Inspiration, Love, Travel, Uncategorized

HOW TRAVELLING ANSWERED OUR PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

April 13, 2015
PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

We bought our first rental property in the states while we were in China. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the following years. We we’re working hard, had a goal and we were empire building. At some point Mark felt like it was a secure time to quit our jobs and take me on our 1 year long honeymoon. We sent most of our stuff in both the Philippines and the U.S. to our parents home. We didn’t want to give up everything so we put the rest in storage thinking we’d be back in a year. Little did we know we were about to embark on a journey that would forever change our way of living.

We both set off, each with only a big backpack and a day pack. That was all we had. We set off on a road trip to the US and had amazing stories camping, sharing meals and sleeping in friends’ houses. Washington, Oklahoma, Montana, Texas, California, Kansas, Colorado and a bunch more states in between. The most memorable was when we spent our 3rd year anniversary in a cheap truckers Inn off of the highway on our way to Montana. We drank wine, had a toast and made an epic memory.

 

Zebras lining up to go home. #amazingAfrica #safari #gamedrives #MasaiMara #Kenya #365traveldates

A post shared by mark + camille villaflor (@365traveldates) on

 

After 2 months in the States we set off for East Africa to witness the Serengeti migration. We went to Kenya where we did most of our safari and crossed the border in to Tanzania through a bus. On our way to Zanzibar we had the misfortune of getting mugged in a taxi. Read about that story here.

We were traumatized. Africa is rough for travelers because you see extreme perspectives (don’t get me wrong Africa is a beautiful country with beautiful people). Tourism was outrageously expensive while locals who can’t pay for parks fees struggle with basic human rights, lack of health education, and a viscous cycle of poverty. We were 4 months in on our trip but we were seriously contemplating whether or not we should pack our bags and end our trip short. During this time of recovery I had the biggest realization of my life.

No distractions. Just us and the world.

“Why would I let my fear paralyzed my life?  And having that thought made me realize that I would rather live a life knowing that I am loved rather than live in fear and miss out on what life has to offer”.

Mark & I knew we wanted to live a life of adventure and that’s the entire reason why we started this trip anyway. As bad as it may sound.. After getting mugged we felt like we actually had a story to tell.

We set off and continued our journey to Central America against the advice of our families because they were concerned about our recent incident. We went to Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and decided to volunteer in the later part of our trip in Costa Rica and we are now currently in Panama hanging-out with the locals. We are backpacking, riding chicken buses, sleeping on cheap hostels, eating street food but we are ultimately happy. There were so many travelers backpacking on this route and we met a ton of amazing people which brought our trust back to the world.

It made us realize that there are more good people than bad out there. That the world is a beautiful place and everyone should explore it, at least once. That food all over the world is an expression of different countries cultures. That the world is smaller than what people think it is. That the world is filled with so many different opportunities waiting to be experienced. That despite all the bad things happening, there’s so much kindness and love around us and its so hard to ignore once you immerse yourself in the adventure that you’re in. You get over misfortunes a lot faster because you see the beauty of what this world has to offer. We see all walks of life old, young, married, solo female travelers, hippies and each of them has a story to tell. Each one of them has an interesting life and you see yourself learning from it. I don’t know any other time in my life where I feel like I am constantly learning and feeling ever so grateful for my existence except now.

We feel happy; we feel so in love; we feel successful in our lives, not because we have a lot of money but because we don’t. We are living our lives without the limits and the restrictions of money, a job or a house mortgage. We deliberately chose to get out of a life of materialism and live with “less.”

We feel so grateful on how traveling has shifted our view of success into happiness because, ultimately that’s everyone’s goal in life- to be happy. Success is ultimately measured by the happiness and the satisfaction in the life that your living. So if your happy in your life right now then you are very much successful, because you truly get that the meaning of life solely revolves on moments and experiences.

Traveling sure helped in our Pursuit of Happiness and here are the lists of reasons why:

Traveling…

1. Has freed us from the idea of comfort zone.

I am a limitless individual capable of the impossible.

2. Has freed us from fear.

The world isn’t created to be feared at but to be embraced in love.  Fear is merely a thought and you have the power to either let it take over your life or to simply ignore it. It’s your choice.

3. Has freed us from the control of our material possessions.

I don’t need things to be happy. Moments, relationships, friendships, experiences will last forever. Hence the length of your happiness is forever ingrained in your hearts.

4. Has changed our view of the world.

Every day were more in love with the world than we’ve ever been because we experience a lot of different culture, people, food, places, countries, therefore we understand, and if we understand, love naturally follows. 😉

5. Made us trust people. 

People are wonderful and are created to be good. If you trust their hearts they would return the love and trust back to you.

6. Made us see that everyone is the same.

We are all equals, as soon as we strip ourselves of everything that were covering ourselves with, we  see that we are all human, same mind, heart and capabilities.

7. Made us appreciate our life even more.

We cherish moments rather than things, we cherish experiences and friendships, real relationships and are grateful for our lives.

8. Made us love ourselves more. 

If others express their love to you, extend their kindness. If others can see that you’re lovable you end up loving yourself and your life more because you know that it is worth it.

9. Hence traveling gave us the opportunity to spread that love.

If you know you are loved and you experience it from the world and from other people its sooo easy to just reflect that love to other people. It’s so easy to share and encourage others because its bursting out of you.

10. Makes us happy.

Having freedom and knowing that there’s unlimited experiences out there that can make you feel inspired, fall in love, get energized and encouraged, it gives you hope, makes you see beauty and gives you a deep understanding of being happy. Happiness just spills out of us because of all the wonderful experiences we’ve been having.

What do people really aim for?
What does it take to be happy?
Does happiness lie on success?
Do people need money to feel successful?
Traveling definitely opened our eyes to a new perspective of living. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t have to be old or young, married or single or with kids to start a journey of happiness. Try simplifying your life and see that the greatest journey of all are the one’s you spend less time with. Everyday is a journey towards everyone’s pursuit of happiness. Start being happy today. 😉

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