Create your own happy place to be: NGT Meetup
“If you want to be happy, be”, said Leo Tolstoy. But for many the question remains; how do we achieve it? For me it comes from traveling. And therefore, I associate my happiness with places where I feel happy. Places unlike people do not leave you. You can visit them repeatedly and continue feeling happy.
National Geographic Traveller (India) recently organised a travel bloggers Meetup to discuss about Happy Places. To top up the happiness quotient, the venue was a bookstore. It was an interactive discussion about how places contribute to our happiness.
The panel had Neha Dara & Aditya Daftari from Nat Geo. Teaming up with them was Kushal Kharkhanis who is an avid travel blogger. With Gul Panag in the house as the guest speaker, need I say more on how interesting the conversations got? The panel shared their stories about what makes a destination special to them and how they relate it to their happiness.
Some relate to mountains and few other find their peace at the water front. Think of it as a place where you can find yourself at ease. For Kunal, Goa is sacred and he visits it too often. I too agree that Goa appeals to every person differently. Whether you want to party hard or you need some “me time” to unwind and introspect. A walk by the beach shall surely clear your mind.
I’m sure mountains too must be appealing to many like Gul; who has travelled to far flung places in Himalayas and North East India. She feels for any site to become a happy place, it first needs to be safe. This is true especially for women. The number of women you see around a tourist place at night is a mark for safety. When I travel to hill stations, I feel like I can be with nature in a more profound way than other. Having an emotional connect is the key to it and it helps in more ways than you know.
Aditya feels happy while traveling with family. The more the merrier is his mantra for happy traveling. Group traveling brings a lot of learning and with least expectation you can enjoy to the fullest.
Here are some tips for travellers to watch for while traveling, especially if traveling solo –
1. Look for Graffiti walls – This shows the law and order is not very strong in these areas.
2. Read about the place before you travel, travel on foot to know the place well
3. Go for a run in the morning to know the area around and then you can check it out again during the day if it appeals to you
4. Keep your nose open and if you smell urine or liquor around an alley at night, stay away, as these places will have drunk men around.
5. Try to relax you mind but be vigilant when traveling.
6. Be a sensitive traveller and sensitize others to keep the destination clean and free from any kind of pollution.