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An introduction to Travel & Happiness

Welcome! I am thrilled to finally be able to share with you what has been in the works for nearly a year. Today marks the day where my old site Travellinlady becomes Travel & Happiness and I for one couldn’t be happier.

This blog shares the journey and importance travel and happiness play in my life. The two will forever be intertwined even if my experiences [of them] are independent from each other. It was travel that brought me back again and happiness that keeps me going, and travelling.

Happiness is tricky and easy at the same time.

Coffee, walking my dogs, listening to the birds chirp, overhearing my sons playing and laughing – all simple things that make me very happy. But long term happiness … well; let’s just say I am working on it and have been for a while. Factors like healthy relationships, fulfilling careers and other fun life events all challenge me frequently on the path to truly being happy. But I try. Oh do I try. What started this happiness quest you may be asking yourself? Well

One day I realized I forgot who I was.

That was weird. I didn’t recollect losing myself. But it occurred.

I remember when and where this major realization happened. I was walking toward Kensington Market in Toronto, it was 2011. It was the first time I had traveled solo since having my children. At the time I had been with my husband for about ten years. Eight of those years were extremely hard and instead of things getting better, they were becoming more and more dire. We were more distant than ever before. Like many couples, we struggled but fought for the relationship (and continue to do so today).

I remember a rush a feelings hitting me at once as I walked along excited to explore the market. It was something so simple but yet I felt so curious. I felt so free. I felt so alive. I felt SO like me. Whoa. The weird thing is, I didn’t even know ‘me’ had gone anywhere, but it had indeed. At that moment I remember what I felt like so many years ago, and it both saddened and excited me.

Like many moms and wives can likely relate, I had been putting myself last for a long time – trying to raise a family, keeping a steady career, focusing on my husband’s happiness and generally holding shit together. Not only did this have obvious negative implications for me and my well being but also for my family, especially my kids. I decided that I needed to make some changes. I had disappeared into a version of myself I didn’t even recognize.

Making happiness an everyday priority …

I vowed from that trip onwards that I would spend more time rediscovering and searching for those great feelings, and mostly searching for me.

I started creating and writing again. It had been years.

I made time for myself to be alone.

I made new goals and have been working the last two years to achieve them.

I spent more time outside, closer to nature – where I feel most at home.

I became infatuated with birds. This brings me so much joy on a daily basis.

I promised not to give things up that make me happy (within moderation of course).

I traveled more, keeping my curiosities satiated, my sense of wonder open, meeting new people and learning new things, most of which I shared with my children.

I consciously worked (and still do) on happiness every day. A lot of this comes from enjoying the small moments with my children.

One of my goals was to become a freelance writer, focusing mostly on travel. This hasn’t been easy and to be honest it has led to further friction in my relationship with my husband. It has gotten better over the past few months but it’s something that I am not willing to negotiate on – I have given up far too many things that made me happy in the past, only to regret it and hold resentment.

So this – this – is my slice of happiness and it isn’t going anywhere soon.

What to expect on Travel & Happiness

So, what are you going to find on this site? Well, to start, stories about travel obviously, plus a lot of photography (it’s a huge passion of mine) and posts about my journey to happiness in its many forms. Feel free to follow my travel RSS or one of my other blog categories or all if you are keen!

If you made it this far, thank you. Now that you are here, please take a look around the site – I am especially excited about my portfolio galleries on writing and photography. I look forward to hearing any and all feedback on the look, feel and direction of the site.

Thanks for stopping by!



10 thoughts on “An introduction to Travel & Happiness
  1. Congrats on your new site, Jenn! I can really relate, as for me as well, travel equates to happiness. I am happiest when I am discovering new places or returning to favourites as I recently did in Hawaii. You might as well put me in a nursing home if I’d have to stop travelling.

    • Jenn Smith Nelson on said:

      Haha I totally get that Doreen. Thanks so much for stopping by today and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it. Cheers,

  2. Jenn Smith Nelson on said:

    Amanda – thank you so much for stopping by to check it out. I really appreciate your kind words.


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