Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The journey to Happiness

The goal was to head to Brisbane from Melbourne to attend the “Happiness and its Causes” conference in early June. I find the conference title a bit twee and schmaltzy, conjuring up images of falsely cheerful games show hosts with toothy smiles, but the calibre of the presenters was good so I thought I’d give it a go.

Flying would have been convenient, but lacking excitement (hopefully!) and so the brilliant idea to drive a thousand and something kilometres, and explore new (to us) National Parks on the way was hatched. A couple were somewhat off the beaten track, where the amenities included pit toilets, a river for water (with strict instructions for all water to be boiled), and not much else … no power, no internet, no electronic connection, nothing. Perfect spots to rejuvenate flagging spirits! I'll share that later on.

Two private camping grounds offered free wifi, but frustratingly it didn’t work at all at one, and at the other you had to be sitting ‘just so’ for it to work. Visualise me huddled at an awkward angle, beanie and coat protecting me against a brisk sea breeze, perched at a wooden picnic bench, bush turkeys at my feet, with the ocean in the distance, a lighthouse on the headland and dense bush surrounding the not very large campground - it was glorious.
From this ...
Thurra - no electricity, no internet, no running water
To go from that to a conference in a city, even one the size of Brisbane was a bit of a contrast – all chattering excitement and enthusiasm and radio broadcasting and high tech communication and security.

There were monks, and other religious people, professionals, retirees, actors, TV personalities, in fact people from all walks of life – nearly 2½ thousand of them, all there to learn something new, or seeking insights or reassurance or to share their own experiences.
... to this:
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Anyhow… It’s finished, my conference handouts are dog-eared, scrawled with notes and I’m almost ready to begin sharing that aspect of my trip with you over at traverselife. I’ve also vigorously patted myself on the back for resisting the temptation to purchase a mountain of books from the extremely well stocked bookstore.

I  now have a window of almost two weeks with good, reliable internet connection, then I’m off exploring again on the way home. So I’ll only be around for a while before I’m out of range for a few more weeks – the aim is to travel inland on the way back, through some of the desert and arid country. In the meantime, it’s good to be back and see your warm comments wishing me well.

Thankyou all ☺


Jan Morrison said...

I like the idea of a happiness conference. The lojong card I pulled yesterday said 'Apply Only a Joyful Mind' and it did help with the day to remember that. I look forward to hearing about it and I also laughed to think of you leaving your awkward but lovely campsite, where you were happy it seems, to go seeking it in the city. Ah, we humans are so darn cute.

sue said...

Jan, "cute" yup, I like that word! and contrary, difficult, blind and all sorts of other things.

Gaining PD points at a good conference was also part of the plan.

Anonymous said...

Great post ! I liked this concept :))