I have finally finished The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner! It was a great book, despite the month that it took me to finish it. That was simply laziness on my part. My appetite for adventure has been enlivened! I guess I sort of let it rest with all of the traveling that I’ve had to do since September, but it’s awake now. I remember how much that I want to visit Bali, Thailand, and Ireland. I have added a few places, since reading this book, to my list: Switzerland, Iceland, India, and Bhutan. I will visit Great Britain this summer, though I don’t think I will be visiting Slough. Also, I don’t believe that I will ever be visiting Moldova for any reason. Not that I ever wanted to, but after reading the chapter about Moldova, fresh produce is not really a good enough reason to visit that sad place.
Eric came to some interesting conclusions about happiness throughout his travels. He pretty much sums it up like this:
“Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude.”
I think that he is right, for the most part, and this book was a great reminder of what really matters, what really makes a group of people happy. Trust and gratitude are definitely essentials when it comes to being happy. I think kindness should be thrown into the mix too.
One of my favorite things that I learned from this book was mai pen lai. It’s this idea that is used in Thailand and it means “never-mind”. Like, oh well, can’t do anything about so let’s all, happily, get on with our lives! I need to work on having more of a mai pen lai attitude when I get hung up on things that I cannot change.
Anyway, this book is definitely a great read. Eric Weiner has a great sense of humor and made me laugh out loud several times. One particular instance was when he was talking about the Bhutanese and their obsessions with, ahem, the male appendage.
So, I am on to my next book on the reading list. As I mentioned before, I am not going in the order they are listed. I think I will re-start the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. That is it for today. Have a great Friday!