Maybe it’s because Valentine’s is right around the corner, or that I’m about to head to Aspen, one of my happy places. Whatever the reason, this month I have happiness on the brain. Yes, happiness is a choice but it’s also putting yourself in the right situations and around the right people. And on that journey, travel is one of the keys.
Happiness on the Brain
Galavante is in the business of happiness. Not only do we write about travel, we actually make it happen for you. It’s our job to plan that dream vacation for you that patches you up, and puts you back on the ice. I think that I speak for the team when I say we’re all pretty darned grateful our job is to also write about hard hitting topics like where Travis Kelce should take Taylor Swift this summer in Europe. There’s no two ways about it; our business at Galavante is focused on one of the most enjoyable aspects of life. And if it looks like we’re having fun over here at Galavante, it’s because we are.
However, as much as I love what we do, I don’t think that’s why I’ve been thinking about happiness lately. Instead I’ve been reflective about my journey to happiness, where travel, no surprise, has played a major role. Everyone has their individual reasons why they travel. There’s of course the vacation to recharge the batteries, because we are all only human. Then there’s the vacation where the kids have time off and you want to do something that they’ll learn from, or even appreciate one day. Or there’s the vacation where you want to see new cultures, eat interesting food and just get a different perspective. You know, explore the world. The beauty is that throughout the course of our lifetimes, travel will mean all of the above, and more than the above.
That Year I Climbed Kilimanjaro
I don’t know if it’s because I’m at that age, but lately I’ve seen a lot of people go through challenging times. Whether it’s with kids, your significant other, health, aging parents, or job, we all go through less than happy periods in our life. I actually think we only really appreciate happiness when we know what tough times feel like. I also think it’s how we handle those bumps that become our defining moments.
One of my tough times in life was when I closed the chapter on a twenty year relationship. Naturally, I handled that situation by taking a trip to Kilimanjaro. Clearly my head was telling me that I needed to work it all out on a 19,341 foot climb to the roof of Africa.
What happened though on that trip was not what I expected, which is the beauty of travel. I met this couple who had been married 38 years and naturally got to know them very well over the course of our 10 days together on the mountain. In the evenings I would hear them bantering like endearing couples do when you’re in life with the right person. I think I cried my eyes out in my tent for the first 4 nights. It wasn’t because I was sad for what ended, but rather for what I realized was never there.
The Super Power of Travel
Which brings me to my point in all this talk about travel, Valentine’s Day and happiness. There is no defined path to happiness and no trip is going to make you all of a sudden happy. But travel does have this super power to help you discover things about yourself and what you want your life to be. This couple gave me so much hope for what happiness and love could look like, and it made me realize that’s what I would want one day for myself. I’m still friends with them today because we all need that type of good energy and inspiration in our life.
Whatever the reason you travel, I hope that it brings you all the happiness in the world.
Christine Drinan, Founder