I thought a lot about the question what it means „to be happy“ and what happiness really means to me. Aristoteles for example wrote a book about exactly that feeling of happiness and called it „Eudaimonia“. In this he states: Happiness is „the absolute and self-sufficient asset and the ultimate goal of (human) action“. So, basically everyone is responsable for their own happinness. In German „Glück“ means both „happiness“ and „luck“, which is pretty confusing because sometimes you cannot tell which one is meant. However this mixture of „happiness“ and „luck“ is also interesting as happiness has also a lot do with decisions. So is it luck or decisions that define our happiness? Platon states that the human being can only be happy when the soul, the reason, the will and the desire are in balance. So you’ll have to be aware of what makes you happy.
Heavens, I gotta change my life!
Almost two years ago I reached exactly that point and had to decide on my own if I was happy or not. And if I can say something today with complete certainty then the answer was: no, I wasn’t. Since I was able to think I always wanted to have a nice job and I wanted to aspire a great career, which I actually did then. I didn’t have any problems with a 70-hour-week and I really enjoyed the feeling of being able to buy some treats. I had a really beautiful flat and a nice BMW in front of the door. One of my hobbies was shopping and I spent a fortune on handbags. I reached my goals and should’ve been happy back then. I mean, the life that I lead was really not bad.
The problem was just that I wasn’t! Every now and then I started to question myself: What the hell are you doing here? Is this really what you want? Sure, I was happy when I bought a new bag or came home with a new pair of shoes but how long does this happiness last? And what did I sacrifice for it? I was 29 back then when I realises that what I was doing was not the life that makes me happy. Heavens! You can probably imagine how depressed I was when I discovered that and I had to think of Aristoteles’ words. I have to do something myself in order for me to be happy.
Full steam ahead to happiness
It’s already been a few weeks that I was thinking about travelling around the world, just escaping and being free, discovering the world and being completely happy. But remember what Platon said: the soul, the reasen, the will and the desire have to be in balance. So I started thinking about what I wanted. My soul said yes, I wanna go out into the world. My will and desire agreed, I wanted to change something in my life. Just the reason was the part that raised doubts. What will my boyfriend say? Would he come with me? Would he also give up everything? Am I ready to give up everything? And is this really what would make me happy?
And what should I say – he was ready to give up everything. He wanted to start a new life with me and to build up a happy future together. So my reason was satisfied and we could start travelling. Of course there were a lot of decisions to make. What are we going to do with our flat, with our jobs and how long did we want to travel? The answers were clear! We wanted to travel as long as possible and really be free. So we just sold everything we had, gave up our flat and quit all our contracts. How did it feel? With every item that left our flat, a little bit of freedom settled into us. Were we scared or did we have a bad feeling about it? Not, not even a second. We felt that this was the right thing to do and I believe that at this point we were already super happy about having taken the decision :-).
Did we find happiness on our travels?
I’m sitting in Bangkok with my Mac right now and if I can say on thing with certainty then that we are really incredibly happy. We’ve been travelling for seven months now and our trip is by far not over yet. We found a way to be happy. At the moment I couldn’t think of anything better. I cannot tell how long this is going to make us happy or if sometime we’re facing a crotch again and the arrow to happiness is pointing in another direction. But we know one thing for sure: we wanna be happy in our lives and go the way in which our soul, our reason, our will and our desire are in balance. It is our personal way to hayppiness.