After a long weekend in Las Vegas, I found myself at the airport about 10 hours early for my flight. I had experienced about as much Vegas as I could handle so I decided to head the airport with the other gentlemen who had much earlier flights. After going through security, I wandered around the airport and came across the American Express Centurion Lounge – an ‘exclusive’ lounge for American Express cardholders. After realizing that I was going to be hanging around for a tremendous amount of time, I inquired about the cost and benefits. A 24-hour pass for $50 includes high-speed WiFi, unlimited drinks, a full meal buffet, plenty of seating options for taking naps, a beautiful shower facility (yep, I took a shower), and more. I figured if I ate two or three meals here I’d get my money’s worth in food alone, so I went ahead and purchased the pass.
Seven hours later, I can definitively say that the expense was worth it to me. It’s the first time I’ve ever done it and never would have thought to try it before today. It got me thinking about what it means to live simply and when can extra costs be justified in order to make life easier for oneself?
If I hadn’t paid the $50 for a pass, I wouldn’t have had very comfortable seating the airport. They only have single chairs to prevent people from napping on them in the regular terminal. I can argue that paying for what might be considered a luxury upgrade actually saved me money and kept my life much more simple and enjoyable for that period of time. I didn’t need to worry about where I’d charge my laptop or phone, or any of the other airport logistics.
While I feel what I did was appropriate and quite supplemental to my desire for an experientially focused lifestyle, some have argued that spending that kind of money on such an upgrade is a waste and not actually living as a minimalist or in a simple way.
I’ve found that minimalism has made these kinds of opportunities possible and that my life tends to be much more enjoyable when I’m able to do such things. What do you think? Is simple living limited to not spending excess money or sometimes spending money to provide a great experience for yourself?