the root of all happiness*

i'd like to officially shout out a loud and resounding THANK YOU to everyone who did so much as put a smile on my face during my 3 month journey abroad.

thank you to every host who provided shelter, to every family that took me in, to every friend who shared food, to every bastard (kidding) who bought me alcohol, to every gypsy king who provided warmth, to every tree that held me, to every driver who had sympathy for tired hitchhikers, to every cop who didn't get angry, to every creep who illuminated a circle of angels, and especially to every stranger who took a chance and became a dear friend---for every talk, every touch, every bout of laughter, every sweet exchange. THANK YOU. an infinite, ever-lasting thank you.

this 'thank you' is a little late, and a little vague, but something about expressing it is significant nonetheless. something in the verbalization of gratefulness brings about immediate satisfaction---happiness multiplied. 

one night in paris, a handsome french man and i walked hand-in-hand and shouted out our thanks along the seine. we were on our way to meet with friends for a picnic as the sun set, and in that moment, everything felt so lively and wonderful. the feeling bubbled up inside us and spilled out in exclamations that echoed around the riverbank. "thank you universe! thank you paris! thank you sunshine! thank you friends! thank you red wine! thank you music! thanks for cheese and laughter and functional cars and midnight kisses!" and on and on and on until all the things we were thankful for blended into one big mass of happy energy.

there's nothing in the world more precious than thankfulness. it is the root of all happiness.

i felt it almost every day of my travels. because every experience was a new, unique lesson. but that newness isn't particular to travel, it's just more visible that way.  

it's so easy to forget to be grateful once things in our lives become routine. we begin appreciating what we have less, because we forget how fleeting everything is. i'm intent on bringing that same traveling gratitude home---of reminding myself on a daily basis that there is an intrinsic beauty in every moment. 

if we could simply maintain the childlike wonder that we apply when we're on an adventure---that lens of vibrant color, the kaleidoscope eyes that see the spectacular in the seemingly mundane---then we would have IT... the perspective, the sight, the grateful appreciation that is the key to absolute bliss.

try to have kaleidescope eyes, always.