[quote text_size=”small” author=”Ashley Montagu” author_title=”Anthropologist” link=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashley_Montagu”]
The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.
I live a life of constant global travel for many reasons but the most powerful driving force is not admirable or interesting. It’s simple boredom. I get bored extremely easily and quickly. I’ve found that, like wanderlust, it’s a vicious cycle that can only be treated by new things.
There is no better way to experience “the new” than by vagabonding. Boredom deferred is happiness achieved.
Don’t get me wrong, the only thing I love more than life is living it well but that means enjoying it.
Serenity is much harder to find and grasp.
If I’m sad, mad or just neutral, reaching a state of happiness is as simple as doing what I enjoy.
Basically, you can do tangible things to be happy.
I believe the state of being serene cannot be actively reached. It can not be purchased, forced or planned – whereas happiness can be obtained in those ways. True serenity comes to us like a sudden stroke of genius then dissipates like waking up from a wonderful dream.
This euphoric but somehow intense calmness started to come to me at seemingly random but often insignificant moments since I started vagabonding.
The most memorable was while we were on an 8 hour bus ride through rural Cambodia. I remember how bumpy and twisty the dirt road was climbing a mountain in a bus older than I with a broken AC, no belts and lumpy seats. Uncomfortable, dangerous and painful.
Yet, I loved every minute of it. I was happy.
Then the song “All That Makes Us Human Continues” by BT started to play. I turned up the volume, readjusted my earphones, admired the beautiful scenery through the stained window then shut my eyes.
What I felt next can only be described as what the exact opposite of a heart attack must feel like.
A strange but welcoming sensation softly sparked in my chest then spread to the rest of my body like a sponge soaking it all in. It was serenity. I was absolutely serene.
It was almost like serenity was a liquid that just glazed over every cell in my body. If happiness was a sentient being, it would strive for serenity.
As the 8:15 minute song faded into another, my state of serenity faded into normalcy. Poof, gone.
Short but sweet, beautiful and beyond happiness.
It’s been 2 years since that precious fleeting moment. Moments that should be fleeting so that it can be treasured for their worth for when we do get them.
I never got these sudden moments of serenity before my travel lifestyle. I suppose it’s because I’m doing what I love and at a subconscious level, my brain calculates specifically the right time to be serene.
The only pattern I’ve been able to discern is that it’s while I’m sitting somewhere in the exotic world.
Serenity While Traveling The World.