Guess what? Your pursuit of experiences is ruining your life

Millennials disgust me.

I grit at them like a Clint Eastwood gif.

Partially because I felt like one once.

I know it’s hard to believe by my youthful, radiant complexion, but I *lived* through the 90s.

I remember unfettered optimism.

I remember Scholastic book fairs, drinking Squeez-its and watching Wishbone.

note to future hooker: my likely fetishes start with the listed above. If you can flash me a few foil Pokemon cards I’ll tip you extra

As tempting as it sounds, trying to create that now is making millennials absolutely miserable.


The number one life value of the millennial is “experiences”.

They’re bought, sold, and bartered like spices in the Renaissance.

this was the Birkin of the Middle Ages

And like said spices (was the mutton THAT bad in the 1450s?!) they’re willing to cross dangerous waters on shoestring budgets to acquire these “experiences”.

Every travel Instagram (#hotdogsorlegs #legscuztheresnofoodhereduh #LoveMogadishu) is no different from what Vasco da Gama would’ve photographed 5 centuries ago.

i’m gonna call bulls*t on that #nofilter dude

Nobody Instagrams their depleted bank account or horrible diarrhea. That’s for Snapchat.

By that same token, da Gama wouldn’t have Instagrammed the empty treasure chests and violent scurvy.

There’d absolutely be lots of selfies, inebriation, sunsets, and beaches. Humans haven’t evolved much since the Mona Lisa.

The “Living the Experience Life” voyeurism is reminiscent of the Victorian-era travel craze and 50s-60s family vacations, but dark. Whereas those were an indication of having reached some status and comfortability in life and being able to afford leisure, Millennials are putting the leisure before the work, creating more work after the leisure than if they did the work in the first place.

Millennials aren’t completely to blame.

They’ve been sold a false bill of goods since birth.

Remember when movies were an “escape” and nobody took them seriously?

People treat them as *real* now. Experiences are just the real-life versions of movie adventures.

Let’s use “The Road to El Dorado” as an example of saccharine, over-designed 90s film.

“someone watched us!”

Here you have two main characters looking for the City of Gold, and finding love and other crap along the way.

They didn’t know this was an “adventure”. They simply were seeking gold. If they could’ve found the gold without crossing a river full of piranhas, they would’ve chosen that option, as would any sane person.

The problem is that millennials are treating their journeys as the gold in the equation, which is completely foolish.

You’re supposed to look at The Journey as The Gold *AFTER* the adventure. That’s the whole point. You can’t go into the adventure knowing it’s an adventure. Why is everyone trying to break the fourth wall on their own life?

After all – life has setbacks and challenges – otherwise, it wouldn’t be life!

Now, we’re so detached from reality we’re having to create false realities.

There’s nothing challenging about modern suburban life, unless the maid shows up late and you have to have the uncomfortable Spanglish conversation with her that she’s only getting $40 this week.

But there is a challenge in backpacking through India. It’s an “experience”, despite the fact you can get the previously-mentioned horrible diarrhea at your local Indian restaurant that you can in Uttar Pradesh.

Here’s a textbook example of the millennial fetishization of “experience” (look for future hookers to offer “Instagram travel companion” as the new “girlfriend experience”).

A couple with decent, steady jobs quit their jobs and decide to travel worldwide.

Sounds expensive. They patiently saved about $10k beforehand for flights, meals, and rooms, right?


They dove in headfirst *on purpose*, and are now picking up sh*t to fund their shoestring strip through the world.

quick!  do “slave laborer” pose!

Does it count as a vacation if you’re spending most of the day scrubbing kitchen floors in the 3rd-world country with a toothbrush instead of walking through a museum and relaxing on the beach?

Of course not.

You’re doing some weird Orientalist wet dream where you drop in poor, live as a local for a few days, then ride the next train out of there “for the experience”.

It would be like someone born and raised in Santa Monica moving to West Virginia for a week, taking a job washing dishes at a local diner, then flying back home.

why it’s practically Nighthawks!

The West Virginians would be pissed, because not only did you not spend any money there to help the local economy, you temporarily took a job away from a high school kid who wants to earn a few dollars so he can get to Santa Monica.

