Luxury is in the eye of the beholder

When I was in Beijing, I met with a well known VC. She retired from her work in the US and now lives in China managing a fund. During our conversation about investing in start ups, she said something that really stood out to me. She said,

“I live in luxury now. I don’t have to spend time with people i don’t like. I have complete freedom to chose who I spend my time with.”

Then I went to rural western Hunan. I was chatting with a farmer in a super rural and economically poor village in the mountains. We were in the middle of a conversation about how much money her kids (who are migrants in shenzhen) send to her every month and how she spends the money. I asked her if she had plans to move to the city when she’s older. She replied,

“I have complete freedom here to spend my time as I wish. If i want to farm, I farm, If i want to see my neighbors, i see them. I dont have to be around people i don’t like. I’m so free here, I will never move.”

I thought it was incredible how both the VC and farmer defined luxury. What’s your definition of luxury? 

(Side note - just earlier during the convo the farmer— a 50 yr old female—has to cook 2 meals a day for husband & others. She was complaining how the males won’t even stand up to get chopsticks - she has to deliver it to them!).