I recently finished an interesting book called The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. The author traveled to ten different countries in an attempt to figure out the so-called “secret of happiness.” The science of happiness is a fairly new area of study, but one that’s gaining steam. There are research studies done and journals published on the subject of what makes people happy. Weiner wanted to further investigate this topic by exploring different countries and figuring out if the people in them were happy, and if so, why.
Eric Weiner is a self-declared grump, so his semi-pessimistic attitude makes reading about his search for happiness ironically amusing. From first class hotels in Qatar to slums in India, he leaves no stone unturned on his search for the elusive emotion. He is willing to go to any length, whether it be eating harkarl (rotten shark) in Iceland, or meditating in an ashram in India.
I think this is a great book to read if you are planning to study abroad or just travel in general. It was funny, insightful, and kept me interested throughout all 400 pages. And even if you have no imminent travel plans, you’ll get to visit ten different countries during the course of the book!
This book gets you thinking about happiness, and if being in a particular place can determine or affect your happiness. I think that students studying abroad are often on an emotional roller coaster, with highs of having the time of your life and lows of feeling a little homesick. Reading a book about location-based happiness was really interesting, and if you have an interest in travel I highly recommend it!
If you want to find happiness while studying in the U.S., be sure to check out the state guide and get some ideas on where you could be happy!