As I’m typing this, my limbs are cold and it’s past midnight, alone. Here I am, my first night in Busan, South Korea. (That was 2 nights ago ^^….and I’m now spending my first night in Fukuoka, Japan)
HAPPINESS. What a big word. A single word yet with endless subjective definitions.
During my toddler days, I vividly recalled (yes believe me) staring at the mirror and asking myself why am I here. What a surreal feeling. But that slowly translated to finding the meaning of Life and the pursue of Happiness as I grew older.
During my diploma days, I boldly chose Happiness as the topic of my Final Year Project and you guess it, I failed terribly, hahaha.
And so fast forward, as I progress in my life; did my bachelor, became a working adult. From there, I started to travel more frequently and even went to Bhutan, the happiest place on Earth! Being a well traveller, I started to come to a realisation about the meaning of happiness (through travelling).
But first, before any realisations…..
Yes, it’s that one click; that sudden motor reaction, especially when you saw that discounted price tag of the flight tickets. If you have done this before, congratulations!
You are on your way to the path of Happiness.
Challenge yourself, expand your limits
When it comes to travel, I believe you would like to experience something different from your home, right? Be it experiencing new attractions, sceneries, different seasons (hell yes for Singaporeans!), new activities, cultures, etc. Give it a try and count this in your memorable experience collection.
Communication to a new level
Well, this depends on where you go but why not try places which you are unfamiliar with? Especially language?
Okay, looking at how advanced Google translate has become, this is not a hard feat anymore but my point is, try learning some new languages or commonly-used phrases when it comes to communicating with the natives. Though English is considered a global language but you will be surprised that not everyone understand and speaks English.
Having stayed in South Korea for 3 months for language study, I’m surprised that more than half of the Koreans I have met do not understand English or speaks little English. So this kinds of forced me to learn and use korean language to communicate. A good way to practise my weak broken korean.
Once overseas, you are all alone now. With smartphones and wifi, travelling is not that hard anymore. It wasn’t until now that you are totally in survivor mode, busy ensuring all important documents kept with you at all costs; trying to navigate your way to various locations / attractions; planning out your itinerary to ensure you cover the trip’s worth.
Immerse in the new culture
Stepped into the shoes of a local by staying with a host family, trying out real local cuisines and customs or even try wearing the ethnic costume? Make new local friends and exchange thoughts about respective cultures and beliefs. Pick up a new language by learning commonly used phrases and make sure you use them when it comes to ordering food or purchase things or even simply “Hello” or “Thank You”. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself, remember you are in overseas now.
At some point of time during the trip or shortly after, you may be inspired by the whole new experience you have gained so far. You are suddenly inspired by everything you have seen. With the expansion of your global perspectives, new goals and directions may form.
Towards to end of the trip, be it missing your Chicken rice or Char Kuay Tow back home or your loved ones. The coziness of home? The “extremely” convenient transportation? (Well, it’s really convenient back home to be honest). Be thankful of what you have and treasure it. After all Home is truly where you belong.
There you have it. CCCIIIG in summary.
Remember Happiness is not to be pursued, it’s the journey that matters.