Life Is a One-Time Ride, and That’s Enough of a Reason to Make It the Finest. Here Are 10 Ways to Do Just That.
Aluxers, we’re going to start with a question. What does fine living mean to you? Take a few seconds to think about it.
Here at Alux, we have some ideas about this that we’d like to share with you. It’s true, we do make quite a few videos about luxury brands and expensive and exclusive experiences for the super-rich. And if you can afford them, sure, it’s nice to be able to have them. But that’s not really what we think the essence of fine living is all about.
For us, it’s not about flashing the cash. It’s not about the number of branded items you own, or pieces of bling you wear.
What it IS about, is living a life that’s filled with enriching experiences — and enjoying them with people who are important to you. It’s about feeling inspired, constantly learning new things and improving yourself. And when it comes to the things you own, going for good quality — things that are practical, comfortable, and that last long. And sure, why not — that have a bit of style to them too.
So stick with us for our top tips that we think will make your life that bit — for want of a better word, finer. Regardless of whether or not you’re a millionaire.
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Brush up Your Knowledge of Fine Food and Drink
Fine cuisine has got to be one of life’s greatest pleasures. And investing a little time to learn more about it will make even more of a pleasure.
For example — if wine’s your drink of choice, learn something about wine varieties. Telling the difference between, say, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot, will do more than impress people you’re having a drink with. It will also make you more aware of those subtle nuances of flavor, ones that you didn’t notice before. And once you do notice them, drinking wine will become even better.
Or if you’re a fiend for sushi, start by learning some sushi etiquette — it will make the experience more authentic, and show respect to the chef and servers. If you don’t know how to use chopsticks, learn that — and then move onto a few knowledge areas, like types of fish, or the difference between maki-sushi and nigiri-sushi. (Hint — maki-sushi are the rolled-up ones). And that a little soya sauce goes a long way — so don’t drown the rice in it.
Remember, these are just examples. If you’re not really into wine or sushi, develop your knowledge of something that does rock your boat. Pretending you’re into something just because you think it’ll make you look sophisticated isn’t fine living — it’s called being pretentious. But you get the point. Develop some gourmet knowledge, and whole new dimensions in the world of food and drink experiences will open up for you to enjoy.
Learn How to Be a Great Host
There aren’t many things that people appreciate, or enjoy more, than being invited round and being cooked a knockout meal with great drinks, in a cosy atmosphere, and good company. Isn’t that what fine living’s all about?
And when you’re a host, you’re the one who can make it all happen. That’s why a real fine living enthusiast should know who to be the perfect host. Can’t cook? Invest in a few good cooking utensils. And look online for some crowd-pleasing recipes that beginners can pull off. It won’t take you too much searching to find some. If you have time to developing your chef skills, even better.
Also get some good-quality spirits and cocktail equipment, so you can make some drinks that are sure to please.
For more tips on being a great host, check out our video ’15 Ways to be the Perfect Host, the Aluxer Way’. Get down a few hosting hacks, and you’ll soon be giving your guests that ’wow’ factor that fine living is all about.
When You’re on Holiday Go for New Experiences
Does fine living exist without travel? We think probably not. But going to the same place every year and doing the same things over and over again isn’t fine living either. Especially when all you do every time, just sitting on the beach or by the pool. Because you could be getting so much more out of it. By trying something new.
If you’re on the beach, try some water sports. Not all of them are as expensive as you think. Or give some other outdoor activities a go.
And try to fit in some cultural experiences that really capture the essence of where you’ve chosen to travel to. As a renowned fine living enthusiast, the late Anthony Bourdain put it ‘Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering into the unknown.’ You chose to get on a plane to somewhere unknown — it’s time to really discover what the unknown has to offer.
Visit local galleries or go on walking tours. Admire the architecture and learn something about what makes it unique in that area.
Or if you can, get a mix of all the things we’ve mentioned. Telling you that ‘variety is the spice of life’ does sound like a corny cliché. But, it’s hard to argue with.
Understand That True Style Is Timeless
Any self-respecting lover of fine living knows how to dress right for every occasion. How to stand out as a person of sophistication and taste. And wearing something that’s comfortable and that you feel great in is always important too.
To tick all these boxes, invest in a few key quality items that will last; that will survive wear and tear; and stand the test of time of short-lived styles. That means pricey fast fashion items to be avoided. Go for items that really are timeless.
How do you start to get a sense of what won’t look ridiculous in a few years? Start improving your knowledge of fashion brands that have lasted a long time and have always provided quality. Read fashion blogs with a focus on timeless elegance, not what’s in now. You could start with our video ‘15 Luxury Pieces Worth Buying’.
The kinds of things to invest in include: a quality overcoat; a suit fitted by a tailor and a pair of patent leather shoes; a cashmere sweater; a quality leather handbag. If you’ve got cash to spare, you could go for a Burberry trench coat, or an Hermes bag. But it doesn’t have to be a big-name brand. But do invest in quality. It won’t be cheap, but it will last you a long time — in some cases a lifetime. That means in the long run, you won’t have to keep replacing stuff, and you’ll save money.
