There’s this thing going on around the blogging community called the Happiness Tag, which is really just a challenge for bloggers to share the things that make them happy. Since the whole purpose of this blog is to promote happiness and inspire people to go out and get the most out of this life, I’m excited to be taking part 🙂


I was nominated by Pamela over at and I highly encourage you to check out her site if you want to unclutter your life, because she’s got some great tips for organization for all areas of life and a positive, enjoyable blog.

Anyway, on to the things that make me happy.

Five things that make me happy…

Looking at old travel photos.

Do you ever just go back and look through old photo albums from trips past? I certainly do. I would say I spend way more time than the average person just looking at photo albums, both online and in print format, from my past journeys. Looking back on all the places I’ve been and the things I’ve done brings me a deep sense of joy. My travel photos are my most precious souvenirs from my journeys. They mean everything to me (and I’m so glad the internet exists because if there was ever a fire that burned down the house it would be the travel photos I would be most devastated to lose). I will sometimes spend hours pouring over them and just remembering the good times I had. I do love a good trip down memory lane.

Pinning my travel map.

I have this beautiful cork board travel map that I purchased a while back. I wanted a really nice looking one that I could keep forever so I went all out and bought one that has a gorgeously designed stylistic world map printed on cork board and framed. After all, travel is important to me. The map hangs proudly in the hallway of my apartment and I spend a lot of time just standing there, staring at it. I think about the places I’ve been and also about the vast swaths of Earth I have yet to explore. Nothing makes me happier than returning from a journey somewhere and sticking another one of those beautiful little red pins in the map.

The moment when I finally book a trip.

I go on a lot of little trips. Weekend journeys to the mountains or to Los Angeles or Las Vegas, long drives up the coast, or even little outings to Mexico (I only live 30 miles from Mexico). I will sometimes take off a Friday or a Monday and take a little weekend journey, perhaps even flying somewhere within the country. My recent trip to Florida saw me taking off just a Friday and a Monday and within that time I was able to spend time on white sand beaches, take a boat tour, watch live music, go parasailing, swim in the gulf, and try several different restaurants. It was a great trip, if way too short. These are the things that keep me going during tough times and remind me of all the fun there is out there to have. However, there is something about the moment when I book a big, 2-3 week trip to a far off destination. The moment after all those months of saving diligently when I finally make the purchase and the trip becomes real. I get so excited in that moment! That moment when I finally have time marked off on my calendar when I know I’m going somewhere exciting. Nothing compares.

The moment when I fly into a city I’ve never been to before.

There is something magical about flying into a new city or new country and looking out the window to catch your first glimpse of the place. Notable experiences of this include the first time I flew into Europe and looked out to see European land! Oh, how excited I was! I was especially excited considering it was my first time ever abroad not counting Canada and Mexico. Another notable experience was landing in Brisbane after spending an eternity flying over the Pacific Ocean. Not only was it my first time in Australia and I was so excited to see that Australian land, but I was probably just as excited to know I would be getting off that plane soon! Of course, I even get excited flying back home into San Diego. I just like looking at the world from above.

Lookout points.

What makes me happy? Lookout points. Oh, I love them. I’ve spent many a road trip with my husband insisting that he pull over at each and every lookout point. He usually complains and reminds me that we stopped at the last 7 lookout points in a row, and could we please skip this one? I insist however, because what if there is something beautiful that we are going to miss? I don’t really know what it is about me, but I’m obsessed with looking out at a beautiful view. I’m sure we all like it, but I have a nearly insatiable desire to spend time at lookout points. Fun fact about me.

Five songs that make me happy…

Cliche? Yeah. But whatever. This is my list and I do what I want. These are the songs I listen to when I need a dose of happiness in my life…

James Brown: I Feel Good.

It just makes me feel good. Can’t imagine why.

Bobby McFerrin: Don’t Worry Be Happy

Seriously, I’ve played this song on repeat during some of the more challenging moments in my life. It’s super cheesy, but it sure does remind you that it’s not worthwhile to worry. Just be happy!

Bob Marley: Three Little Birds

Ok, so most of Bob’s songs make me feel pretty happy. In fact, if I’m having a particularly bad day I’ve been known to lock myself in a room blasting Bob Marley all afternoon. This song in particular, however, reminds me that life is beautiful and everything really is going to be all right.

David Bowie: Space Oddity

This song doesn’t have a message of remembering to be happy like the others I’ve mentioned so far. However, I do have a habit of turning the volume up all the way and singing along at the top of my lungs whenever this song comes on, so I would definitely say it makes me happy.

Sublime: What I Got

This song makes me happy because I grew up in Southern California. I was a teenager in the 90’s, and like any good Southern California teenager in the nineties, I of course knew every word to every Sublime song. They were a phenomenon here during that time and to this day I can usually tell whether or not somebody in my age group grew up in So Cal by how familiar they are with Sublime. Friends from abroad and other areas of the country just don’t get it. People younger or older than me just don’t get it. But if you’re now in your early 30’s and you’re from So Cal, you know what I’m talking about. This song in particular reminds me of the day when this album had just come out and my dad was taking me and a friend to Six Flags for the day to ride the roller coasters. It was about an hour and a half drive from where I lived, and we decided that we wanted to learn all the words to the song, so my poor father sat there in misery while we played this song on repeat over and over and over and over and over while we sang along loudly and badly all the way there. We learned all the words though, and to this day if the song comes on I’ll start belting the whole thing out.

Five “happy bloggers”.

These are bloggers whose posts bring me inspiration and joy (in addition to Pamela, of course)

Green Lights Ahead:

Inherently Adventurous:

The Confessions of a Wanderer

Another Day in Paradise

Curly Girl Abroad:

The challenge says I’m supposed to nominate five other bloggers to do this challenge, but really I challenge all of you to take a moment to take stock in the things you have to be happy about.


2 replies »

  1. Well, I’m 46 and from Slovenia and yet I’ve listened to Sublime with my sis and the gang on repeat. Don’t know who brought that in, but it was no American. Favourite? Probably Summertimmmeeee… and she’s eeeevil, most definitely. 😀 Good times. And have clicked to listen to Bowie. And a nice theme. 🙂


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