Happiness is Not a Destination
I stumbled upon a sign the other day at a local festival that really caught my eye and hit home in a new way. We’ve all heart the quote, “happiness in not a destination, it’s a way of life“, but when I saw it written on that distressed wooden slab I couldn’t help but nod my head and whisper to myself, yes! But how many of us realize just how true it really is? In this crazy life and time many people work hard to earn as much money as they can thinking, ‘money will buy me happiness’. But can it? Others don’t make as much money and think ‘if only I could just have more money to buy this or do that, I’d be happy.’ Even some travelers think ‘if I could just go to such and such a place I’d be happy.’ And like the saying goes happiness is not a destination to arrive at or something to be bought or an if only, it’s a state of mind, a way of life.
I recently did a post answering questions about me and my travels for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award as well as a podcast interview about solo travel and I realized there is a big part of me that you don’t know about. I’ve struggled my whole life with depression, anxiety and bi-polar. That’s a hard pill to swallow, literally and figuratively, lol. My friends and family know I’m not shy or embarrassed about it or about sharing my story and I’ve always been a strong supporter of creating awareness about mental illness in hopes to break the stigma that surrounds it. Why have I never written about this before? The simple answer is it was never relevant until now.
After a culmination of many factors – taking on my biggest epic journey yet, travelling 3 months solo through Europe and the UK, having conflicting thoughts on returning home, seeing that sign and just participating in a walk to raise funds for local youth struggling with mental illness, I realized just how far I’d come. From that scared girl who lived in fear and was afraid to live life essentially, to the strong, confident, globetrotting woman I am today who lives life not without fear but in the face of it. And I realized I want to help inspire people to live their life out loud, unapologetically and follow their dreams. It’s true, travel has changed my life! It’s helped me to see not only the world and other people in a new light but also myself. But I won’t say travel has made me happy. Why? Because I believe happiness is a choice, it’s a constant decision you make every moment of every day, no matter if you’re out traveling the world or working a 9 to 5 job or raising a family. Happiness is there for the taking in even the mundane, from driving by a field of sunflowers on your way to work to getting up early on a weekend to see a beautiful sunrise whether you’re at home or halfway across the globe. Happiness is just waiting for you to grab a hold and scream with laughter, dance in the streets and stop and reflect on all you have to be grateful for. Life is full of happiness if you just choose to open your eyes, your mind and your heart to see it.
Life is too short to live in fear and let it control your decisions. Do you want to get away for the weekend, explore more of your province, state or country, but are nervous and afraid to go alone? Push yourself in stages, take small steps and you’ll see just how far you can really go and you’ll learn just how strong you really are. If I can – you can too!