As part of committing to a life of adventure, Hannah Cox decided to travel 18,000 miles from the UK to Bhutan in what she calls her ‘Road to Happiness’. Putting together this mega-adventure took plenty of planning and preparation. On top of all that, Hannah got rid of all her possessions except a backpack and suitcase!
The minimalist adventurer herself shared with Tough Girl Challenges what it took to plan her expedition from the very beginning. See her podcast episodes below for more info on the trip itself and her minimalism experience.
After reading statistics on depression in the UK, Hannah was inspired to dive into a study on happiness. She discovered a report that listed Denmark as the happiest country on Earth. Then she found that Bhutan’s focus on happiness was so centric to their culture that they measured everything by gross national happiness!
With these statistics and facts in mind, Hannah thought it would be fascinating to travel to Denmark and Bhutan to see how happiness was reflected in the everyday lives of their citizens. The idea slowly grew from simply flying to Denmark and Bhutan to travelling the entire 18,000 miles by land starting from the UK.
The origin of Hannah’s adventure shows us just how rewarding it can be to follow your curiosity. You don’t have to have a complete idea for an expedition immediately. Give yourself the opportunity to uncover your curiosity and plan an adventure that really speaks to you in the moment.
Making it to the Starting Line
Sure, coming up with a grand expedition idea is exciting, but the next step is ensuring you follow through with your plans. Hannah runs a group in Manchester to help people plan adventures and achieve goals, so it was here that Hannah began to hold herself accountable. She knew that if she just kept telling people she was doing the Road to Happiness it would happen.
Telling friends and family about your plans is one thing, but the next step is to tell strangers. Hannah made it a point to tell people she was meeting for the first time about her plans. While friends may think the Road to Happiness is just another silly idea, strangers would simply know her as someone who is doing it.
One of those strangers eventually became Hannah’s partner. While she hadn’t originally planned to do the trip with him, she invited him along and further held herself accountable to make it happen.
Hannah shared that there’s definitely impostor syndrome no matter how many times you set off for an adventure. You worry if it will actually happen. Having her partner by her side was incredible because he genuinely believed she would do it. That confidence continued to push Hannah forward.
Getting Down the Details
When it came to planning the details of the trip, Hannah kept it simple and flexible. On a big map of the world, Hannah drew a line through some countries to create the path for their trip. She contacted The Visa Machine for help getting the necessary visas for the journey. Hannah had originally thought she was going to drive the whole way, but she didn’t have a UK driving license and it looked way too expensive.
To keep track of all the things she needed to do, Hannah employed systems. She wrote down a to-do list, used Trello as a mindmap, Excel for monthly and yearly goals, and Evernote to keep notes together. While it may seem complicated to use all these things, this multi-disciplined approach was the best system for Hannah.
The key to planning is to know that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s all about finding what’s right for you and being flexible with your plans.
Finding Your Own Happiness
Hannah went to an adventure conference full of incredible people doing incredible trips. She walked in feeling confident with her Road to Happiness adventure until she was faced with a mountain of questions. How was she doing the trip? Has she taken enough interviews? Enough pictures? Enough notes?
Hannah wondered, “Have I done enough? Is my trip going to achieve what I want it to achieve.” Hannah realised she had. Enough is not a definitive thing you can work out. The minimalist adventurer discovered that you have to do what’s best for you and not get stuck in the details.
With the Road to Happiness under her belt, Hannah found that happiness for her is spending time doing things she loves. That happiness has to be found within herself. Hannah shared, “If you aren’t happy with who you are as a person, you’re going to struggle to find happiness in life.”
Listen to 'the Road to Happiness' expedition
Website - www.betternotstop.com
Support Hannah on Patreon
*** this is not financial advice***
If you are having financial problems please speak to a qualified professional.
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