Experiences are the best kind of gifts you can give someone, or share with, in my humble opinion. Let’s also be honest, gift-giving can be stressful and as a recipient, we may (and often do) end up with stuff we don’t need. For example: how many fondue sets have you given or gotten? I am down to owning one 😆 . From a larger economical perspective, the gifting economy also produces a lot of waste and feeds overconsumption. Experiences, on the other hand, are a great way to create memories, get someone out of the house, or support their dreams and appetites.
This blog post uses affiliate links denoted by ( * ) . The experience was gifted to me by Tinggly.
Read the disclaimer about affiliate links & PR gifting here.
Tinggly* is a company that was built specifically for experience gifting and their range of experiences spans all around the world. The process is very simple: choose a gift box, the box gets delivered to the recipient, they pick one of over 2000 experiences around the world and actually do it, IRL and all.
So what could you do or give as an experience you might wonder? Anything! For example, a Bucketlist* box ($239) includes 700+ experiences across 100 countries including Whale Watching in Quebec, a Wine Tour of Kelowna, Bungee jumping in Austria, and even Skydiving in Capetown, among many others*. Depending on the experience type some of them can be naturally quite costly but Tinggly does have a World’s Best Free Experiences* box that is being continually added to.
Money spent on experiential purchases tends to provide more happiness than having material stuff.~ Cornell University Study (2021)
For my experience, I chose Aerial Tour of Toronto with iflyTOTO* from the Experience the World* box ($179). After many pandemic-related rebookings, we were finally able to make our way to the Buttonville airport this week. The original tour was meant to be with a small group of people on a bigger plane but during one of the many calls iflyTOTO team kindly upgraded us to a private tour – I think they felt bad for me 😅 .
As we approached the tiny airplane, a small wave of doubt passed through my partner’s face, wondering if he would fit inside, being as tall as he is, but he fits in comfortably and I set at the front next to the pilot for a better view and to give B more room in the back. In a timely fashion, we taxied along runway 33, behind another small plane, and as our tern approached promptly took off into the blue sky.
For the next 30 minutes or so our pilot took us towards the waterfront, sharing minor commentary and answering questions, and did a few laps around downtown before taking us back to Buttonville a different way, showcasing more of the city’s east end waterfront. It was pretty amazing to be soaring over Toronto, looking down at the city from a birds-eye, spotting our homes, and notable buildings, and seeing the city’s architecture from a new angle. “Well this is certainly a new angle on the CN Tower,” I hear B in my headphones, commenting on seeing the tower from above, “don’t know if I’ll ever see it like that again” he murmured.
As my ears began popping on takeoff a small wave of fear began to fill my floating body, but a short internal dialogue convinced me that everything is totally fine, I’ve flown before, and the man behind this “wheel” has flown commercial airplanes, I am in safe hands, free to enjoy the view.
In retrospect, as we laughed a few hours later over dinner, it was a little scary to be basically sitting in a chair, coasting with the wind over the city on the tiniest plane I’ve ever been on. It is a unique experience and one that was much needed after this very long lockdown.
I stand by my earliest statement: experiences make fantastic gifts; I am looking forward to continuing giving them and hopefully receiving many myself ☺️ .
Note: You can, of course, book this tour directly with iflyTOTO. In addition to the cost of the experience for this specific activity, there was also a fuel charge of $90.
If you go: The GPS may get confusing close to the airport if following the provided address, instead, key in “Million-Air” and that should take you to the right place.
A few notes on the sustainability of experience gifting
On an environmental note, Tinggly works hard on being a fully sustainable experience company, and among their many commitments is offsetting the footprint the experiences can make, for example: for every Tinggly experience gift box purchased Tinggly promises to remove 11lbs (5kg) of plastics from the environment – which is pretty awesome. And yes, all of the boxes are made from 100% recycled and recyclable packaging using planet-friendly inks.
In the gear bag: Fujifilm X-T100 with an XF50mmF2 R WR lens.