Claire’s Happiness Project: Fresh Air

I’m a believer in the great american road trip. Piling in a car with friends or family or the Griswolds and trekkingWaterfall across these great United States. Granted this can be a little more restrictive these days, but after taking some time to stop in the Smokies this weekend, I can say that we as a country have some pretty amazing sights to offer. A 12 hour drive with family could be the recipe for disaster (in the form of a migraine), but I chose to make this trip another journey in My Happiness Project- one more step towards a calmer, happier, free-er me.

Waterfalls, mountain tops, and the occasional turkey vulture kept us entertained on our way back home, and making the obligatory overlook stops did wonders for my mental health. I’m an avid outdoors girl, and hiking and tree climbing are meditative for me. In the craziness of school and work and wedding planning, I haven’t been spending the necessary outdoors time I need to stay sane. This political environment is stressful enough for the average American- as a super in-debt student getting a master in public policy, I needed a dose of outdoors to keep my from going crazy.

Fresh air in the mountainsAt the top of a mountain (or a tree, because Indiana is flat), I feel infinite, if only for that moment. The stress an worries and cares down below fade away and I can tap in to that adventurous feeling of our ancestors; the desire to explore new worlds and change my own fills my lungs and brings a feeling of renewal that I can’t find anywhere else.

It’s amazing what some fresh air can do.

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