Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume. ~Jean de Boufflers

Happiness is not a finite destination; it is a road you travel and a happy road is most often strewn with terrific memories. There are many ways memories may be made, for example, spending time with those you love; participating in activities you enjoy; watching children grow up; and participating in milestone ceremonies. The common thread that binds these together is that they are experiential vs. concrete, such as a possession. When items are purchased, they can outgrow their usefulness, break, or the thrill of ownership can fade. When you purchase an experience such as a trip, fond and happy memories can last a lifetime. They are deposited in a memory bank, and you are able to withdraw your “fix” as needed, especially when you may be facing difficult times.

To better understand this concept, let’s compare it to both child rearing and romantic relationship building.

Remember back when your children were first born and you were the center of their world? In fact, you had a mutual love fest going on and your new baby was the most adorable child in the world. You marveled over every action and every sound uttered. Even your baby’s poop was something to be examined and about which to ooh and aah! During this time and early childhood, you were storing up irreplaceable and loving memories.

Now, fast forward to your child at 15 years old. He or she is a teenager, and you are wondering if aliens have body snatched your cute baby! However, even though you may be at the end of your rope with your child, you opt not to banish him or her to his/her room for eternity. In truth, your restraint is tempered by the stored memories of your adorable baby boy or girl. During tough parenting times, you simply make a withdrawal of these fond memories so your child does not drive you to the brink of despair!

Similarly, the memory bank theory comes into play during dating and/or an established relationship. When you are dating, it is necessary to spend enough time in the courting phase to store up those perfect moments, which are the ones that make you fall deeply in love. Later on, when you hit a bump in the road (and you will!), you should have enough good stuff stored for a withdrawal without depleting the bank!

As for current relationships, it is very easy to become complacent and this might lead to boredom or feeling there is something missing. Studies show the two most common conversations long-time partners have are: “Did you take out the garbage?” and “What’s for dinner?” Accordingly, you must remember that relationships are fragile, and they must be nurtured to keep the connection vibrant. It is always a good idea to continuously collect and deposit new “happy” memories, many of which can be done through travel related adventures.

Additionally, statistics show that taking two or more family vacations annually can significantly strengthen the parent/child and sibling to sibling bonds, as well as fortify a marital relationship. Having fun, while creating lasting memories by participating in both recreational and educational experiences away from home, can be a major part of the foundation upon which a happy and cohesive family unit is built. Can you start building today by planning your next family or romantic trip?

Author's Bio: 

Ellen Gerst is a Life Coach,specializing in grief and relationships, and the author of several books on both subjects. Ellen is available for one-on-one grief and/or relationship coaching, as well as speaking engagements on finding love after loss and other topics relating to grief. For more information, visit For a unique tool to help with social connectivity, visit