Mon | Dec 16, 2019

Pack my bags, I’m going ... nowhere

Published:Monday | September 30, 2019 | 12:05 AM

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St Augustine

If travelling makes you happy, then I’ll be a grouch for a good long while.

Recently I read an article online where The Daily Health Post said scientists believe travelling makes us much happier than material wealth.

I don’t need a PhD to know happiness from material wealth is fleeting.

If you buy a child the latest toy, he’ll play with it non-stop for a time, but after that, another one will catch his eye.

Even as grown-ups we see that material things don’t really carry us very far.

If you’ve got pockets deep enough, you can buy the new BMW fresh off the line. But then you’ll probably change it in two years’ time.

But travel, according to the theory, brings longer satisfaction.

One of the individuals quoted in the article, Dr Thomas Gilovich, basically said that you will get used to the things that currently bring you happiness.

The article said that the “secret sauce to sustained happiness” was “experience”, because it is “a bigger part of yourself than your material goods”.

You may like your purchases but they are separate from your identity.

“One the other hand, your travel experiences are part of who you are,” the article read. “Travelling brings you to new cultures and places. That disconnection from the normal surroundings that you’re already adapted to offers an excellent environment for creating happy and lasting memories that are hard to forget or replace.”

So in order to really feel happy, yours truly needs to find himself in Phuket, Bali, Maui or wherever? Hmm, that’s interesting and all, but mi nuh sure ‘bout that.

I know people say that travel is not as expensive as it may seem, but it still too dear fi me (I think).

Recently I tried to remember whether I had ever been to a fancy hotel for leisure. I’m coming up with zeroes.

It seems I’ve only ever been to these resorts on assignment, or as part of some company retreat (no, I don’t count that as vacation). That’s kinda pathetic.

But there may be something to this travel theory. A friend told me years ago that my outlook on life (it was worse back then) would change if I travelled.

Plus, when I see people visiting various countries, they do ‘look’ happy.

Of course, that could all be just for show (damn you, Instagram). But I don’t know if that will ever be me because I hate to fly.

Plus, I hate the hassle of travel. It feels like a big journey just fi go a mi yard a night-time. So nine, 10 hours (or more) on a plane? Bruh.

Food? I don’t eat half of what the world has to offer. Bathroom? I hate using the one at work much less in some questionable motel.

And suppose the people are rude? I can’t tell dem 'bout dem parents inna fi dem country? I’ll get thrown out.

Hopefully, I can explore this travel theory more one day, but right now, maybe being a grouch is my lot.

Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com