Search for Serotonin - Full-Time Travel

Search for Serotonin

Happy Travels

A Happiness Expert's Guide to Mood-Elevating Excursions

Will traveling to one of the world’s happiest countries improve your mood? Before you book that flight to Finland — currently the world’s most contented country according to a report released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations — here’s what a happiness expert says about boosting your serotonin on the road. Christine Carter, Sociologist and Senior Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley says that happy travels are far from one-size-fits-all. The trick, she says, is tailoring your trip to your specific needs.

Inn Crowd

Sleep depleted? Stay close-ish to home, or at least in the same time zone, says Carter. “Do not take a red eye if you’re already exhausted and whatever you do, don’t travel across multiple time zones. It’s impossible to lead your best life when you’re exhausted,” she says. “Stay as close as possible to your circadian rhythm. People hate to hear this but if you’re exhausted and go to Bali, it’s going to take you weeks to recover,” she says. “It’s also important to know your personal booby traps. If you truly need rest, find hotels without Internet access if you’re easily distracted with social media, etc.” Tip: Search for a stay that encourages rest. At L’Auberge de Sedona in Arizona, the focus is on recharging mind and body with activities like yoga, meditation and forest bathing, where guests are guided through nature at twilight to calm all of the senses. 

Well & Good

“If what you need most in your life is a greater sense of meaning or fulfillment, thenvoluntourism is a great idea,” says Carter. “It can put you in touch with the power you have to help others.” Research shows that volunteering has been shown to improve your mood, lower stress and even increase life span. Combining volunteering with travel is no less beneficial, says Carter. Tip: Discover Corps offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities around the world.

“You may not get a lot of comfort from visiting a developing country, but if you have a meaningful experience volunteering there, you might feel a sense of peace and contentedness that you’ve never felt before.”

– Christine Carter
Sociologist and Senior Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley

Nature Nurtured

Short on serotonin? Carter recommends seeking a sense of awe. “One of the best ways to do this is to find transcendence that comes from the natural world,” she says. And you don’t have to travel to the far ends of the earth to reap the benefits: Even a 20-minute walk through an urban park can have a positive impact on mood. Research also shows that it’s not just the Grand Canyon and Northern Lights that activate awe: Viewing nature at its most destructive — volcanoes, tornadoes — also has the power to make us happier.

Eat, Drink, Repeat

So is there any reason to visit the world’s happiest countries? “One argument would be that emotions are very contagious, so if you are among locals who have a very high level of wellbeing, their happiness is likely to cue our own nervous system,” says Carter. “If you’re going to Bhutan because you want to be happy, however, you’re going to have to hang out with Bhutanese people.” Finland recently launched a campaign to do just that. Rent a Finnpairs tourists and locals (known as “happiness guides”) to explore the country’s natural wonders, food and culture. While all spots have been taken for 2019, here’s a quiz designed to help anyone optimize happiness while visiting the country.

HERO: @Ritz-Carlton

INN CROWD:@L'Auberge de Sedona

WELL & GOOD@African Impact

NATURE NURTURED:@Matakauri Lodge

Swim with killer whales, camp with friends, and cool off in a river surrounded by the beauty of Baja, California. 🇲🇽

Reel: @rodtrvn

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This surreal store in Chengdu, China, which includes over 80,000 books, is lined with images of books on the upper shelves so it would appear that they stretch from floor to ceiling.

Reel: @losojosdelau

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Patagonia is pretty much the most magical place on Earth.

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

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inspired by Space exploration’s seminal era, as it sits in quiet solitude surrounded by pitted rock format, Echo Camp in Antarctica gives you as close as you can get to feeling off the planet without leaving Earth.

It`s the newest luxury adventure experience from White Desert where you can enjoy fine dining, ice climbing, cross-country skiing and for the adventurers learn life saving techniques.

Reel: @jeremyaustiin

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Welcome to the new @thewhitelotus hotel @fskohsamui 🌴 The resort offers stunning views, beautiful beaches, and upscale amenities, which align with the high-end and exotic backdrop often sought after by TV producers. Will you be tuning in to the new season?

Reel: @postcardsbyhannah

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Dreaming of traveling to warmer destinations like Lucky Bay in Western Australia.

Reel: @haylsa

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Discover the allure of Pidurangala Rock, a captivating geological marvel adjacent to Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. Embark on a scenic hike that unveils panoramic vistas of Sigiriya Rock, lush forests, and distant mountains. Explore a historic cave temple at the base and catch the magic of sunrise or sunset from the summit.

Reel: @natigana

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Located in Lahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh in India, Kardang Village offers stunning views of the surrounding Himalayan landscapes and its 12th century monastery that holds cultural and historical significance in the region.

Reel: @shiv.mer

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Picture this: kicking back in a waterfall in Akureyri, Iceland. Laugafell is the spot – where the warm meets the cool. It`s a chill time with nature`s own spa. Keep an eye out for dolphins jumping in the ocean!

Reel: @asasteinars

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Considered as a modern alpine village, Avoriaz is a popular spot for skiers and families. The village is one of the largest stations within Les Portes du Soleil which is a major skisports destination in the Alps, encompassing thirteen resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland.

Reel: @djemographic

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In search for the best hot springs that will warm us up until the arrival of Spring.

Reel: @kat_khoroshun

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Located near the Katla volcano in Iceland, the Katla cave features stunning blue ice formations and intricate ice sculptures. It`s a popular destination for guided tours, offering a glimpse into the otherworldly beauty of Iceland`s glacial landscapes.

Reel: @asasteinars

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Sunsets at Ruby Beach, Washington, are a mesmerizing display of nature`s beauty. The rugged coastline, sea stacks, and driftwood-strewn shore create a dramatic backdrop for the sun`s descent. A serene and picturesque setting, attracting photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Reel: @ryanresatka

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Take a dip in this 50 meters long infinity pool at Hotel @krallerhof where you`re surrounded by stunning Austrian Alps.

Reel: @meirr

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