*This post was compiled before we even set off on our Australia trip, but everything within it, remains truer than ever, in our new nomadic life!*
Happy feelings. Emotions. Tears of joy, laughter. These brief reactions, that we try to wrap ourselves up in like a warm blanket.
Sitting on sun-baked rock with sea lapping at my feet, I feel peaceful, calm, and at one with the world. Nothing bad can happen to me, no bad thought will pass through me, no sadness will take away that peace; not in the moment, in that feeling.
Happiness to me means to travel. And I think it makes me happier than I have ever been. But I haven't always been as interested in it, and thats because I didn't realize how awesome it is for the soul.
So do you fancy being happier? I prescribe travel, read instructions below for how to take this medicine.
I like to think that pure, beautiful and calming experiences (like looking at the view above) can be a part of everyday life; hence why I want to spend as long as possible travelling, so I can feel amazement and wonder all over the world, for weeks on end.
Why I ask, should the majority of our time be spent in a hamster wheel, on a never-ending treadmill, trying to keep up with boring chores, work, bills, car problems, when all they make us feel is bad.
Some say it is how you choose to THINK about a situation, that makes it easier to cope with, meaning in essence, you can enjoy all life's moments, even sitting on a supermarket checkout for 9 hours a day (I speak from experience).
So these people would say happiness is down to how we think about a situation, not how it actually is.
It's how we CHOOSE to LOOK at things even if our immediate reaction is negative. But I am going to be controversial here, by calling bullshit.
Positive thinking is great for the short-term, e.g. a traffic jam at the beginning of a holiday, is short-term pain on a journey to somewhere nice. But in terms of your whole life, really, thinking positively is just a short-cut to momentary happiness, not true lifelong fulfilment. It is polishing a turd to put it bluntly.
Don't get me wrong, positive thinking will help you through many a scenario, but I'd rather not just settle for all the stuff which makes me unhappy by plastering a smile and thinking, 'Could be worse'; you get ONE life, not multiple in which you perfect things. Just the one, folks.
Everybody finds joy in different activities; some people break up the monotony of their jobs with hobbies like dancing, knitting, cooking, reading etc.
These are all obviously great, promoting relaxation, establishing a balance which is essential for a happy life. But sometimes we live FOR these moments, waiting for them, not quite enjoying the thing which takes up most of our hours, our week, month, year, life.
Even doing dog-walking (I have my own small pet-care business) thus working on my own terms, still interferes with happy feelings of relaxation and oneness. So even in a job I have designed for myself, I still get stressed and occasionally miserable. Maybe that's because I live intensely off of my immediate feelings and reactions to a situation (which is one reason why I love to travel, cause I let the rush take over).
Maybe I'm guilty of not accepting that life is made up of dark and light, sad and happy; it can't always be fun or exciting or peaceful, can it?
Of course, people have good and bad days. We argue bitterly with our spouse one minute, and are cuddling the next.
And then there are times where our life is not within our control and things spiral; a sick relative, a job loss, a break-up.
Then we have those experiences we have gone out looking for, such as sitting on a bench looking out to sea, with no real purpose, just enjoying the inner quiet such a thing can cause.
So that is my argument as to why travel will make you a happier person.
Happiness is an intangible thing but it is predominantly defined by our feelings; it is our direct response to our surroundings and circumstances.
If we decide to change things up, alter our surroundings, then surely we encourage pure happiness, without using the mantra of 'positive thinking' for our whole entire situation, just to get by.
All I know and hold true, is how nothing (not even chocolate or hugs or puppies) can make me feel quite so amazing as when I am visiting somewhere beautiful or different and simply allow myself to revel in it.
Maybe you get that feeling when you do one your hobbies. Maybe it's just a hobby for me, enjoying the world in its all its natural beauty. So yeah, you say, it makes sense that travel would make us at Nomad'erHowFar happy, we feel happy whenever we do it! But why would travel make you happy, you question.
The simple act of sitting on a cliff edge marvelling at the blueness of the sea, is us deciding to look out into the world, thus not look at our reflection, our mobile phone, our problems; we are no longer looking into ourselves.
We are not listing our insecurities and feeding our inner turmoil until it overwhelms us. We are not counting the bad things we have experienced, or crying over the past. We aren't lamenting the horridness and ugliness rife in society. Often the most depressed of people are those who live inside their own heads, never ever looking outwards.
Then there's those who choose a life of being less inward; one example might be those who do international charity work, travelling to help others, getting to see the world; this is certainly something I want to do. These people are taking in the bigger picture, widening the scope, zooming out; the ability to step outside of ones self, whether it be taking in a view, or working for UNICEF (the spectrum is broad) would seem a key ingredient for finding lasting inner peace.
Travel is a perfect mixture of experiencing the world and everyone/everything in it, learning of different cultures or people, enjoying natures beauty; all things which take you OUTSIDE, but make you FEEL happy on the INSIDE :)
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at NomaderHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers.