Cycling to Bhutan

*** We are crowdfunding A Journey For Happiness book – you can help by pre-ordering a copy here ***

In October 2017 I left my academic job researching happiness and began cycling to Bhutan. Ironically I wasn’t very happy in my job. I had grown dissatisfied and weary and I wanted to do something that felt more personally meaningful, would bring me more happiness, and also deepen my understanding of happiness.  A journey to Bhutan on a bicycle was born.

I finally arrived in Bhutan on March 2019, 18 months after leaving my job. It was an epic journey focused around happiness and took me to 25 countries and I covered around 20,000kms by bicycle. I’ve written a book about that journey and you can help get it published via the crowdfund in this link.

For now you can get a glimpse of the journey via links below to articles I wrote and some of the media coverage of the journey. I am always happy to talk about my journey – media interviews, a public talk, or even over a coffee, so if you’re interested get in touch.

Media

Along the way I picked up some media attention for my journey. For example, The Times wrote a piece I November 2018 about my journey, and my Spanish got a real test when I encountered Mexican journalists earlier that year in August. There were also a few other local and national news items along the way, as well as in Bhutan when I finally arrived there.

Since I returned there have also been some other interesting pieces on the journey, such as on this BBC radio show called “People Fixing the World.”

I have written various articles about my journey – for example, on why I undertook the journey and journey overviews. I’ve also given several talks to various audiences (for example, here and here).

The Route

Below is a map of the route I took – it was not a direct route because on the way to the happiness capital of the world I wanted to pass through places that are just as inspiring when it comes to happiness and wellbeing – such as Costa Rica and Canada. An animation of my route can be found by clicking on the map.map 1

Blogging

As I journeyed I wrote about my experiences and how they enriched my understanding of happiness. Most of the articles I wrote can be found here, but below are links to a few of the best:

My journey involved a lot of happiness, but I also encountered deep personal struggle. Here are a few posts about some of that struggle:

  • Resentment, hostility, and hatred arise… (only three months in to the journey I got bitten by a street dog. It was a difficult time and I wrote several blog posts about the experience and got through it in the end – this post highlights an important insight I obtained from the experience)
  • Vegas and the desperate hunt for an improbable happiness! (Las Vegas stands out as being the most difficult places to be – exuberance and destitution – a recipe for unhappiness. This post depicts some of my experience there)
  • The ultimate lesson in happiness: Self-acceptance (100 miles away from the Bhutanese border and I had the most serious bike mechanical issue of my journey making it unlikely I’d be able to cycle those last miles. This post explores the issue of self-acceptance)