Happiness Itinerary?

Jan 1st, 2009, 05:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 465
Happiness Itinerary?

Here's a different take on travel itineraries from a recent New York Times article. The writer says: "When I visit a new country, I head to the nearest village and ask the first local person I meet, 'Whoís the happiest person around?' and then schedule an appointment at the happy personís home. Iíve never once been turned down. That individual then suggests the next great place to visit. And once Iím there, I repeat the process."
The complete article is at http://tinyurl.com/92lau8
Now, I think I see some problems with this approach, but consider that some Fodorites giving travel advice on this forum just might be grumpy and unhappy people.
With my trip to Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand just a month away, I'm encountering a cancelled Thai Air flight (and resulting missed connection), the suspension of our Siem Reap Air flight, and possible political unrest. This article provides some perspective, though I'm not ready to buy in completely. What do others think?
Best wishes for happy travels in '09.

WillJame is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 06:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,988
lol - to each one's own. I love the planning involved in travel. I love learning about new places before I get there. For me, his approach would take away some of what I enjoy about travel.

I certainly agree with the author that it makes sense to take advantage of travel's mishaps to enjoy something new. But the idea of asking for the happiest person in the village... I guess I find that too intrusive.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4,121
If some new-age loon came up to me and said 'Who's the happiest person around?'...

I'd club them to death with the nearest stick, stand back - and say 'ME'.
dogster is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 06:56 PM
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I don't know where this writer did this experiment, but I don't see it working in India.

Not to mention "happiest" is certainly open to a lot of interpretation.

Further, does this writer just happen to have the gift of foreign languages to pop into a village and start talking it up with the locals?

Doing this could get sketchy too, especially if you're a lone female.
Jaya is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 300
Perhaps one should try this approach in the city or village they live in.....ask a stranger "who is the happiest person in this city", see how it works, before taking on such a challenge in a foreign country.

I value my well planned vacation too much, or perhaps I am just too conservative to risk doing what a stranger thinks is the "happy" thing to do in that town.

Not to mention the fact that I am usually on a time schedule.

Naw...I'll leave the happiness experiment for local tryout, rather than run into issues overseas and then blame foreigners for how my vacation turns out?? Sorry.
magical is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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anyone coming to my home with that shirt on would be suspect....
rhkkmk is offline  
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