Mar 17, 2014

The pursuit of happiness: A collection of "Happy triggers" during travel

Happiness is a recurring theme you come across during long term travel. As you enjoy a combination of "living the dream", ample free time and are surrounded by like minds its an irresistible subject.
When the love ends and you come back to earth it can be difficult readjusting to the daily grind, inevitably you end up revisiting and reassessing how you value happiness.

1) Pharrell Williams: Happy - Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan
2) Time Magazine (July 8, 2013): The Pursuit of Happiness
3) Zen Pencils: #128 Bill Watterson - A cartoonist’s advice
You can find happiness projected everywhere when you have good thoughts. Interestingly my mood at the moment isn't great but Happiness is in the Zeitgeist and its hard to avoid these days. In one day a video of Typhoon Haiyan victims dancing to Pharrell's Chart Topper 'Happy' became viral. I also came across a 'Time Magazine' cover on the Pursuit of Happiness in the library, a Bill Waterson quote on defining happiness was referenced on my favorite podcast.

Factor in the pervasive Billion Dollar Self-Help industry and the barrage of motivational quotes on Social media, you'd be forgiven for being cynical to the sugar rush. When you're in a down mood however its a welcome antidote checking in to happier times to uplift yourself

In the spirit of good vibes I've compiled a collection of Happy Triggers in my travels:
Jacques Henri Lartigue: Why I'm getting a camera
I traveled several months without a camera around Europe. Reading a passage about "trapping" happiness" in an exhibition for French Photographer Henri Lartigue is what convinced me to finally get another one. His dynamic photos capturing people in moments of joy are full of whimsy and magic.

Cave clanning
Being a kid again: Cave Clanning in La Perouse, Sydney
This happy adventure is notable because it happened in Sydney, confirming my bias that good times are a state of mind. You don't need to be in a far off land or look to another time (past or future) to let the good times roll. Its about tapping into a spirit of wonder and finding the awe we once had as kids.

I collected songs that reminded me of moments and feelings which I dubbed as "Songs to be happy to". The triggers ranged from sports and language, to artists I met and anthems amongst friends.

Limerence: Snowboarding, Skating, Surfing, Christmas and Love
Its funny how you come across random concepts that inform your experience moving forward. Watching TV in Portugal, I heard David Brooks mention "Limerence" on Charlie Rose. Months later spending time with people lost in their passion for sport and art we bonded over those shared loves.

Let's Get Real - Episode 2 preview: Pursuit of Happiness
The documentary 'Happy' (2011) first appeared on my radar when it was referenced in the second podcast I recorded. It was a topic dear to my guest as he had been exploring its nature after the passing of his beloved mother.

VIDEO: 'Happy' (2011) trailer

The documentary has been referenced several times on the 'You Made it Weird' podcast with Pete Holmes. I will finally make the effort to watch it and plan to host a screening to watch it alongside others. As they say "Happiness is only real when shared".

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