Not every single item of clothing you own needs to be top-of-the-range. But don’t buy stuff that’s crappy, ill-fitting and comfortable, and will wear out quickly.
Read Widely — for Pleasure and to Be Informed
People who know how to live the fine life are well informed. They have a wide knowledge of all kinds of things. That wide knowledge helps them know where they can find great new opportunities and experiences. They’re also able to have quality conversations with other smart people who share their passion for knowledge. And being well read helps with all of this
Read fiction for pleasure. As well as helping you unwind, you’ll learn from it too. And read anything factual that you find interesting or useful in some way. Whether it’s psychology, history, finance, self-help, or biographies of people who inspire you.
Knowing more about a wide range of subjects will be enriching in and of itself. It will lead to more interesting conversations and attract more interesting people. And sometimes help you make better-informed decisions.
So what are you waiting for — time to visit your nearest bookstore. Or why not make it even easier and sign up to Audible. Thanks to our friends there, if you sign up for any audio book, you’ll get your first one free.
Learn Something About Art
Close your eyes and picture what fine living means to you. It could be walking down elegant streets in Paris or Florence, surrounded by beautiful buildings. It could be being in a beautifully decorated room. Fine living wouldn’t be fine living without the visual element. Without some art to brighten things up.
That’s why learning something about art is a great way to appreciate the finer things in life that bit better. Learn a few basics about a few art periods, like the Renaissance, impressionism, modernism and postmodernism. Every now and again, visit an art gallery.
We already mentioned that when you go travelling, it’s a great way to capture what’s unique about where you are.
And, talking about art, let’s not forget other art forms. Like literature — yep, we already mentioned you should read more. Or music? Have a go at widening your musical tastes a little. Maybe giving jazz or classical a try, if you haven’t before.
And just like we said with fine dining, don’t pretend you like something you don’t. We all have our own individual tastes. But at least give different things a try. And you could well find yourself finding new passions. Ones you never would have heard about if you hadn’t tried to expand your horizons a little.
We are not as in touch with art as our ancestors. Check out What’s happening to ART in the age of the internet.
Know What’s Going on Near You
Whether you live somewhere busy and pumping with energy, somewhere sleepy, or somewhere in between — there’s always something going on, or something planned to happen soon. Whether it’s concerts, street fairs, exhibitions, stand-up comedy shows, book signings, or wine-tastings — events like these give us a buzz with their atmosphere, and some truly memorable moments too. But if you don’t know what’s going near you, you’re bound to be missing out.
So be that person who’s in-the-know. The one who everybody goes to for recommendations for what to do at the weekend. If you’re not in-the-know, start getting informed — it’s easy, thanks to something called the internet. And in case you thought the town you live in is boring, it might start to get a bit less boring.
And, when you go travelling also do a bit of research before about what events will be happening. Sure, you can go jet-skiing at the beach or go to an art gallery — things that are always available. But go one better, and find out about a food festival that’s on, an outdoor concert. Enjoy the moment to the full and get the most out of those travel experiences.
Invest in Tech That’s Useful for You
When you’re buying tech, don’t just get it for the brand. Use a bit of background knowledge to choose what’s actually most useful for you. If you’re not a techie, that’s not a biggie — ask people who know more than you. And choose tech that’s most convenient and practical in your life.
And know what all the functions are and how to use it. Don’t be that person who paid a grand for a Mac but hardly knows any of the functions on it. If you do that, you may as well have got a bottom-of-range laptop and saved a load of money. Money you could have spent on one of the other things on this list. Or you could have been really smart and invested it.
Live in a Home That Inspires You
Can anybody really say their life is one of fine living if they don’t feel great just spending time at home? It’s where we spend the most time. So it should be somewhere where it’s easy to work and relax — somewhere that inspires you visually — and where you feel a sense of calm. And better still, where you feel lucky to live.
So make your home a place where you feel great. You don’t have to have loads of money to do this. You do need to take some time to arrange things in a way that’s visually attractive, as well as well-organized and practical.
For decor to inspire you and get your creative juices flowing when needed, go for a few statement pieces. That could be art, and it could be things you’ve picked up on your travels. If you have some artistic flare, it could include some of your own creations. To help you relax, go for a minimalist style, with no clutter and lots of empty spaces, which will help include a state of calm.
Look After Your Health — and Feel Great
And finally, can you really enjoy fine living if you’re not feeling great? Your best self all the time? Waking up in the morning and feeling great with the body you’re in, knowing that it’s equipped to get you through whatever the day will throw at you. This is key to quality of life. So make sure you look after your health.
That means — know what healthy food is, and get a good, balanced intake of it. Do regular exercise. Don’t skip medical and dental check-ups. Have a good balance of work and things you enjoy outside of work. And be well-rested. And if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll never feel your best. Look after all of these things, and you’ll be on top form — maybe not all of the time, but a lot of it.
We hope this article has given you some new ideas of what fine living is all about, and that you’ve managed to get some inspiration from it. So our question is, which idea has inspired you the most?