a place which a person associates with happiness, visualized as a means of reducing stress,
calming down, etc.; (hence) a happy state of mind.
The earliest documented usage of the phrase happy place was found in a article of The Ottawa Citizen in the 1990s quite possibly making it originally a Canadian idea. It makes sense to me, we’re overall a pretty content people at least in the world’s eye. But of course the concept of a happy place is not likely a new one. I’m sure there were ancient Greeks who considered an afternoon in the Forum to be their happy place, or English fisherman whose happy place was dry land after days on the sea, and so on and so forth. The idea of a happy place just seems like a very human concept, one that ignores all boundaries and differences. And yet it is such a unique thing for each individual; every person may have a slightly different idea as to what their happy place is. In fact, I would venture a guess that most people have more than one.
When I think of the phrase I immediately conjure up images of Disney World and trips with my family. The most magical place on earth has been our happy place for almost fifteen years now. Trip after trip we’ve felt ourselves slip into relaxation mode the moment the Magical Express has picked us up from the airport. While other families have the combined stress and excitement of such an overwhelming experience, my family, as Disney veterans, no longer feels any pressure to get things done or to see every little thing. We take it easy and just let the magic take hold.
But of course one can’t be at Disney World every single day, especially not when it’s a three hour plane ride and the Canadian dollar has seen better days. With my happy place a bit out of the way I’ve had to find an alternative or two. Luckily enough, my true happy place happens to be the city I live in.
With every new adventure I’ve gone on in the past year of living here I’ve realized just how much I adore this city. I’ve always been a Toronto girl in my heart but now that I actually live here I’m reminded daily about how good the city is for me. I know a lot of people who feel the same way about the country, and while that’s never been my cup of tea I can appreciate how open fields and an endless blue sky can bubble up the same feelings that I get walking amongst monstrous skyscrapers and the diversities of my city.
On Thursday I will get the chance to explore what I hope to be a new happy place in my life. It will be my very first trip to the Big Apple and while I’m sure the four days will pass by way too quickly, I’m excited to take a break from long hours at work and early nights in bed. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it once I’m home.
But for now, I’m curious, what’s your happy place?