So many factors go into happiness. Some consider happiness a journey. Others consider it an attitude. It’s a state of mind. It’s a feeling. It’s being in the arms of the one you love. It’s a mud covered smile of a child exhausted from playing outside. It’s the overwhelming joy that comes from knowing you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.
For me, it’s a balance of all the parts of life that make it full. A good relationship with my husband and family. Work that gives me purpose and stimulates my mind and uses my talents. Working out and feeling healthy and fit. A comfortable home. Meaningful friendships. And travel.
Travel makes up such a big portion of my happiness because in many ways it supports a number of these facets. There are even whole articles written about how good travel is for your health, and Will and I have talked numerous times about how good it is for our relationship.
When we lived in South Dakota, although large trips were fewer and farther between, we filled our weekends with small getaways. We made it our goal to explore every surrounding town, visiting every tourist attraction (even the dinky ones), fishing every stream (even some that didn’t house a single fish), and making the most of our time at that assignment. It made every weekend seem like a mini vacation and it was so, so good for our souls.
Our time overseas was filled with travel on a much larger scale, but now that we are back in our hometown and large scale travel is on hold for a bit, we are itching to get back to the those South Dakota mini travel weekends.
My 32nd birthday is coming up in a few weeks and my sweet husband has surprised me with a night in Hot Springs. Just us adults. Just a tiny cabin that is probably way overdue for an update. Just a town a few miles down the road with possibly overhyped hot mineral baths, but a whole lot of soul feeding I’m looking forward to. We’re hoping it’s like Spearfish was for us back in South Dakota. We’re hoping it’s a breath of fresh air, a little time off from being parents and homeowners, and perhaps a chance to rediscover ourselves again. And that very thing is why travel means so much to me. It is in the places farthest from all the things I know that I get to find myself again, or to learn about myself a little more.
We’ve been back just shy of a year and it’s way past time to put down the tools and pick up our backpacks and suitcases and get out and see this beautiful area that called us back here to begin with. Who’s with me??