INA WO(A)NDERS: What does traveling have to do with happiness?
When I was recently visiting Germany, a former work colleague asked me: well, have you finally found happiness on the way? And although I like to describe myself as quick-witted, I had no ready answer to this question.
I've been on the road almost all the time for over five years. My journey began on foot St. James, pushed me to my limits, pushed me to make decisions and finally culminated in a life on a sailboat. 8000 miles and six countries later I still have nowhere to settle. I have a pet but no house. I work to keep myself afloat. And invest lifetime instead of saving money. Brave, some think. Unreasonable, others complain. And, trying to be diplomatic, some say, "As long as it makes you happy..." Does it?
I have undoubtedly experienced many moments of happiness since I have been on the road. When we had an enchanting bay with crystal clear water in Croatia all to ourselves. When the dehydrated and neglected kitten we fished out of the trash in the Peloponnese the day before miraculously survived. When, after many days at sea, we finally had solid ground under our feet again and a large mug of Sicilian ice cream in our hands. When I was in Portugal find balance barefoot and in Syracuse in the middle of a market was allowed to wake up. When during a night trip, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, the starry sky sparkled above me and the luminous algae in our bow wave. When we met old friends at a jetty in a Greek fishing village, who beamed at our lines. And also when I finally came back to Germany after more than a year of pandemic - and experienced how nice it is when everyone is just happy that you are there.
When asked if I've already found happiness along the way, I would answer today: bit by bit. And my lucky bites always come in a different shape. Sometimes it's the incredible beauty of nature that takes my breath away. Then again, it's someone's unconditional kindness that warms my soul. Sometimes it's the exhilarating, adrenaline-pumping feeling of being alive. And sometimes it's just a portion of pistachio ice cream.
In any case, traveling has taught me to savor my lucky morsels extensively.
In any case, traveling has taught me to savor my lucky morsels extensively. Because a quiet magical bay can turn into a rocking witch's cauldron within a few hours. Pandemics can thwart my travel plans. And if I don't make time for my friends today, the wind may have blown us apart again tomorrow.
how do you see it? Do you think traveling makes you happy? I'm always happy to receive your feedback, suggestions and questions - either as a comment or directly by e-mail [email protected].