With the assistance of the book, Happy Money, here are four reasons why a Dude Ranch Vacation makes you a better person:
1) More than likely, you're investing in someone else. Whether it's your family, friends or employees you're bringing with you, your happiness levels spike when you spend money on someone else. The key to creating that spike, though, is to spend your money "when it feels like a choice, when it connects you with others, and when it makes a clear impact."
2) You're buying an experience. Tough Mudder races (created by a Harvard Business School graduate) are so popular because the experience makes the participants feel more connected to others. Furthermore, "Experiential purchases not only provide us with entertaining anecdotes, but also add texture to our broader life stories."
3) You're planning/paying the deposit up front and consuming later. "Anticipating good things produces a distinct pattern of neural activation in the nucleus accumbens, a region of the brain linked to the experience of pleasure and reward. And training ourselves to envision a fantastic future has real benefits." Your future dude ranch experience gives you the opportunity to have months of happy anticipation.
4) You're making the dude ranch vacation a treat. When I smell horse, hay and cow manure, I stop and breathe. It's welcoming. It's a touch of the natural. It's a smell most of us don't get to enjoy every day.
There are certain smells, tastes and noises (or silence) that were meant to be treats. "Knowing you can't have access to something all the time may help you appreciate it more when you do," mentioned the authors of Happy Money. Whether it's using your leisure time for a nature hike, for a horseback ride or whether you're saving up for a dude ranch vacation, create treats for yourself. Your happiness level will rise from the moment you begin anticipating the treat and will continue for as long as you reminisce about the experience.