The Pursuit of Travel Happiness

Finding the elusive key to perpetual good times on the road.

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

In travel, we find ourselves in a different reality. It gives us the perspective that changes our psychology.

We’re thrust into situations we’re not always comfortable with and forced to adapt. It’s a sink-or-float lifestyle.

Because of that, we find ourselves living a different life day-in and day-out. The feeling can be exhilarating.

Every day, when I wake up on the road, is something new. I could wake up in a different bed, in a different state, in a different country, or in a different hemisphere.

And what I do to entertain myself during the day is never routine, either. There is limitless potential for our days spent traveling.

It’s the thrill in searching for ‘newness’ — the unknown — that we find happiness on the road.

What do we crave about travel?

Is it the 5-star luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts? For most like me, it’s not. It’s the opportunity to immerse ourselves in a life unknown to us.

On the road, we meet people and see things unplanned and even unknown to us when we woke up that morning.

As travelers — as young budget travelers in particular — we seek adventures that keep us on our edge. We don’t leave our hometowns looking for comfort in places we have never been. If we did, we would save travel for when we are senior citizens. While we are young, we yearn for the travel stories you can’t get sitting poolside at a five-star resort.

We lust for mishaps and conflict that we don’t know we are in need of until everything starts feeling too easy.

The times we get forced out of our comfort zone are the times that we grow on the road. We’re problem-solvers who are looking for something to throw us off course.

Photo by Rohan Reddy on Unsplash

At the time, the conflicts may be a pain in the ass. But when we get home, those are the stories we repeatedly tell our friends and family. The stories of hardship. The stories we can boast about our worth as travelers.

Like that one time, we spent a night under a bridge in Cambridge because hostels were all booked. Or the time our Passport got stolen from the storage locker in the Dusseldorf train station. Even the time in Malta when we got scammed out of a large sum of money by a landlord who didn’t exist.

Those are the stories we can prove ourselves as travelers.

Many times, we end up in situations as a test to our character. As perpetual travelers, these are trying times — especially when faced alone. But nothing is too hard to overcome and, most of the time, it is a simple case of ‘mind over matter’.

The situations that break us down on the road are the ones we look back on forever. And, in some twisted way, these are the instances that bring us happiness later on.

The troubling times become our pursuit. A drug of sorts. Our route to travel happiness.

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