Buying happiness

I’ve got news for you…despite what you may have heard, money can, in fact, buy happiness. At least for me it can when it comes in the form of travel reservations.

In the last couple of months I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what makes me happy and what I’ve concluded is this – dollar for dollar and minute for minute, travel is the most consistently pleasing investment in my life.

Be it plane tickets, a distant Airbandb reservation or a cool social event, knowing that I’ve got something planned provides me with excitement, inspiration and possibility* in a way that nothing else in my life does.

I love the process of researching my destination and learning what’s available in terms of activities, dining options and scenery to take in. I’m not a person who plans an itinerary which must be abided, but it is nice to have some awareness of what I might want to do depending upon weather or whim.

This month I’ve invested in three separate getaways and I’m pretty excited about each of them, despite the fact that I’m returning to places already visited. Just like my regular 5-mile running loop, there’s always something new to see no matter how many time I repeat my route.

First up is Montreal for 3 nights with my 3 sons. I’d been thinking about Thanksgiving and felt the desire to go away, but not necessarily to NYC as we’ve done in the past. As I ate breakfast one morning, I heard something on the radio about the border crossing regulations changing and suddenly it seemed like Montreal was exactly where I wanted to go.

I checked in with my guys and all immediately responded that they were in. I absolutely love that about them! I went ahead and found a three bedroom, 2 bath apartment on Airbandb with parking and booked it for three nights. I can almost taste the Peking duck we’ll be enjoying in Chinatown on Thanksgiving. Beyond that, we have no plans. Maybe you have suggestions?

After missing my annual trip to the desert last Christmas, I’m back on track for this year. I had booked this months ago, but Jet Blue changed my nonstop flight from Christmas evening to early Christmas morning and I just couldn’t imagine getting to JFK by 7:00 a.m.  Missing Christmas Eve with my sons wasn’t an option and this trip is traditionally a solo one for me.

I had $1000+ locked up with United Airlines and decided to use some of it to get to Palm Springs. Unfortunately, they’re no longer offering the sweet nonstop flight from Newark which I’ve taken a number of times, but I’m sucking it up and will have a brief layover in LA going west and San Francisco coming home. I’ll time my anti-anxiety meds, something I’m only reliant upon for flying, accordingly.

I’m looking forward to a week spent hiking, relaxing and simply enjoying time with a special friend. The only thing I’m trying to arrange for in advance is a nighttime visit to Joshua Tree National Park. I’ve got a hunger to stargaze there and want to definitely make that happen. Some time spent soaking in mineral springs, along with indulging in Mexican food, will also be part of that trip.

Earlier this week I somewhat impulsively pulled the trigger on a plane ticket to Rome for one of my school breaks in 2022. It may sound indulgent but, again, I had airline credit to tap into and I found a terrific fare and nonstop flight that totally worked with my academic calendar. I’ve only been to Rome once and there’s so much more there that I want to see and taste and smell and just experience that I’m ridiculously excited to return.

A dear friend has a room for me and my out of pocket expense for flight and accommodations totaled $200, which means we’ll be eating and drinking well. When I was there last, I did an overnight in Naples with a visit to Pompeii. This time around, I want to see the Appian Way and will need to get the cacio e pepe at Da Enzo at least once. Beyond that, I’m open for whatever comes my way.

A dear friend has a room for me and my out of pocket expense for flight and accommodations totaled $200, which means we’ll be eating and drinking well. When I was there last, I did an overnight in Naples with a visit to Pompeii. This time around, I want to see the Appian Way and will need to get the cacio e pepe at Da Enzo at least once. Beyond that, I’m open for whatever comes my way.

What makes you happy? Are you pursuing it?

*Speaking of possibility, I’ve adopted a new perspective on being unattached. Each morning when I wake up, I take a moment to set a positive intention for the day which includes this thought: today just might be the day that someone special comes along. It starts my day with wonder and I’m really enjoying that perspective.

3 thoughts on “Buying happiness

  1. I booked a trip to Tucson for Dec to visit my mom. When I called her yesterday to give her the news, she started to cry (happy tears). Southwest finally restored morning flights out of ALB. and the fare was half of what I paid when I went back in June(Delta).
    Hope you have many more happy times ahead!

    1. Thank you! That’s great news and I’m sure SW will have resolved the issues which caused problems last weekend. Tucson sounds wonderful – it’s on my list of places to visit someday!

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