Pleasure: Travel To A Happy Place

We all have one. Some of us have more. Those places, those moments that we take ourselves to, that instil a sense of complete calm. Whether we’re at a bus stop in the pouring rain, or in yet another stressful meeting, travel to a happy place is sometimes, the only thing that keeps us sane.

None of these destinations need passports, transport or money, which is what makes them so wonderful. It’s travel without the hassle, trip-taking without the expense, pleasure without the pain. Let me explain:

Happy place #1

I’m nine years old. It’s a warm August night on the Presqu’île de Giens peninsula. Lying down with my mum and my gran, cool sand cradles my back. It’s almost 3am and I’ve never been allowed up this late. Above us, showers of shooting stars are exploding like fireworks every ten minutes. An intense silence is broken only occasionally by the gasps of others watching the spectacle. The action overhead is happening on a grand scale. It’s larger than the sea beside us. It’s the first time I’m conscious of how impossibly small I am.

Happy place #2

I’m 22. I come around slowly to the gentle lapping of water and the stranger sound of what I recognise as scuttling crabs. My tent is hot as dawn has long been broken in Punta Sal, northern Peru. Coming out into the world I’m tired but happy. As I watch the cool waters of the Pacific drop from the pale pink horizon and hit golden sand, complete calm washes over me. The day ahead holds little of note, but will eventually create vivid memories.

Happy place #3

It’s 2012 and I’m underwater. Looking upwards I pick out the eerie silhouettes of reef sharks in front of strong boat lights. Below and all around me, darkness cloaks the reef. I can only hear my own breathing and feel very distant from the outside world. Movement from my diving companions catches my vision in the light of a single torch beam. Across that same beam, tiny silver slithers of fish dart and dash for safety from larger predators that slip past the skin of my wetsuit. Surprisingly, dread of the unknown beyond my torch is overcome by pure pleasure.

For all the money and time we spend on travel, the purchase of invaluable experience pays us back in dividends. Steadily, we accrue a range of destinations that need no flight, no preparation nor introduction because we are already there. We can always find pleasure in our mind; happy places can alter our mood wherever we are in the world, whatever our situation.

Where is your happy place?

14 thoughts on “Pleasure: Travel To A Happy Place

  1. There are so many wonderful travel memories but one that often comes to me is a place somewhere in north west Ireland. We were travelling with our daughters in 1999, and we stopped at a service station for fuel. We bought ice creams and stood on the side of the road marvelling at the amazing scenery while we ate them. I had this wonderful feeling of “I can’t believe I’m here doing this” – one of the many joys of exploring the world.

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  2. I think it’s great for everyone to have a happy place of their own. Rather than sit on a plane for 9 hours, I can just take a short mental trip to mine, the Big Island of Hawai’i. I spent two weeks in there for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary. We got to explore so many neat places and that was what got me hooked on Hawai’i. Just thinking about it always brings a smile to my face! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for stopping by The Long Way Home Geoffrey! I think that on the grand scale of happy places, Hawai’i must rate pretty highly 🙂 I completely agree with you that everyone should store at least one place that brings them that smile!

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  3. I’ve loved reading about your happy places. Thanks for sharing! I can almost feel the sand against me from you beautiful descriptions.

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  4. I really enjoyed reading your happy moments, it was so well written as if i experienced these moments along the way. Its nice to just stop once in awhile and breath in and really take what’s all around you to for ever remember isn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your very kind compliment and for stopping by here 🙂 Friends tell me I can get too nostalgic, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing! I completely agree – sometimes we just need to stop and take it all in…

      Liked by 1 person

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