Happiness Is… (The Photo Edit)

1. Family

Family happiness is universally considered to be one of the most influential underpinnings of spiritual happiness. During this year’s festive season, I hope you are surrounded by the people you love, and whom love you back, unconditionally.

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I chanced upon this scene in Geneva while taking an evening stroll along Lake Geneva (2018). Nearing the end of my Swiss pilgrimage and recovering from a bout of food poisoning the previous day, I was struck by an unbecoming dose of homesickness. I stood and stared at the trio for a while, lost momentarily in their family happiness and lost in equal measure in my desire to be reunited with my own.

2. Friendship

Happiness is sharing our journey with friends, whom enrich our lives in more ways than we care to admit. Let us be grateful to the friends that make our hearts sing and impart us with the knowledge that we are safe to be exactly who we are.

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I took this shot in Grasmere in the English Lake District (2016) during the height of my Lego photography craze. I rather liked the photogenic pair, don’t you?

3. Reflections

Happiness is hitting pause to reminisce those moments that meant the most to us. In a year that presented challenges aplenty, I certainly held onto my moments, and the people that have occupied a space and time that once filled me with hope.

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Reflection perfection in Interlaken (2018).

4. Reading

Happiness is delving into the world of others. I came across an enlightening read this year – Joshua Wolf Shenk’s Powers of Two – which aptly highlighted the powers of creative pairs. In a world of self-idolisation, let us not forget the Paul McCartneys behind the John Lennons and the Ulays behind the Marina Abramovics. No man is an island, and the concept of lone geniuses unnecessarily diminishes the blood, sweat and tears of the unwavering other.

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I snapped this image of a yawning cat in Shanghai (2018) moments before the boy intruded into view. Whilst a photo of a yawning feline is in itself an opportune snap, it is the unsuspecting boy that completes this picture.

5. Sharing

Happiness is sharing the simple pleasures in life. A burden shared is at a times a burden halved, and a joy shared is most definitely a joy doubled.

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Of all the delicacies I have had on my travels, it is this hearty fare in Finland that I remembered the best (2018), not for its culinary pleasures per se, but sharing the flavours of home whilst standing on its diametrically opposite.

6. Solitude

Happiness is finding solace in solitude and learning to appreciate that time to oneself is just as nourishing to the soul. Whilst there is arguably nothing worse than feeling lonely in a crowd, feeling comfortable in our own skin and making peace with solitude can truly be one of the most rewarding discoveries.

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Solitude can be deafening in Iceland, being one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula, on Iceland’s west coast, captivates in its wintry sparseness (2018).

7. All in the pursuit

Too often has the pursuit of happiness been misunderstood. For far too long have we placed the emphasis on Happiness, yet all the while relegating the Pursuit to a consolatory afterthought. As a new year dawns, let us embrace the Pursuit, of everything that is important and of everything upon which our Happiness depends.

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We were treated to an amazing sunrise on our last day in the Santa Claus Village, Rovaniemi (2018). It continues to serve as a reminder that the day is young, and there is no time like the present.

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Blue Settia says:

    Beautiful photos Jolene! Your ideas of happiness are certainly affirming. I love your attitude!

    1. Jolene says:

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

  2. Albert Soriano says:

    Vibrant photos, and your post ushered me into deep thinking 😀 truly remarkable

    1. Jolene says:

      Thank you Albert, I’m glad they’ve resonated with you.
      I tried to visit your site as well, but it said that the site did not exist?

      1. Albert Soriano says:

        Hi, must be due to site migration lately. Feel free to visit me at bertsoriano.com
        I’ll navigate your site frequently, so much fragile and genuine thoughts freely expressed (i’m a fan 😁)

      2. Jolene says:

        Thanks for sharing your site – will drop you a visit soon! 😁

  3. raastha says:

    Beautiful reflections of the past

    1. Jolene says:

      Thank you Raastha, much appreciate you dropping by.

  4. Mabel Kwong says:

    Really like your take on happiness, Jolene. Family and friendship is such a wonderful thing, and so agree it is amazing to be surrounded by the ones you love. There is no love as strong as that. I also like reading and whenever I get to sit down and read a book, I feel so at peace – and also it’s a great chance for me to learn something. Wonderful images. Also I am from Australia too – great to know another blogger from Australia 🙂

    1. Jolene says:

      Thank you for connecting with me Mabel, and I’m glad the post has allowed you to reflect on your own definitions of happiness. I totally agree with you – reading is truly cathartic. What do you like to read? Great to hear you are also from Aus, I’ll check out your blog soon! Thank you and have a great weekend! ☺️

      1. Mabel Kwong says:

        I like to read non-fiction books on self-help, identity and how things work (science). Again, really lovely to have met a blogger from Australia, and a Chinese-Australian one too. You have a good week ahead, Jolene 🙂

      2. Jolene says:

        Sounds awesome, we have similar tastes 😄

  5. Len Kagami says:

    Gorgeous photos, Jolene! I wondered why I didn’t see this post earlier 😛 Love the reflection shot. A perfect mirror, literally.

    1. Jolene says:

      Thank you Len, I must admit I also did quite a bit of personal reflection on that bench!! Any travel plans in 2019?

      1. Len Kagami says:

        Currently, I have no plan for 2019 🙂 My grandfather’s health status of is unstable, so we should be around in case of needs. Being said that, I just took a micro-trip to Hong Kong 🙂 Unfortunately, it was so foggy (or was it smog?) that I couldn’t make any photo with a clear blue sky.

      2. Jolene says:

        Hope your grandpa gets better soon.

  6. Great post, I agree with you 😊 Amazing pictures as well 😀👍

    1. Jolene says:

      Thank you, much appreciated! Hope you have an amazing New Year! 😊

      1. Thank you, I hope you have a great year too 😊

  7. arlene says:

    Wow, so reflective of the season. thank you for sharing these lovely thoughts and the accompanying photos as just lovely 🙂

    1. Jolene says:

      Thank you Arlene, greatly appreciate your kind note. Glad you enjoyed the piece and hope you have a wonderful festive season! ☺️

  8. I like your instances and constituent parts of happiness. Seems right. To many similar moments!

    1. Jolene says:

      Thanks Manja. Hope you have a great day!

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