What Travel Taught Me About Happiness

by Leif Harum July 19, 2018 3 Comments

Leif Harum

Sometimes happiness feels so elusive. You could be on the most glorious beach witnessing the most awe-inspiring sunset and still feel like garbage.

After 15 years of traveling through over 80 countries, here’s a few realizations that the road has taught me about happiness. Realizations that I all too often forget. 

Realization 1

We aren’t meant to be happy all the time. If we were, we wouldn’t even know the concept of happiness. If we constantly live under the impression that we need to be happy all the time, we’re constantly going to be disappointed when we’re not. 

Realization 2

There’s no drug either natural or man made on earth that will make you happy. I totally know what some of you are thinking, “Weed makes me pretty darn happy.” I know, weed makes me happy too. But the problem is, when the weed wares off, you forget where you put your car keys, or in my case where I put my room key, and you forget where you put the happiness as well. You end up continuously relying on the drug to experience happiness. Is it true happiness?

Realization 3

If you’re not happy in one place, you’re not going to be happy in the next. This is not to say that the suite at the Hyatt won’t make you happy because it chances are it will. But that happiness is fleeting. After 4 days you’ll feel exactly the same as if you were staying at that dump next to the parking lot. Happiness comes from within and nothing in the external world can truly change it.

Realization 4

It’s a lot easier to be happy than it is to be sad. A lot of us struggle under the misconception that contentment is hard to attain. In truth, the hardest part about it, is thinking that it’s hard. It takes much more energy to think negative and keep yourself down than it does to think positive and enjoy happiness. 


None of these ideas are revolutionary. They’re understandings that most all of us know. Unfortunately, they’re easy to forget. With the latest tech from Apple dangled on sticks in front of our screen glazed eyes, we equate happiness with the material. We get stuck in routines and form negative habits that become so ingrained that it’s difficult to see the light. That's why it is important to reflect often, and continue to strive towards greater understanding of ourselves and the true nature of our reality.

Leif Harum
Leif Harum |


3 Responses

Jason McMullen
Jason McMullen

July 04, 2019

My dad Michael McMullen (his comment is below) was a backpack Buddha ambassador. He was a life-long champion of peace and love, and he loved backback Buddha so much. My dad passed away (passed on) recently and it has been so hard for me and my brother but he loved everyone so much, he loved to joke, and it makes me happy to see his comment. He also found great enlightenment in traveling, and his trips to Europe in the 60’s certainly changed his life forever.

Linda Daniels
Linda Daniels

February 18, 2019

The children’s coloring book looks very nice. Would you consider an Adult Coloring Book also? Coloring is such a good meditative tool..I color to relax and help let go of stress.

Michael mcmullen
Michael mcmullen

January 05, 2019

Disappointed ( haha), Thought each paragraph would have started, “right thought creates the following:”
Just playing with you!✌️

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