We have a simple but special rule we live by that has made a huge difference in our experiences: Learn Something New Every Day. And it’s adding up to something amazing.
We live in an SUV and travel around North America. Why? We’re in search of several things. Freedom. Time. Knowledge. Adventure. Change.
Freedom is gained by living this way. We had to trade out luxuries, but that was no big deal. The tradeoff is clear and simple. We are more free to do what we want in our life, rather than feeling the pressures that come along with traditional life. That weight of needing to go to work on Monday to pay the bills, for a job I barely like aside people I barely know. The stress of meeting deadlines. And the loss of time together. Time is another benefit of this lifestyle. Now that we can work a lot less, we have time to spend together, time to devote to what we truly love – hiking, reading, exploring. We have had so many real adventures since living on the road. Every day is a new adventure. Every day might mean a new place, meeting someone new, or exploring a new landscape.
With these experiences, we started learning a lot. And with more time, we have been reading and visiting museums and chatting with locals and gaining birds eye views (literally and metaphorically). We realized that the more we learned about a new place, the more meaningful and deeper the experience was. We experience more moments of awe. When you look at a mountain, perhaps you just see a mountain. It’s nice, sure. Now, go learn the geologic history of that mountain. Learn about the formation, the layers, the life that’s lived there over millions of years, ancient humans who once dwelled in its caves, and the biodiversity that exists there today. Now, go back and look at that mountain. I bet you want to go to it, hike it, see it. And I bet when you do, you’ll be in awe.
And so, the sum of our experiences become richer everyday. We make connections of places thousands of miles apart. These deeper experience thus change us. Learning changes a person and I have personally experienced this change. I like looking back on my life, several weeks, month, or years back, and realizing how I’ve changed. Because I know that his change is a good thing. It means I’ve learned a lot and I know I’ll never be done learning.
We change everyday, and continue to do so. As we change, we adjust our life to live true to our knowledge and values. To date, we live this lifestyle on the road as a reflection of the change we want to see in the world – a simpler lifestyle, a deeper respect for nature, a thirst for knowledge, an understanding of the value of interconnectedness, and a desire to live a life full of happiness, health, and love.
So, from me to you, here’s what I’ve learned about being happy: Pursue awe above all else (money, status, ego) and you’ll find yourself exactly where you belong. You might not know where that will be. It just happens. It’s like an ever-appearing road map in front of you. And to increase awe, learn a little about everything you can. A simple exercise is to commit to learning something new & different everyday. Then, ask a question about that new thing and learn about it. This way, you’ll never be done learning! If you’re traveling somewhere, make sure to learn as much as you can about it. Seek as many moments of awe when you go.
Happiness is the sum of your moments of Awe.