Tao of Travel author Paul Theroux has sought out ten happy hot spots. Check them out here
Paul Theroux is a man after my own heart. Instead of seeking out the trendy on his travels, his quest is to seek out happiness around the globe. Theroux has been hot-footing it around the world and lingering in the places that fill him with joy. These locations are ”places where there’s fulfillment, good food and enough of it, good weather, families intact, and a sense that they don’t have a desire to look for something elsewhere,” the Tao of Travel author recently told USA Today. Can you imagine how easy it would be to live and love in a place where everyone is completely fulfilled by the quality of their lives? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to meet a guy who was totally satisfied with his job and the direction his life was taking, not constantly looking ahead to the next best thing?
The idea of dating a guy who’s happy with who, what and where he is is intriguing. It is not a guy I have yet had the experience of dating. Have you? For that matter, can any of us really be completely content?
I hope so. Theroux’s list of happy locales is a place to start, at least. We all deserve to be happy. Regardless of who we are and what we’ve done, we all deserve the chance to be loved.
Why it will make you happy: The coastline drive is incredible. Says Theroux, “It has one of the most dramatic coasts. The great trip is to just go up Route 1, ideally late spring or early fall. You can drive from Boston to Portland and then just keep going along, Freeport, Brunswick, Rockland, up past Camden, then Bar Harbor. It goes all the way to Canada.”
Orkney Islands, UK
Why it will make you happy: The 70 mostly uninhabited islands off the coast of Scotland has produced artists, musicians and poets, and will most definitely help you discover your muse — or let you play muse to one of its artists. It’s ”hard to get to but worth the trip,” says Theroux, adding, ”People have been living there since prehistoric times and they have produced a lot of poets, writers, and musicians. I never stopped dreaming about these islands and the fresh fish.”
Why it will make you happy: It’s so beautiful and serene that unhappiness is an impossibility. Remember, Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert not only found inner peace, but also got her guy there. Says Theroux, “It’s the grace and aesthetic appeal. I just love the colors, the artistic sense of the Balinese. They can do anything. They can weave, they can carve, they can dance, play instruments, sing. Their houses are beautiful, their clothes are beautiful, they have temples, they have the most wonderful dances and ceremonies.”
Why it will make you happy: Costa Ricans realize that a simple life is the most beautiful kind. “They seem to practice the politics of enough, the economics of enough. They don’t want more than they need,” Theroux says.
Why it will make you happy: The people are unfailingly friendly and is home to some of the most amazing cultural wonders on the planet. ”Egypt has the world’s treasures, thousands of years of accumulation of Egyptian culture, the Pharaonic culture, not just the Pyramids, but temples all along the Nile, from Alexandria on the Mediterranean to Aswan and on to Abu Simbel,” says Theroux.
Why it will make you happy: The quality of life and opportunity for quick and easy travel is tantalizing. “There’s coastal Thailand, jungle Thailand, mountainous Thailand, and if you’re there you can easily visit Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, India,” Theroux says.
Why it will make you happy: Its residents take care of their own, making it a real and very old-fashioned community. If you’re visiting, however, Theroux advises that you visit Lake Malawi. “It’s a very big, deep lake, with hotels all along the lakeshore. If I were a tourist, that’s where I would go, and there are also game parks in the north where you can see elephants and giraffes and other animals.”
Why it will make you happy: Who could be unhappy in one of the most beautiful places on Earth? Each island is gorgeous, and completely unique. “Each island has its own character, its own sense of pride,” Theroux says. “If you’re not happy on one island, just find another.”
Why it will make you happy: The food is wonderful, and the Sicilians are more forgiving about their figures than American city folk are. Plus, there’s great wine, great weather and a great vibe. ”It’s a very hospitable place, and Palermo is one of the great cities of Italy and of Europe too,” Theroux says.
Why it will make you happy: It’s one of the most liberated places in the world, so be happy feeling free. ”It’s a place where I felt welcome, yet the people didn’t want anything from me,” Theroux says of the tiny group of islands off the coast of New Guinea. “They are perfectly content with what they have. Like the Orkneys, it is far offshore and a hard place to get to, but worth it.”