It seems selfish, and shameful that I should be planning my next wanderlust trip against the backdrop of the headlines from Paris, Baghdad and Beirut. When entire nations are in mourning, what right does one person have to carry on, seemingly unaffected, blithely planning a trip which involves pointless hedonistic activities such as swimming with the dolphins and taking cooking courses by the beach. The enjoyment of food, art, travel, even books for the pleasure of them, seems criminal at worst, petty at best.
I have considered, and in turn, discarded various rationalizations for my wanderlust (and more broadly the other hedonistic desires on my bucket list). Adrenalin it is not – I have learning how to crochet on my list! – nor is it in any way a rather lofty (and roundabout way) to have love and art triumph over evil and violence. I don’t even do it broaden my horizons, or to seek answers to the big questions of life.
To put it simply, I travel/experience because it makes me happy.
To quote Keith Jenkins (via Huffpost)
“I feel happy when I’m gaining new experiences and insights, and challenging my boundaries. Travel is the perfect catalyst for happiness, as it has allowed me to experience the natural, cultural and man-made wonders of the world.”
I believe that if we seek what makes us happy, as long as we don’t it at the expense of others, makes it a life well lived.
“..the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear, whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness…” – Dalai Lama
I am going to be happy as best as I know how to. To experience as many “natural, cultural and man-made wonders of the world’ as I possibly can, without any misplaced sense of guilt, and with shout-out-aloud joy and happiness.