Find your happy place & visit it often

by Friday, June 8, 2018

Hi there, my name is Danielle Johnston and I’m in the fortunate position of occupying the editor’s chair in the small but perfectly formed team bringing you Journeys To Come.

Catriona’s shoes are of course impossible to fill (she’s been on a writing sabbatical of sorts for the last six weeks) but the saving grace has been ‘meeting’ our Guest Editors and hearing their many and varied stories.

They’ve shared a fascinating swag of travel highlights, tips, bucket lists, gadgets, books and favourite spots for powering down and re-charging. Last week, one of the Guest Eds, Jack Walden, also shared the statistic that more than 30 per cent of Australians are simply too busy with work to take some much-needed R&R.

Our Guest Eds are certainly not among this workaholic, travel-shy cohort (we screened them well), and please tell me you have a place you love holidaying in on a regular basis, and you’ve already booked your next vacation there?

You see, there’s now empirical evidence linking long-lead-time holidays to better mental health. A team of Dutch researchers found people who plan or anticipate an upcoming trip tend to rate themselves happier than people who don’t have a trip coming up. They also discovered holiday-makers “who have a history of past tourism experiences in a certain destination, or who take similar types of holidays regularly, are better [sic] capable of matching their wants to their needs. This implies,” they concluded, “that tourists may become increasingly able to derive benefit from their holidays in terms of fulfilment, enjoyment and happiness.”

Those clever Dutchies discovered we get happier the moment we start planning our next break and, if it’s a relaxing, two-week holiday in a familiar spot, we’ll feel relaxed while we’re away and enjoy a happy high after the trip, too. It’s a win-win-win, all the way home. Just don’t overpack – it will drain your mojo, big time. (Read our tips this week for kicking unhealthy packing habits.)

Like many Melburnians, one of my happy-holiday places is Noosa, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast (where I took this photo on a walk to Sunshine Beach). I’ve already planned a return trip to Noosa, albeit short, this September and it is making me feel happier just thinking about it. I can only imagine how I’ll feel when I see this view in the flesh again, as I blink away the salty rivulets running down my face in the humidity. I can’t wait.

So, if you ever needed evidence that holidays are good for our mental health, there it is. They don’t have to be five-star or 14 nights, just somewhere to get away from work and wind down will fit the bill. We hope this week’s travel blog will inspire you to match your wants to your needs, find your happy place and visit it often.

This week, on Journeys To Come…
Guest Traveller: Sam Cross, Author, “The Istrian Cookbook”, on Istria, Croatia 
“Have you ever wondered what Tuscany was like before all the tourists and industry?! Welcome to Istria, home of medieval hilltop towns, ancient Roman ruins, glittering azure beaches and cobblestone filled villages.” READ MORE

Ask The Concierge: Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London

“I like to discover what’s underneath London. In 1988, archeologists discovered ruins of London’s Roman Amphitheatre, in which crowds would once have gathered to watch wild animal fights, gladiatorial combats and public executions. There are also quite a few historical sites in the London Bridge area that are worth visiting…” READ MORE

Come Fly With Me: Jason Kimberley, CEO & Founder, Cool Australia 

“Antarctica is my all-time favourite destination and, like all great spots off the well-worn track, it’s bloody difficult to get there. There are no tourists or fast food outlets to spoil the experience and no queues or traffic to frustrate you.” READ MORE

Travel Tip: Packing hacks to help you lighten your load

Danielle Johnston responds to a reader and tries to spark some joy with ’10 Tips For Freeing Yourself From The Urge to Over-Pack (And Still Look Hot!)’… READ MORE


Catriona chats with Australian illustrator Kerrie Hess, discussing the beauty she finds in travel. LISTEN HERE

Beloved Books: Curated by Danielle Johnston

“Outliers – The Story of Success” seeks to explain why some people succeed far more than others. For answers, the author directs us to look around these ultra-high-achieving ‘outliers’ (think: Bill Gates of Microsoft) for clues as to the reasons for their meteoric rise. Reading a Malcolm Gladwell book always changes the way I look at the world. READ MORE

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