I handed the hawk back to the guide, as he said, “Wow – you guys are so lucky”
The guy flies hawks for a living (really cool ones), in a stunning forest that surrounds an even more stunning castle in Ireland – and he’s calling us lucky?!?
My husband and I had just finished telling him about our last 6 months and I’ll never forget when he said, “I’d love to just quit my job and travel the world. You two seem so happy.”
And he was right. We were beaming from ear to ear.
I hadn’t really given it much thought, but it was in that moment that it dawned on me…
We were NOT full of happiness because we quit our jobs to travel the world.
Turns out “traveling” wasn’t what gave us the beaming smiles. It was treating each day like there was an adventure waiting to be discovered – whether that was in a camper van in New Zealand, or a small suburb of Los Angeles.
The happiest people are not the ones traveling the world… they are the ones who can find happiness right where they are, no matter where that is.
I discovered that I was never looking for “a trip around the world” – I was looking for adventure, passion, simplicity, culture, and a challenging push.
And here is the kicker… I could have found all of that right around the corner, in my own backyard.
Literally. I used to live next door to “the tiniest bar in San Francisco”, that was its claim to fame. The Black Horse London Pub – http://www.blackhorselondon.com And yes, I went there once or twice – had a beer and then went home. That’s it.
But why did I assume that this pub had less culture and demanded less of my excitement than some other pub on our journeys?
If I had treated that place like I would’ve if it were in Italy or Turkey, I would’ve asked about its history, got to know the bartender, met some of the people there. I would have listened to their stories, learned about their culture, families, struggles, and joys.
I would have savored my time there, thought about what it could teach me and how it might change my life one day.
But I didn’t because it was just the bar next door.
Too often we miss out on what’s right in front of us.
And usually, its because we are day dreaming about the happiness “we could have”… somewhere else… often half way across the globe.
So before you book your own round-the-world ticket, stop for a moment and make sure that what you are looking for isn’t right where you are.
Whether you are looking for the same things I was, or whether you have a whole different set of desires and dreams, I want to propose a challenge.
A challenge to look around you, right where you are, right now and see all of the things in your life with a renewed sense of adventure and discovery.
Oh, and you can still travel the world if you want to, but instead of making the trip to find happiness, you will be able to go and spread the happiness you have already found.
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IMAGE CREDIT: alyssarosenheck.com