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Fun & Recreation

Happy Journal – A Town Full Of Hippies?

By 04/06/2014 Contribution & Spirituality, Fun & Recreation, Happiness, Journal, Uncategorized

Our next destination was Charleston, South Carolina, but we wanted to split the 8 hour drive and make a pitstop in Asheville, North Carolina. Once we arrived around afternoon time, we saw what was a clean, hippie, artistic community. There were art galleries, gluten-free restaurants, cafes called The Green Sage, and alternative looking clothing and fashion. Chris and I parked in the Renaissance parking lot (a 5 star hotel) and explored the city.

We stopped in a hippie shop and picked up motivational stickers or our laptops, went to Green Sage for our Macha Green Tea lattes with soy milk, picked up a slice of gluten free strawberry cake, and enjoyed the local graffiti art. We were living the stereotype :) The place where we bought the strawberry cake, called Saute, would sell meals of simple beans and rice at $2-6 depending on how much you could afford. Their action was to help feed the homeless, which I thought was an awesome idea.

Social Restaraunt

It soon became dark and we went back to our car at the Renaissance. We set up camp there because… when else are we going to be able to say we stayed at a 5 star hotel. We had a peaceful calm night.

The next day we went back to Green Sage to boost our caffeine levels and explore the city before we left for Charleston. We then walked around the city and started looking through the many art galleries that were available. There were beautiful pieces. These were some of my favorites:

Inspirational ArtFlower Girl













Although our time here was quick, we really enjoyed the alternative mentality the city had. It was refreshing to see such an artistic free minded city like Asheville. It was time to go and hit the road to Charleston where I had some big expectations of a beautiful city people had been telling me about.

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Happy Journal – Santa Fe, the land of Art and Love (part 1)

By 29/04/2014 Family & Friends, Family and Friends, Fun & Recreation, Happiness, Journal, Uncategorized

IMG_1654April 9-11, 2014

Our destination was Santa Fe, but since I my Mac Book had suddenly had issues we had to make a pit stop in Albuquerque. Albuquerque has the only Apple Store in New Mexico. For California, this is unheard of! Being the only store, I had to book an appointment for the next day since the appointments were overbooked that day. We took advantage of the day and found a bubble tea shop with wifi downtown. We got to get some work done and went over to the local Walmart to set up our home for the night. Albuquerque didn’t seem to eventful, but there were definitely niches to have fun. In the Walmart parking lot, people were playing football and frisbee. If you ever find yourself sleeping in a Walmart for whatever reason, bring a face mask. They leave their bright lights on all night.

Thursday, I made it to my appointment at the Apple Store to find out that it would take them 2-5 days to get the computer fixed. Since I didn’t have time to wait, especially in Albuquerque, I planned to turn my Mac Book in El Paso and set up an appointment a few days later. Chris and I jumped in “Bucket” and drove to Santa Fe where we would be staying with my awesome seconds parents, Peggy and Jerry, who I have known me since I was born and who’s daughter is one of my best friends. We arrived at their place around 5:00pm and it was a great feeling to see familiar loving faces. Peggy and Jerry cooked us an amazing steak meal that left Chris and I full and beyond satisfied. We finally had a bed to sleep in and a shower after too many days than I care to admit. It felt like a home.


The next day, Friday, I woke up in bliss sleeping in an actual bed. Jerry made us breakfast and it felt like we were in a resort. Today would be the first day of our first city to survey. We drove to the city center called The Plaza. There were no high rises, but many small buildings encompassing a fountain that marked the center of Santa Fe. As we began our surveys, it felt awkward approaching people with our mission, but a few surveys later we were in the zone. Initially, the plan was to get all 100 surveys in 4 hours max. 4 hours later we had 32 surveys completed… It was taking so long because people were actually compelled to tell us their thoughts on happiness! We talked to hippies, high school students, parents, managers, and homeless people. Everyone had something to say and we were excited to hear it. We started a video collection of people’s core ideas about happiness that we can’t wait to share.

