5 steps to happiness by finding the traveler in you

Making friends in the Philippines

With a traveler mindset you can be happy making new friends anywhere

Being a traveler is more than simply traveling and exploring new countries, it’s a mindset. It means that you aren’t afraid to step into the unknown, experience change, explore something new, and always be learning.

Travelers explore new places, people, foods and cultures while meeting new friends along the way. More than that, travelers are doing what they want and challenging themselves in new ways everyday, which makes them some of the happiest people on the planet.

But do you have to be in a foreign country to be happy living life this way?

So often I hear people say, “I’d love to scuba dive or volunteer to help people around the world”. I love hearing these dreams and ideas but they’re always followed with an excuse like, “I can’t go by myself” or “I don’t have time right now”.

This is not a traveler’s mentality. Travelers are happy because they make an effort to follow their interests, discover their dreams, and step outside the societal conventions that constrain people. Travelers happiness comes from figuring out a way to make things happen, and that’s why their stories are always followed by, “I wish I could do that”.

The thing is, you can! You can find that happiness by adopting a traveler mindset right now. You can start by exploring something you’ve always wanted to try, see, do, or learn. Being in a foreign country doesn’t bring you happiness as a traveler; adopting a traveler mindset and taking a chance does.

Here are 5 things you can do to find happiness by waking the traveler inside you!

1. Listen to yourself

Many people are afraid of trying something new and doing things on their own. I often find the old high school mentality of ‘that’s not cool’ or ‘why wouldn’t you do that with friends’ prevents people from being a traveler. You have to listen to yourself and do what you want to do because that will make you happy. Stop thinking about what other people would think if you join a choir or audition for a play. Trying something new will make you happy, so listen to yourself and do it!

2. Be confident

To do something new is difficult. It’s scary taking a chance and putting yourself out there. Taking an art class or starting a new job is going to be hard. You’re probably going to suck at first, you’re not going to know anyone, and what if you hate it.

Who cares! You’re there because you want to learn, improve, and challenge yourself which will make you happier.  Be confident in who you are and your abilities, nurture what you know your good at, and improve yourself in what you’re not. Be confident and you will instill confidence in others, in turn making you successful and happier in everything that you do. And if you do hate that new job, you’re still going to learn something new so be happy anyways.

3. Don’t wait for others

You’re the one who wants to take hip-hop dance classes, help out at the local food bank, study a new language, or go skydiving.  Trying something you’ve always wanted will make you happy.  So why are you waiting for your friends to join before you do it? I guarantee that if you start to do something you’ve always wanted to try, your friends will be inspired to follow. And if they don’t, you’ll make amazing new friends and be happy with your new hobby anyway.

4. Make time

Everyone is too busy to be happy doing something they love! How are you supposed to take a scuba diving course when there’s TV, work, Internet, family and friends? It’s hard to put down the broom and sweep tomorrow because the house needs to be cleaned today…hold on, does it?

Make time in you in your schedule for you. Figure out a way to do something you want to do. In all honesty, finding an hour or two a week to take a class or join a club isn’t a big deal. Heck, how many times have you missed out on something because you sat around wasting time on the Internet or watching TV. Start using that time productively and do something that will better you, inturn, making you a happier person.

5. Do some research

Find what you’re interested in then figure out a way to do it. Doing things you’re into will make you a happier person. Living in the 20th century we have access to more information than anytime in human history. With the the Internet and a few clicks of a button you can find resources, phone numbers, directions, and everything else you need to get involved in an activity that you’ve always wanted to do.

I know it’s easier said than done, but that’s just another excuse. Everyone has the potential to find happiness by living like a traveler.  You just have to find it within yourself, and realize that only you can make things happen.

Here are a few things I’ve done with a traveler mindset that have made me extremely  happy over the years:

Thumbs up for trying something new

Thumbs up for trying something new, challenging yourself, becoming a traveler and finding happiness.  Now go out there and be happy!

Learned how to play hockey as an adult
Joined a new hockey team of strangers
Tried stand up comedy
Gone to a concert of a band I didn’t know
Tried a job in television
Took a mountaineering course
Started rock climbing
Joined an adult swim club
Tried a sprint triathlon
Learned to change my car oil
Took up guitar
Read a book someone recommended
Took a new job I was scared of (more than once)
Enrolled in a beginner acting class
Learned how to surf
Sang on stage
Learned how to scuba dive
Went out with people I didn’t know well
Checked out an opera by myself
Tried a new martial art
Learned how to fly fish (not that well)
Learned how to snowboard

If you’re a traveler at heart and are finding happiness by challenging yourself,  doing something new, and learning at home right now share your story by commenting below. Tell the Borderless Travels community what you’re doing and motivate others to find happiness by becoming travelers in everyday life too!

Happy travels,



Ian Yacobucci

Traveling the Trans-Siberian, mountaineering the Himalayas, or teaching in Tokyo, I'm always trying something new. As a someone who's worked, studied, and traveled to 40+ countries around the world, I'm here to share my experiences so you can do the same.

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