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'Anything can make a person happy', a statement I completely agree with. It could be the first cautious rays of sunshine after a rainy day, a roadside full of poppies or a sporting achievement. I save and cherish these moments of happiness and try to find a new one every day.

Especially when traveling, moments of happiness seem to come together easily for me. A different environment, a foreign language and wonderful smells, they quickly evoke a happy feeling in me. But what are the ultimate moments of happiness while traveling? And how can you create yourself?

Wake up in the middle of nature

I am an avid camper. I love being outside all day and adapting my life to the rhythm of nature. While I sometimes have trouble getting out of bed at home, it is a lot easier when camping. The sunbeams on my tent, the sound of the birds and the beautiful nature that awaits me outside the tent are instant happiness for me.

The most beautiful place I woke up? That was in Canada at remote Green Lake in British Columbia. We stood with two other campers on this otherwise deserted site and looked out over a mirror-smooth lake in the morning. Closer to home, the Dutch Nature Campsites have many nice places to wake up.

Spotting wildlife

Encountering animals in their natural habitat is, in short, magical! Whether it is deer on the Veluwe or bears in Canada. Time and again I am overcome by an ultimate feeling of happiness. Why? Perhaps because animals cannot be planned into your itinerary. You have to be lucky to come across them. At most you can increase the chance by visiting places where they regularly come.

And what are those places? For the Big 5 (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo) you of course have to go to Africa. And I spotted bears and whales in Canada. But my fondest memory is of Egypt. Where I completely unexpectedly encountered dolphins on a diving trip. And these have been my favorite animals since childhood.

Achieving a Gipfelkreuz

Anyone who often walks in the mountains will recognize the experience. There is a tough climb waiting for you during the walk and a fantastic view awaits you at the top. But the first thing you see is the Gipfelkreuz that marks the top of the mountain. As soon as the Gipfelkreuz comes into view, walking becomes easier. No matter how exhausted you are, that cross gives new energy.

Even better is reaching the top. The moment you stand next to the Gipfelkreuz and take in the view is truly indescribable and makes you forget all the pain of the journey up. That ultimate moment of happiness always makes me start a new walk to the top.

What makes the experience extra fun is that you often meet other hikers along the way. Sometimes you overtake them, other times they overtake you and sometimes you run together. I now have many photos of various Gipfelkreuzes with me, my husband and the hikers with whom we shared the experience. And the photos also give me that nice feeling of happiness.

Creating moments of happiness while traveling

Because I know that these things give me a moment of happiness, I try to actively seek them out when traveling. I like going to mountainous areas and staying in or near nature parks. Such an ultimate moment of happiness will never be boring.

Tell me, what are your ultimate moments of happiness while traveling? And do you also know how to consciously look for them?

About the author

Cindy Veldhuis - van Hunen from Backpackfever

As a passionate traveler and world wonderer, Cindy has already discovered many beautiful places in this world and still dreams about just as many destinations. Take her to an unknown place and she is in her element. All her senses immediately start working. What smells so good here? What does that sign say? Where are all these people going? What do I want to do here? In other words, the Backpackfever strikes and she prefers to see, do and experience everything at once. On Backpackfever.nl Cindy shares her travel stories with other adventurous travelers.

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