Chris and I came back suddenly exhausted from the day of talking to people. Jerry and Peggy took us to a great New Mexican restaurant where Chris and I filled our bellies with some delicious chicken fajitas covered in chili sauce. New Mexico is know for their spicy taste pallet. When Chris and I came back to our Santa Fe home to our comfy beds we passed out with determination to see what a whole day of surveying would bring us.

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Happy Journal – Not Much, But Hard Wood

By 28/04/2014 Contribution & Spirituality, Fun & Recreation, Happiness, Journal, Travel

There were no signs of the wild dogs we had seen yesterday. Chris and I brushed our teeth and washed our faces at Denny’s. They have a lovely bathroom by the way :D We stopped at a local supermarket. The town of Tuba was a run down Native American populated town in the middle of Arizona. There was one beggar outside the grocery store. When he asked me for money, I offered him food and gave him soup and a few granola bars. As soon as I did this, two more people came over to me asking for food as well. Seeing the pattern, I knew I couldn’t keep giving out food. It made me wonder how money could come into this stop, gas, and go town.

We made a quick granola and almond milk breakfast and started driving. Our destination was the Petrified Forest National Park. We drove through lots of flat land and managed to arrive in the early afternoon. Chris and I sat through a quick introduction video to the park in the information center and then went and explored. The process of a tree becoming petrified wood was interesting. A tree would fall into a river and get stuck under the sand bank, sealing it off from oxygen. Minerals from the sand would then replace the cells of the tree, while still maintaing its bark texture. After thousands of years of this process, the tree would eventual turn into a rock with a variety of colors based on the mineral it was surrounded by. To be honest, this was one of the more bland national parks I have seen. It was relatively flat compared to Zion and Bryce Canyon and there really wasn’t to much besides rocks and a few hieroglyphics. While the sun was setting at the look out points, Chris and I stopped to meditate and soak up the moment.



It turns out we were on the old Route 66 route, which had been a pinnacle road for the United States to travel coast to coast.

We drove out of the park and continued towards our first city in our survey, Santa Fe. It was getting dark quickly so I pulled off a side road from the highway. Chris and I bought chicken legs for that night and we pulled out of mini BBQ. We grilled the legs in a vinaigrette, cajun marinate and had a garlic broccoli and rice on the side. IT WAS DELICIOUS! One of the few really satisfying meals we had on the road. Of course we pulled out some marshmellows later on to take advantage of the “small” fire we created. It was a nice being under the stars with a full belly and a day of good travelling.


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By 28/03/2014 Contribution & Spirituality, Fun & Recreation, Happiness, Personal Space, Travel

Have you ever wished somebody gave you a shortcut to happiness.
Me, too. And it has a name: It’s called travel.


Because travelling includes all three types of happiness (according to science)


1. Short-Term Happiness
– everyone knows that type of happiness, it’s the one that grants us immediate gratification but doesn’t last very long: the next piece of chocolate, the next coffee, the next time you have sex (uups did I say that?!)
2. Flow
– according to Csikszentmihalyi flow is a state in which we are so immersed in the task we’re doing that we forget about our surroundings, athletes also call that “to be in the zone”
3. Purpose
– this one is the longest lasting type of happiness, if we have a sense of ultimate purpose it gives us a meaning and makes us feel significant.


1. Short-Term Happiness applied to travel
In my opinion there are a lot of little situations that make you feel happy. It might be the thrill of skydive or just enjoying a piece of chocolate when there’s not any food left. Other situations are, being on top of a mountain and enjoying the view or just driving on an empty road.

2. Flow applied to travel
In travel there are lots of situations/challenges in which you are fully present and immersed in what you are doing. It might be asking people for the way, walking on a trail you’ve never been before or building a tent. These are all things that make me forget about the future and the past – I am fully present/alive.

3. Purpose applied to travel
Well I think there’s not much I need to say about here. Your travel always have one single purpose: to feel alive & connected. This urge to feel alive & connected makes you spend all this money and efforts for travelling.

Now you know why travel is a short-cut to happiness and can help us all to learn more about ourselves, connect with one another and grow personally.

Wish you all a day full of bliss & sunshine.

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