I just heard a fascinating new study coming out of the Netherlands.Â They measured the level of people’s happiness before and after a vacation.Â They found the happiest people are those who enjoy traveling.Â And even more so, they found that some of the greatest happiness comes from the actual planning of the trip.Â They also found that there was greater amounts of happiness in taking several smaller trips each year than saving it all for one really big one.Â This fascinates me for many reasons.Â I am a travel lover.Â I spend much of my brain cell power on dreaming of where I will travel to in my lifetime.Â I have lists of places I want to see someday.Â I am constantly thinking of where my next vacation will be, what I will do, and most importantly what I will eat.Â I am getting ready for a little getaway with my oldest child.Â We are heading to LA, doing all kinds of touristy things, including Disneyland.Â I have to say, I have enjoyed the planning of this trip so much.Â Much time has been spent comparing reviews of restaurants, places to see and what to not miss.Â Â The first thing I do when planning a vacation is think about where I will eat.Â My favorite trip last year was to New Orleans.Â This where I ate and why I loved it so much:
The food was quintessential NO.Â Tons of spice, tons of butter and the freshest fish outside of Hawaii I have EVER had.Â Service was amazing too.Â I practically laid on the floor and moaned. Â
I also really, really enjoyed the touristy, but popular Cafe Du Monde, and my lunch that came from the corner grocery/deli of red beans and rice that a local French Quarter merchant tipped us off to.Â
See?Â My happiness quotient just climbed off the charts!
For my LA trip, I plan on eating at Mario Batali’s Pizzaria Mozza in Beverly Hills.Â I could only get a 5:00 reser, but hey, better than not eating there at all!Â Â
In late April, Mr. Redoux and I will be celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary.Â We are off to LV again (food heaven for West Coasters).Â We are dining at another Mario Batali restaurant, then sushi at a 5 star sushi place for another night.Â Yes, my carbon footprint will be a mile wide after that foodie adventure, but I am giddy with anticipation.
There are many things I gladly give up in exchange for my vacations.Â Â
Of course, if I could have it all, I would.Â However, I am not made of money. I just don’t mind sacrificing a few conveniences in life for the vacation.Â I clean my own home, do my own yard work and drive a very standard car, as does Mr. Redoux.Â So, if you think you cannot afford to travel, you can, it is just a matter of finding your happy place and making it happen.Â
And hey, it costs nothing at all to plan a vacation!Â