeous Australian sun. We spend our evenings laughing and cooking and drinking boxed wine.

It rarely seems to rain. People don’t rush around or get angry over nothing. There rarely seems to be traffic on the wide open roads. Here we may have less money, but we live a life which is carefree. With less money, we can worry less about keeping up with appearances. We can worry less about buying a new outfit. All that matters is the experiences we have and the company we share. It’s so liberating.

I still appreciate money. Now so more than ever, in fact. But I don’t think I will ever go back to my ways of buying stuff I don’t need just because I can. I know now that living simply can be so much more beneficial not just for my own overall happiness and wellbeing, but for the environment and those around me. I also know I would rather have experiences and moments of joy as I surround myself with likeminded people, I know I would rather live out my dreams and live in incredible places, I know I would rather do what feels right and good in my soul, than make a salary that makes your eyes pop out whilst working 60 hour weeks and suffering a gnarly commute on a constantly delayed and overcrowded train.

There is a whole world out there outside what you know to be true. A whole world beyond your office cubicle. Beyond your morning commute.

Dive in.

Also Read: How Travelling in Australia Taught Me the True Value of Money