Why Traveling will Make You Happier

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When I was 18 years old, and first picked up a camera, it was my personal ambition to travel the world. I had romantic notions of traveling the world like Henri Cartier-Bresson, taking beautiful photographs of everywhere I went.

Mexico City, 2019 #cindyproject
Mexico City, 2019 #cindyproject

Now nearly a decade+ later (I am 31 years old), I have traveled much. I have lived like a a ‘digital nomad‘, and have followed tenants of Zen, Taoism, and minimalism with great effect. I am certainly MUCH HAPPIER now than I was when I was 21 years old.

Now, the question is:

Will traveling make me happier?

I think so. But let me explain a bit more:

We are happiest when we are ‘uncomfortable’

Mexico City, 2019
Mexico City, 2019

This is why I believe traveling will make you happier:

I believe there is something in the human genome which delights in stress, uncertainty, and chaos.

Contrary to what modern thinkers tell us, no — we humans don’t desire comfort, stability, and basic hedonic pleasure. This line of thinking has been indoctrinated to us ever since we were kids.


  1. Our parents encouraging us to get ‘safe’ and ‘stable’ jobs (which make a lot of money)
  2. To be ‘careful’ when playing on the playground
  3. To strive to one day own a home, save for retirement, an the such.

Plan a trip today

travel notes mobile edition cover
TRAVEL NOTES: Mobile Edition

There are already SO MANY places you can travel to (on the cheap). As an American, I like using Kayak.com, Priceline.com, Google Flights, and Spirit.com to look for cheap flights. For us Europeans, we can use RyanAir, Easyjet, and other budget airlines. In Asia, I like AirAsia.

The myth is that traveling is expensive. It can be done on the cheap (how I prefer it).

Also, you don’t need to travel internationally to have a great time and experience. You can travel locally (you don’t even need to fly, you can take the bus, metro, or drive yourself).

The basic notion is this:

Spend a chunk of time (1-2 weeks) to make yourself intentionally uncomfortable, in order to re-awaken your inner-artist and creative genius.

My favorite places

Selfie with Cindy in Mexico City (at hipster bar)
Selfie with Cindy in Mexico City (at hipster bar)

If you need inspiration, some ideas (no particular order, just the first places which pop into my mind):

North America:

New Orleans
New Orleans
  1. New Orleans
  2. Chicago
  3. Portland
  4. Austin
  5. Vancouver
  6. San Francisco
  7. New York
  8. Mexico City
  9. Montreal


Prague, 2018 #cindyproject
Prague, 2018 #cindyproject
  1. Prague
  2. Berlin
  3. Lisbon
  4. London
  5. Paris
  6. Marseille
  7. Stockholm


Hanoi, 2017
Hanoi, 2017
  1. Hanoi (Vietnam)
  2. Saigon (Vietnam)
  3. Dalat (Vietnam)
  4. Tokyo
  5. Kyoto
  6. Osaka
  7. Seoul
  8. Busan
  9. Hong Kong
  10. Mumbai
  11. Melbourne
  12. Sydney


Istanbul cat
  1. Istanbul
  2. Dubai

TRAVEL HACKS to inspire, motivate, and encourage you!

Travel Notes (Print Edition) and Travel Note (Mobile Edition)
Travel Notes (Print Edition) and Travel Notes (Mobile Edition)

For more motivation, inspiration, and travel hacks, pickup a copy of TRAVEL NOTES (Print Edition). Or if you prefer more mobile living, get a copy of TRAVEL NOTES (Mobile Edition).

Share your best travel photos on ARS!

Screenshot from arsbeta.com

For honest feedback and critique on your travel photos, upload them to arsbeta.com (and also critique the works of others, to help them improve as well!)

Start uploading your photos to arsbeta.com

Screenshot from arsbeta.com

Words of encouragement

You’re an artist. As a photographer, you’re primarily a ‘visual artist‘, meaning, you use your camera as your paintbrush and sword.

Pride yourself in being an artist. And treat your photo-making as your artistry.

As an artist, you don’t need to “explain” yourself. You don’t need to explain why you make photos to anyone else (but yourself). You make art because it is fun, enjoyable, and gives you the great stimulus to life!

Keep making photos! Best is to upload them to your own website/blog. Second best is to upload them to arsbeta.com

Shoot on!

2020 ERIC KIM Workshops

Experiences never die:

For personal assistance regarding upcoming workshops please email my manager Neil at neilta@gmail.com