As the president and CEO of Marriott International, Arne Sorenson has nearly infinite opportunities to visit extraordinary places, and experience extraordinary things. His company, after all, has properties in 130 different countries. Some are exquisite resorts in the Maldives, while others are exclusive hotels in the heart of New York City.
So, what did Sorenson do last summer to ensure he had a most-memorable vacation? Take a three-day, nearly 203-mile biking trip through Spain with his two grown sons. As grueling as it may sound, the trip was “the experience of a lifetime,” he happily asserts.
Why? Because the trip was a unique experience—made all the more so because of two people he dearly loves and often doesn’t get to see.
Sorenson’s two sons are grown, with busy lives of their own and friends who they’d rather hang out with than ol’ Mom and Dad. He doesn’t begrudge them that. In fact, he’s all the more grateful they chose him, and this trip, over every other option last year. They laughed—a lot—took in stunning scenery along the famous Camino de Santiago, and talked. And talked, and talked, and talked.
The trip came down to a pretty simple, yet powerful realization:
This unforgettable trip was a confirmation that—for me—unique experiences will always outweigh material possessions.
Of course, I am fortunate to have access to both. My point is to encourage everyone to slow down this year and do something memorable. … Make it an adventure—experience it with people you love.
In a day and age where many of us lead busy lives, and where our children arguably lead equally busy, or even busier, lives, it’s crucial to create unique experiences together. It’s crucial to do the same with other family, too, as well as friends who are as close as family. Then, reflect fondly on the memories, linger on the photos, and tell the stories again and again. (We can help you beautifully capture those stories, by the way… hint hint.)
Whatever you do, celebrate these unique experiences.
By the way, if you’d like to read Sorenson’s full article—and I encourage you to do so—it’s here.