Episode 7: Happiness Spells for Traveling


This episode is about traveling alone, traveling with others, going on vacation, and enjoying different cities, different ways of life.

Flipping through the pages of your passport, running your finger over the edges of the paper and seeing the stamps tell the story of where you’ve been.

Facing the right way on a commuter train on the way from the airport to a place where you can finally sleep.

Looking out the window of the plane at the small houses below you, the little cars driving so fast, wondering about the lives and loves of the people within, so many people as far as the eye can see.

Seeing a landscape so different from what you’re used to, your mind can barely understand what it is that you’re seeing.

Walking in the rain getting just slightly soaked then opening the door of a coffee shop, smelling warm croissants, a blast of hot air hitting your face as you shake out your umbrella and look for a place to sit and read.

Paying your fare, moving through the turnstile and hearing your train began to arrive just as you make it onto the platform, entering the train and finding your favorite seat is empty waiting for you.

Successfully navigating from point A to point B, ambling along a little side street, latte in hand, knowing your eventual destination but also knowing that there’s no rush to get there.

Looking for airline tickets by clicking “cheapest month,” “destination anywhere” and marvelling at the options before you.

Going somewhere you’ve never been before with your best travel companions, wide awake and ready for anything.

Falling asleep in a new city, unfamiliar sounds from the streets and different views out the window.

Imagining your life if you live in this new place, your day to day existence similar to the one you live now but indelibly different in every way.

Knowing that your days in a new place are empty until you fill them up with exactly the things you’d like to do.

Feeling utterly at home in a place that you’ve never been before.

Staying up until midnight at a small restaurant in a distant land, the people who really live there speaking their mother tongue all around you.

Trying new things to eat that you never thought you might like and falling in love with one special meal, vowing to eat it again before you leave to go home.

Deciding not to take pictures of every little thing, just willing yourself to remember what you see, what you hear, willing yourself to remember all of it.

Discovering who you are outside of it all when you’re not at work, not at home, not confined by any of your routines or the expectation of others.

Visiting a work of art in a museum that you’d only seen in books.

Being spoken to in a language you’re trying to learn, attempting to answer back and seeing the other person's smile at your weak attempts as they help you find the right word.

Being brave all by yourself, driving around an island so many times that you develop opinions about the traffic, about where to eat lunch, about all of the best beaches.

Not quite being sure about what’s going on around you, other languages, other plans swirling, that lack of control melting your defenses, making you slow down, take a beat and see things clearly for the first time.

Being struck by how powerful a cultural difference can make you feel, how it changes your perception of the world in your place in the order of things.

Feeling a little bit homesick realizing you miss your life more than you are willing to admit.



Happiness Spells Podcast is a five minute list of all the greatest pleasures and smallest joys in life. Increase your capacity for positivity, curiosity and gratitude. New episodes every Monday and Thursday.

This episode of Happiness Spells was written, arranged, recorded and produced by Amanda Meyncke in Los Angeles, California. Our music is by Chris Zabriskie.

Amanda Meyncke