The theme of future posts will be the connection of traveling and happiness. What does it mean to be “happy”? How does traveling help me gain a better appreciation for true happiness? I’m going to start with the first question. To me happiness is the satisfaction of not only who you are on the outside but more importantly the inside. The everyday internal dialog that determines not only how we feel about the world but how we interact with it. Now most people would have you believe happiness is achieved by nice things such as cars, houses, and expensive trips. Now to me that is an empty happiness without fulfillment. Objects will fad in time and the wanting of the newest things will never be satisfied. Expensive trips are usually meant for bragging and not for internal growth. When I say expensive trips I mean staying at the five star hotels. Eating only what you’re used to and never interacting with locals unless you have to. The happiness I’m referring is what starts internal then makes its way to the external. It comes from your heart and that is something you must always follow to stay on course. Now that can be many things. It really doesn’t matter what that is as long as you find it truly fulfilling and not hurting those around you. True happiness never comes from the pain of our world. This means being truly excited not only for what you’re doing but what everyone around you is doing. Never being jealous of others and more importantly letting go of all the small things around you. This includes everything from objects to what others say. If it’s not going to help you get better then it doesn’t matter. So now that I’ve defined what being truly happy is, I’ll go into what my first trip has to do with it.
When I first started traveling, I was at a different place in life. I wanted to be financially rich with the nicest things. Buying a house and working a nine to five was a must. I also had internal hate for a few people. Even though the list was very small, having hate for one person is one person too many. I wont understand that one for a few more years. Now I didn’t consider myself a sad or an angry person. Most people who knew me back then probably just didn’t think much of me to be honest. Anyway, I will never forget when the seed was planted regarding what being happy was. I was coming from New Zealand just doing some volunteer work after going through a little drama in that group. Fiji was an interesting place. The people there were going through their own issues. An internal revolution was happening. We got to the hotel/ large huts where we were staying in and partied for a couple of days. It was day three I believe that we took a boat out to one of the smaller islands to see a local village. Little did I know we would be interacting with one of the elementary schools there. Once on the school site they separated us into classes where we would entertain the kids. I was picked to be in the youngest class. A few moments latter I found myself in front of a class of young faces looking at me as I was picked to lead the group. I of course had no idea what to do. So I started to think of and play games like heads up 7 up. After the kids got board someone in my group thought it might be good to take the kids outside. We all then went outside and played duck, duck, goose and freeze tag. It was during freeze tag when we were running around that I noticed how much fun the kids were having. No smart phones, ipads, and tvs. It then dawned on me just how happy these kids were without much of anything. I then looked at the teachers and other villagers and noticed the same thing. So how can people who don’t have many things be happier than someone who has it all? This moment would be the seed that would grow into the building blocks of what being truly happy meant. Then finding ways to live a life that follows the heart. This is the first of many stories about how traveling helped me live a truly happy life. I hope this post helps you in your journey.