Expedition of Happiness II

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Baldwin Steps, Toronto

The other day something strange happened. I had a ‘like’ on my blog.

Not this blog – but another I had entirely forgotten existed – and when thinking about it thought I had deleted. It took my ages to figure out how anyone had even stumbled upon the words written by a three-year-younger me.

The original was called expedition of happiness by the way, hence the name of this post.

I am a big believer in keeping diaries. There is something satisfying and immensely comforting about reading over your past. It puts things in perspective. What once seemed like the end of the world now is a slight chip on a faded memory. It allows you to see what you did well, what you accomplished and also the opposite: what mistakes you made and how to avoid repeating them.

My old blog – of which I think I ever wrote two entries – was much more a diary. This is why my heart sped up considerably when I saw a notification someone had dug it up out of the dark hole it had been left in and forgotten. After doing a bit of technical quizzing, I realised if you clicked on my name in comments it would take you there (I have since changed this).

The blog post interested me as it was written when I first moved back to Bristol after University. A lot of my friends had moved onto other cities. Reading over the post, there seemed to be so many similarities between what I experienced then and how I am feeling now. The main theme of the blog was looking at what makes us happy? I listed a plan of action of things I aimed to do to help myself feel more settled and happier in Bristol.

I feel like a lot of these still apply to me now.

  1. Friends 

I wrote “I am a strong believer that your happiness is directly related to how many friends and decent people you have surrounding you.”

I would change that now. I don’t believe it matters how many friends you have – just that you have a few quality relationships you can rely on.

  1. Keeping Busy, keeping active

I have been kind of successful at this, although some days I do need a little extra motivation!

  1. Being part of something

When I was little I went to church. It was something I wasn’t a fan of at the time – I would have much preferred to stay in bed on a Sunday morning. However, I have to look back at it with positive memories. I do miss the sense of community I experienced then.

  1. Doing the things you used to enjoy, again.

I was a pretty active kid. I did dance gym before school some days, music lessons and did A LOT of writing in my spare time. It is so easy to stop doing all these things as you get older. The main thing my old blog focused on was the writing. When I was little I would be forever jotting down a short story at any opportunity. I guess writing this blog in some ways is helping me to re-discover my creativity.

  1. Read more.I set myself a target to read a book every month. I definitely have not achieved that target – but I am reading more than I used to.

Although it wasn’t in my old blog, I would also add:

  1. Keep a diary!
  2. Try not to worry about what anyone else is doing. Or what anyone else thinks.
  3. Do something for someone else!

A rough (but by no means comprehensive) guide of how to find happiness in new places…

I would be interested to hear off any other expats  what they did/do to find happiness in a new place.





4 thoughts on “Expedition of Happiness II

  1. Definitely finding your “tribe”. If you are lucky, as an expat you will meet a lot of new people but it may take a bit of time until you work out who you really click with. I’ve been here coming up to a year and feel like I have a good group of people around me now. The other thing that has helped me be happy was getting a dog! Not just for the dog itself but for the social life I have through him (regular dog walk meet ups which means I get to see the same people regularly, essential for organising my life!) and of course the exercise….


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