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Travel happiness

Travel and the pursuit of happiness

by Emiel Van Den Boomen

“I want to have a pony!”
Right. Ask every cute little girl what she wants after her parents won the Powerball lottery and they will throw in a pony (or at least a pet dog).

There they were, the Missouri couple who just won around USD 272 million in the Powerball lottery.

Travel happiness

Ask anyone (expect little girls) who won a big sum of money about what they want to do with the money and they will answer: travel.

“We want to travel!”

These people just won an incredibly huge sum of money and immediately they longing to escape and go away: let’s travel.

Probably they believe that traveling will further increase their sense of happiness. Because travel is all about being happy and having fun, right?

I don’t know.
What’s better: a pony or traveling?

With a pony comes a lot of …well, you know what. I mean, cleaning the stables is not always fun.
Same goes for traveling by the way. Sitting in an uncomfortable chair in a train for 7 hours is not always fun.

But we take the nasty stuff for granted in our pursuit for the ultimate sense of happiness.


The attraction of the word ‘travel’ is escapism. When you say travel, people start romanticizing about magical destinations. Yes, travel can be the gateway to escapism. But it’s also a mirror, showing you how things could have been when you were not chained to daily routines and commitments.

The return back home after a period of travel is like looking straight into that mirror. After weeks (or months) of freedom and unlimited ideas, the meandering stream of daily routines back home will pick you up again.

Still the main question in this post is not answered satisfactory.
What’s better: a pony or traveling?
For me it’s traveling of course. And yes, I am aware of the danger of returning home and being caught up again by the regular things.

Luckily there are ways of turning this around. And no, it’s not getting your daughter a pony. It’s about traveling more consciously.

Traveling more consciously

Traveling is not considered to be just a one-time-a-year event: lying on the beach, eating and drinking. On the contrary, it should constantly be on your mind, as a route to enrichment. Travel is a teacher, a discoverer and an entertainer at the same time. As long as you see travel as a way to enrich yourself, the options are unlimited.

Travel enrichment can be found far away on the other side of the globe when being overwhelmed by a fascinating religious ritual in a wooden temple. It can also be found in your own backyard, where you will find illuminating places just around the corner.

Slow travel. Conscious travel. Just give it a name. As long as you remember that travel can bring you happiness as long as you know why you travel.

But hey, maybe in the end riding a pony on the road called travel is the ultimate happiness after all.

What’s it like for you? Is traveling part of your pursuit of happiness?

Travel and happiness

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Anneke de Bundel December 16, 2012 - 21:58

If I were to choose I’d go for the travel by pony:) Nice article.

Emiel van den Boomen December 21, 2012 - 10:38

Thank you Anneke. We always have a choice, don’t we?


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