Experience tourism is far more damaging than luxury tourism. If the Dominican Republic focused on experience tourism, it would begin to resemble Haiti more than the Bahamas.

separated by a giant chasm in the earth!

You can’t blame Millennials for the great “experience” lie, however.

You can, however, blame Baby Boomers.

These people all climbed in vans to go to Woodstock, follow bands around the country, packed up to go to California in search of “experience”.

They had everything. They had stable suburban lives, parents who loved them, great job opportunities, and they threw it away to have regrettable acid-fueled orgies in the back of dingy Microbuses.

you can almost hear the creaky slide of a window as a hoarse voice says “let’s not turn this rape…into a murder”

Although most didn’t. THAT was the aspirational goal.

The 60s and 70s could have been more like the 80s and 90s if this generation didn’t pursue fake “experiences”. We could have been living in the 50s-predicted hyper-automated future of flying cars if promising college grads didn’t decide to pursue narcissistic self-enlightenment instead of doing something to improve humanity as a whole — ironic considering their stated goals were to help build communities.

the only thing they couldn’t predict was traffic

We’re still feeling the effects of this deleterious culture on society today. We don’t have a space program because they didn’t work hard enough to become physicists. We’re devoid of cures for cancers and other infectious disease because they sat out for a generation instead of becoming doctors and scientists. The page of “To Kill A Mockingbird” used to roll a joint instead of read could’ve led to hundreds more “Great American Novels” — instead we have to deal with crap like Infinite Jest.

spoiler alert

Millennials are not like hardworking Generation X who had to live as the battered children of this narcissistic, “experience-seeking” ambition. They grew up to idolize it. Miley’s parading around a stage with a weed leaf bra because she thinks it’s cool. She’s not counterculture, she *is* the culture.

“it’s sexy because it’s NOT sexy because it’s sexy, see?” –some fifteenth-wave feminist rn

What Millennials don’t understand about Baby Boomers is that they had to work *hard* to achieve their lazy, drug-seeking lifestyles. Scoring drugs was not as easy as texting that guy you met at a party, it meant actually walking to meet with someone in a stinky one-bedroom flat in Hell’s Kitchen and having to listen to 2 hours of the same Grateful Dead record you pretended to like so he’d just give you the damn hash already.

Of course, Baby Boomers are the same generation who had a hard-on for the “college experience”, hammering it into the heads of the Millennial generation who treats it as some rite of passage that it’s not.

The same Baby Boomers are now professors and administrators whose salaries rely totally on your Millennial child being fed the line of bullsh*t from an early age that, without a college degree, and more importantly, the “college experience”, they’re a bunch of handicapped babies trying to enter the race of adulthood on a motorized wheelchair stuck in neutral.

as per usual, I’m Cartman peering at this just off-screen and plotting

The correlation between Debt Culture and Experience Culture is staggering. Real life experiences generally don’t cost money, although if they do, they usually come with a lesson to spend money more wisely next time. Faux “experiences” like unnecessary college and experience travel cost a great deal of money for staggeringly little reward or the equipment to pay off those experiences when you’re past them.

What else are people doing “for the experience”? Well, travel is costly, so now you’re beginning to see a slew of idiotic ideas like “I stripped…for the experience”.

there’s a lot going on here

Life is not a giant Jezebel thinkpiece.

We’ve completely discounted our abilities of reason and common sense.

Let me guess: your feet hurt every night, most guys were respectful but there were a few creeps, you gained some canned insight about feminism, you have a newfound respect for women who “choose” to do this.

Or you could’ve guessed all that beforehand.

It’s unfair to “Kayla” who’s stripping to afford to move out to California for a job while you’re playing dress up in her job for an “experience”.

Her grandchildren will probably be proud of and impressed by her for doing work she didn’t want to do so they can live in a nice house with in the Hills.

Yours will laugh at and be embarrassed by you when you show your holoslides of Snapchats where you convince a lonely Baby Boomer to buy a bottle of champagne before you sit on his lap…for the experience.

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