Happiness Resources: Travel Makes You Happier
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. ~ Martin Buber
I have been actively writing about happiness for almost six years now. My work here at the Ministry of Happiness is both a giving and selfish activity. Hopefully the things I uncover and write about help you live a happier life. In return I find out more about being happy and the act of giving makes me even happier.
Part of what I have to do to have any legitimacy in this effort is to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk. So about 14 months ago I did just that, I quite my job, sold my house and hit the road to follow some of my passions. I’m a huge proponent of the idea that you don’t get happier just by sitting around thinking about it, but by actually taking action. I’m also a huge advocate for the idea that you need to stretch yourself, and one great way to do that is through travel and particular adventure travel.
So for tonight’s resources post, some ideas about just how to do this. I’m including some of my personal ideas as well as some links out to other posts and sites. Enjoy, go travel, stretch yourself and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane
Often when people speak of travel and adventure people’s minds automatically go to big and often expensive adventures. The truth is there are so many ways to travel and have small adventures in your neighborhood and back yard.
- Take a hike in the nearest bit of woods, forest or fields near your home. If there are trails and enough distance for a bit of a hike great, but even better get off the trail and do some exploring. Look at the small things, ants to me are the most amazing creatures in the world. Find some ants and watch them, follow them back to their ant hill. Look for fungi, you’d be amazed at the variety of fungi that exist, the picture below is one I encountered this year on the Appalachian Trail.
2. Take a night hike someplace you’re very familiar with, it’s incredible how different things are at night. A short night hike is a wonderful experience, at night things take on a different appearance, your nerves are a bit on edge because of the darkness and sounds that you can’t identify. Definitely a way to explore and stretch yourself without going very far, you may also see some critters you didn’t know lived there.
3. Go to Google or Trip Advisor and type in things to do in your particular town. It’s amazing how often tourists come to our home town to do or see something we didn’t even know was there.
4. Try something absolutely new, it could be the Ethiopian restaurant you drive by every day. Maybe you’ve never had a manicure or a massage, perhaps a little acupuncture? Try something new just for the experience
A LITTLE BIT BIGGER
1. Many of us hike or bike but few of us have ever done a multi-day trip. So do one, you don’t have to go far or even exert yourself very much. There are plenty of places where you could hike a day out, spend the night at a Bed & Breakfast and hike back. The same goes for bicycling as well. Brunch is really, really good after a few miles on a bike.
2. Again, using the web, google adventure for your area, are there ropes courses, white water rafting, Renaissance Fairs or other festivals going on near you that you never knew about. Well go give them a try to don’t be a spectator. If you go to a particular type of fair or even a comic book festival don’t just go and gawk, participate. Go in costume, do some dancing, go to a theme party be part of the experience and you’ll enjoy it so much more.
3. The beauty of digital cameras is that you can take and display photos with little or no cost because you already have the camera or a phone, and a computer to display them on. So set up a weekend to do a local photo safari. Go to places where you might get great shots, local churches and cemeteries, anyplace with water including rivers, streams, lakes. Find out where you can spot dear and go and try to get some good pictures. Stalk your bird or humming-bird feeder. Have three or four people go to different places, get together, make dinner and show off your pictures. You don’t need to be a great photographer to do something like this and I bet your surprise yourself with some great shots. But this will get you to explore places you might not have gone before.
4. This one’s an easy one, take a class. I’m not talking a full semester college class but a local community education course. You can find them everywhere from free to very expensive. Your local community college, community center, coop grocery stores, community organizations, garden stores and even your local power company and other utilities sometimes offer courses. Learning is a great way to stretch yourself, meet new people and develop a new skill.
Ok at this level we’re talking big bucket list sort of things, hiking the Appalachian Trail, photographing Polar Bears in the Arctic, hiking to Base Camp on Mount Everest, bicycling around Ireland, walking across Scotland. I’ve done all of those, here’s a few I’d like to do.
- A national park tour, pick a part of the country and spend a couple of weeks spending a couple of days at a time visiting the national parks in that area.
2. A photo safari in Africa and if you don’t want to go to Africa and do something even more intense Natural Habitats runs an amazing Grizzly Bear experience. I know the guide, the trip would be beyond amazing.
3. Take a week near the end of winter and fly up to Fairbanks, Alaska and stay at a hot springs resort and watch the Northern Lights.
4. Hit a bucket list level festival, I posted a list of bucket list festivals that has them all.
At the end of the day my friends, it’s about getting out there, trying something, learning about the world and enjoying life as much as possible. Hopefully this post will inspire you to do a little bit of that and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane