What?! Yes, you read that right. Travel will not make you happy.
If you think you will be happy once you save up enough or your circumstances change to enable you to travel more…you are wrong. Yes, going on a trip is great. It’s fun, and it can make you happy for a while. But, inevitably, all trips must come to an end. Then you are back home, living your life, going to work or school or taking care of the kids or doing whatever it is you do. The happiness that comes from travel is short lived.
True happiness lies in being content in your life. Right now. Exactly how it is at the present moment in time.
It’s simple but not necessarily easy to achieve.
I recently saw a video run across my Facebook feed that I shared on my Facebook page. The man had a simple message. Be happy with your life right now. Enjoy your abundance, and figure out if you can change the things you don’t like. If not, learn to accept them. I am not a religious person, but I did endure 4 years of Catholic High School. I had to learn the Serenity Prayer at some point in school. As a teen I didn’t pay any attention to it (as most teens tend to not be deep thinkers), but now as an adult, it has a ring of wisdom to it:
Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
I think this really helps boil down the subject of how to achieve happiness to a simple level. Just accept what your life is right now.
I love going on vacation (shocker, I know)…but I also love being home.
At the end of our recent family vacation to the Dominican Republic, we were all asking each other that “end of vacation” question: “Are you ready to go home?” My answer is always yes. Being on vacation is great, but there are lots of great things at home too. Learn to appreciate those “small” or “mundane” things and you will be feeling all zen in no time.
I love petting my cats, waking up in my own bed, being totally unpacked, the sounds I can hear with my bedroom window open at night, taking my daughter to a playgroup, writing at my computer, enjoying the art on my walls…these are all “little” things that I take the time to appreciate everyday.
I’m Not Sunshine And Rainbows All The Time
Don’t worry, I’m not going all Buddhist Monk on you! I still struggle with this simple concept
sometimes. I am not always stress free and I don’t always appreciate things like I should because…I’m not perfect. I may or may not have wanted to gouge my eyes out at my daughter’s Mickey Mouse themed craft class this morning. And I yell at all of the stupid drivers on the road.
But, I try. I try to appreciate every day. I try to just be content with whatever is happening that day, no matter where I am. It’s a journey, people, not a destination.
Travel Will Not Make You Happy
So, really, it’s simple. Focus on the here and now. Change what you can and learn to accept what you can’t. Just be content. Happiness will find you.
And just because travel doesn’t make you happy doesn’t mean it’s not a wonderful thing! Go ahead and take that vacation (It’s a great idea and can help with stress levels), but don’t expect to be a different person when you return. Enjoy the hell out of every trip you take, but be content to return to your everyday life.
Be Like Pete
All of this talk about being happy with where you are reminds me of one of my favorite children’s books, Pete The Cat – I Love My White Shoes. Pete loves his white shoes, but has some unfortunate run ins with piles of strawberries, blueberries, mud and water which leave his shoes red, blue, brown and wet!
“The moral of Pete’s story is: No matter what you step in keep walking along and singing your song… Because it’s all good.”