Is the best thing about waiting and planning a trip, a moment on the way or a return home?
Studies show that a person is happier when planning a holiday than the holiday itself. I love to dream of traveling, but that still sounds like a pretty tough argument. While it may be true if you compare happy moments in minutes: add up all the happy minutes of dreaming that precede it, perhaps for months, compared to those conscious happy minutes during a week’s journey.
Then there are people – I feel like them – of whom it is definitely best to return from home – to familiar scents, to my own bed, to rye bread… The same state of being and love for one’s own home is not achieved unless I have been away long enough, in other circles. Perhaps this also involves satisfaction and relief; the trip was great, everything went well and now you can return to normal life with satisfaction. Nor do I usually directly bother returning from a trip; after all, it usually feels better when you come home than when you leave.
But my best moment of the journey is still not at the beginning or the end, but somewhere in between – and always on the journey.
It is preceded by many very good moments, such as that teasing moment, once you have survived the way through the airport security check, you can calm down for a moment and everything is still possible. Or the first morning when I wake up in a new place where I’m not used to it at all and I’m not numb and the senses are really sensitive – never else do I smell, taste, see and hear – I notice at all – just as accurately as I did then.
But the best moment comes in secret, a little surprisingly. It usually creeps up at a point after I’ve been at the destination for a while, maybe a few days. The feeling is relaxed as the place begins to become familiar, but not yet too familiar.
It is often not related to the most special attraction or new experience, but to something much more conventional. It could be a morning walk on the sandy beach with bare toes, a tropical rain show as I watch the hammock swing or the metropolitan hustle and bustle behind the cafe window. Or the best moments can be many, different but equal.
What I have in common with my top moments is a calm state of mind, unhurriedness and the happiness that comes from them.
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