Pai in Thailand will definitely be one of the first places i visit next year when i finally embark on my solo SE Asia trip :)
Just finished reading The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner and i must say that was an undoubtedly thought-provoking and inspiring read with wonderful insights and enlightenment throughout the pages!
Some of my favourite quotes from the book..
"Happy people have no reason to think; they live rather than question living" -Yi-Fu Tuan
"There are basically three ways to make you happier. You can increase the amount of positive affect (good feelings). You can decrease the amount of negative affect (bad feelings). Or you can change the subject"
"Asian cities are a tough nut to crack. So much remain invisible in plain sight. They are hard and glittering..and give you nothing. But when you leave them it is with a feeling that you have missed something, and you cannot help thinking that they have some secret that they have kept from you." -Somerset Maugham
"Why do so many presumably sane westerners leave their wealthy, functional nations behind and travel to a poor and dysfunctional nation in search of a bliss?"
"India is a feast for the ears. Maybe that will change, as India grows richer because, to be honest, there is nothing more deadly dull than the sound of prosperity. The dull hum of an air conditioner or the muffled clicks on a keyboard simply can’t compete with the melodic calls of hawkers at an open-air market or the rhythmic clickity-clack of a sweatshop’s sewing machine. Even Third World Traffic, with its symphony of honking horns and tinkling bells, beats the monotonous whoosh of a modern freeway."
"Everyone is ambitious. It’s human nature. The question is, what price are we willing to pay for the ambition? Not just an economic price, but a social price."
"Miami is associated with happiness, if not paradise itself. Beaches. Palm trees. Sunshine. But paradise comes with its own inherent pressures. It screams "Be happy, God damn it!"
"She wouldn’t move someplace flat, either topographically or culturally. She wanted four seasons but a temperate environment. Food was, important, too. She needed a regular access to not only feta cheese but "a variety of feta cheeses"."
"Laurey calls it the golden thread. A path appears, faint at first, but increasingly clear if you’re willing to look closely."
"Cynthia, though, isn’t quite ready to call Asheville home. It is home "for now," she says. And that, i realize is the problem with hedonic floaters like Cynthia and with many of us and our perpetual pursuit of happiness. We may be fairly happy now, but there’s always tomorrow and the prospect of a happier place, a happier life. So all options are left on the table. We never fully commit. That is, i think, a dangerous thing. We can’t love a place, or a person, if we always have one foot out the door."
"The word Utopia has two meanings. It means both "good place" and "nowhere." That’s the way it should be. The happiest places, i think, are the ones that reside just this side of paradise. The perfect person would be insufferable to live with; likewise, we wouldn’t want to live in the perfect place, either."
"Happiness requires livable conditions, but not paradise." -Ruut Veenhoven. We humans are eminently adaptable."
"The natural extension of travel is migration, and some readers wanted to know if they should move to happy places like Iceland or Bhutan. Perhaps, if that is where your heart lies, but the point is not necessarily that we move to these places, but rather, that we allow these places to move us. I believe, now more than ever, in the transformative promise of geography. Change your location and you just may change yourself. It’s not that distant lands contain some special "energy" or that their inhabitants possess secret knowledge (though they may) but rather something more fundamental: By relocating ourselves, reorienting ourselves, we shake loose the shackles of expectation. Adrift in a different place we give ourselves permission to be different people."
Currently starting to read On the Road by Jack Kerouac, but boy, it is difficult as i am still having the book hangover from The Geography of Bliss -___-“