I didn’t travel abroad during college nor did I have fun because I studied most of the time. How can I be happier?

I was in that world, too, and I was really jealous of everybody I knew who traveled. Because my parents did not have a lot of money, and as I had a disability, they discouraged me against traveling anywhere (except to Quebec to study French, and with them at other times). When I entered the work world, I was so desperate to fit in that I allowed my employers to make it so I essentially could not go anywhere beyond Santa Barbara (I had vacation days, but I could not take them at once). However, thanks to having an avid golfer boyfriend, I got to travel. But most of the time, I had to submit to his needs—to visit places with golf (though I love Hawaii and Mexico!).

I totally understand why you feel your life is missing something because you don’t travel.

…. Then, one day, I woke up at 32 with no job, boyfriend, and a lot of advice to give up and move back to Chicago to live with my parents. That was not going to happen, so I initially set out to become a teacher (where there are pockets of the year where one can travel), and spent time between my two lives being a tourist in my own city (Los Angeles) and other nearby places. I remembered why I moved out West. Then, I became a freelance writer and found I could make my opportunities to travel beyond California—in other words, make my own luck and opportunities to go overseas.

After 15 years of doing this, where travel may be drying up (in terms of professional opportunities and competition from younger writers), and I am looking to change careers by the end of this year if something doesn’t “give” in my career scenario, I realized it is true that happiness does come from within.

Although I visited many places, the best trips I had were those where I was comfortable in my own skin, and knew I had the resources and curiosity to explore the destination, and was not worried about being judged.

A suggestion I have started to follow was by looking into MeetUp groups where i could discover new places in my area and meet like minded people—this is why we travel, after all.

Traveling abroad could have let you do more fun things I suppose. But it’s definitely not necessary to have fun.

But no matter what, don’t worry about what you did in the past, because you should still know that by studying you’ve likely ensured a better future for yourself.

Now you can enjoy your hard work!

So find the hobbies, sports, activities, etc. that you like. If you don’t know what you like, just try out random things. A nice way to figure out what to do could be to go on Find your people – Meetup and see if people nearby are doing anything interesting. And importantly, even if you don’t think a certain activity will be that fun, just try it anyway because if the people you meet while doing the activity are great, then your time doing it will be great.

So look towards the future and just try stuff 🙂

It is often said that happiness is a state of mind and this is true. However abundant and frequent problems may be thrown at a person, if he just looks positive and consider them as challenges that are meant to improve one’s self, they will not bring him down. External forces do not bring unhappiness toward a person, it is his reactions and thoughts that do. To be happy, one just needs to remember that negativities in the world are inevitable so trying to avoid them is just a waste of time and energy. Instead of doing that, it is best to just accept them and take proper actions so these negativities can be converted into happiness.

Yes, it is a simple enough thought and is probably easier said than done. But with constant focus, dedication, and guide to start thinking positively, one will never have to ask the question how to be happy again.

More/Source: How to Be Happy – Key Notes in Creating our Happiness

Who’s to judge ‘happy’. You probably are well qualified and able to get a good job, whereas those who left school and went off to have ‘fun’ are probably struggling along working in McDonalds or such these days 🙂
Certainly take time, holiday/gap year to travel – it is great to expand your horizons and see how others live. You may then also come to realize you are not too badly off, or as unhappy as you make out !

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