9 travel pick-me-ups: a fast track to happiness on the road
Of course travelling is an investment in yourself, but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, there are the stresses no one talks about – missing a flight, having disagreement with a friend, eating something that disagrees with you, saying a difficult goodbye.
If you’re feeling like the world is getting you down, we’ve collected a few tried and tested remedies for the perfect happiness recipe, on-the-go:
It may have a few adverse effects too if you drink a gallon a day, but coffee in moderation will offer an instant dose of glee. Caffeine, antioxidants, and the releasing of chemicals like serotonin are just a few ways coffee has been linked to making us happier.
HI tip: Be an ethical coffee drinker by drinking Fairtrade, or look out for a whole host of independent certifications which show whether a coffee meets environmental standards and pays the farmer a fair price.
A bit of yoga
The ancient Indian practice of Yoga is a great way to connect your mind and body – the perfect combination of physical activity through stretching away your sorrows, and meditating to clear your mind of any troubles. You might have lost your passport, but you’ve got that lotus position nailed.
HI tip: Toronto is a city with all the goods when it comes to chill out vibes; check out this list of yoga classes on a budget throughout the city.
A dose of dancing
Whether you’re trying a spot of Flamenco in Spain, busting out some Capoeira in Brazil or trying (and failing) to twerk in an LA dive bar, dancing releases endorphins, makes us feel better, and is a great form of expression – so let loose and take time out to bust some moves, wherever you are.
A generous slice of volunteerism
Giving back can be one of the most rewarding things you can do, and whilst you’re on the road there are countless opportunities to take care of the world, stay eco-savvy and help local communities, whilst improving your mood many times over.
HI tip: have a look at our Say HI to a better world Tripbook for some ideas on how to travel with care and make a meaningful impact.
A couple of chocolates
Small quantities of an amino acid called tryptophan are found in chocolate, used by the brain to make serotonin, which produces feelings of happiness. Chocolate is good for you – science says so, especially dark chocolate.
HI tip: more an internationally known fact, if chocolate is your main source of happiness, head to Belgium. Family recipes have been handed down through generations, and you’ll find your ultimate source of joy at one of many tiny independent chocolatiers, with true passion for the age-old craft.
A breath of fresh air
The world beckons, and that means the great outdoors. Being confined to four walls for an extended period of time is a depressing business – that’s why we seek to explore, so whether you’re hiking, taking a walk, cycling or soaking up the sunshine, being closer to nature will boost your spirits and help you de-stress.
A whole bunch of laughter
Humour is infectious, and the sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than a sniffle or a bad mood.
HI tip: It takes a special kind of travel partner to have you in fits when you’re feeling down: someone who you can be stranded at a bus stop in the back of beyond with, with no real idea of where you’re going, and still have a good giggle.
Everyone needs a hug sometimes. Hug for joy, hug for sadness, hug because this is the most amazing experience ever. Free hugs for everyone!
Visit one of the happiest countries on earth
There are many happiness surveys around the world and as many different ways of measuring happiness. In 2015, the countries to watch in terms of quality of living measured by health, public policy, economics and psychology, are Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada – so soak up some positivity from a few of these nations.