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Traveling, relationship and happiness – Monthly Happiness Report – January, 2014

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Published on , last updated on October 3, 2020

View over piha beach

Welcome to my second monthly happiness report! This is where one of the most interesting and best periods of my life started. At the end of January, 2014, I hopped on a plane and travelled to New Zealand! I was moving to Auckland for a period of 5 months, in order to intern at a company and simultaneously finish my Bachelors degree. I initially bought my journal specifically for this period. I want to show you how this effected my happiness.

Let’s have a look at this month’s average happiness rating below.

My average happiness rating in January, 2014, was a 7,98! Holy cow!  I think this is high number, but it doesn’t really surprise me: I was doing something that I’ve been dreaming of for a long time. I spent months preparing for this adventure, and I was finally able to start it on January 24th, 2014.  It was the start of a very interesting time for me, and luckily, I still have all the memories and valuable data in my happiness tracking journal!

Monthly happiness

Let me show you a graph of just how happy I was:

This graph simply shows the value of my happiness over time. As you can see, I was very happy overall. I even recorded my highest happiness rating up to date at the end of the month! This had everything to do with traveling to a beautiful, new country. The time I spent in the Netherlands was great as well: I was spending quality time with my family and girlfriend. I needed to, because I was going to live without them for the next 5 months. What’s also great is that I had zero bad days.

Happiness factors

As you know, I provide each happiness rating with extra data, mainly the factors that are influencing my happiness. Some of these factors are positively influencing my happiness, while some of them have a negative impact.

Below table shows my happiness rating of every single day during January, 2014, and which factors had an influence.

I have summarised the positive happiness factors below:

This simple graph shows all the positive factors that I have determined during January, 2014, along with the number of days in which they influenced my happiness.

I think it’s appropriate to start with the obvious here: my relationship. Just like the month before, my girlfriend and I spent a great deal of time together. And in general, this time together makes me a very happy person. We both knew we were going to be 5 months apart, while having no experience with a long distance relationship. We tried to make the most of our remaining time together, and it had a great effect on my happiness. It positively influenced my happiness on 17 days out of 31!  This also included a weekend holiday together in Dusseldorf, Germany, from the 17th until the 19th. It’s not difficult to correctly guess how this effected my happiness.

“I always feel like I don’t spend enough time with my family”

Before getting into my traveling, I also want to point out how quality family time influenced my overall happiness. In anticipation of my traveling, I tried to spent a fair amount of time with my relatives, in-laws, grandfathers, grandmothers and everything in between. I almost always feel like I don’t spend enough time with my family. You know the story: life gets in the way. But making time to visit my family actually made me happier, especially knowing that they were also happy to see me!


I now want to share what traveling did to my happiness at the end of the month. I left my home country on the 24th of January, and from this moment and on, it was going to be interesting to say the least. I found a nice place to stay in North Auckland, and it didn’t take long before I fell in love with New Zealand.

I was a 20 year old Civil Engineering student, and was on a pretty tight budget. With the help of my landlord, I was able to find a beaten-up, used car for $1,000.- NZD. I needed to have a car for my internship, and I obviously wanted to get out and see the country during the weekends. I also bought a cheap guitar via an on-line auction, and of course brought my running shoes. I had everything I needed to be happy. And it shows in the happiness ratings: nothing but 8’s or higher.

My highest happiness rating came at the end of the month, on the 30th of January. On this day, it all came together. I had just bought my car the day before, and was ready to start exploring the country prior to starting my internship. I took my guitar with me and drove to Piha beach. Coming from the Netherlands, I was not really used to these kind of surroundings. I had never been overseas before, so it felt like I was driving through a landscape straight out of a Planet Earth documentary. I still remember the intense happiness I felt when I first saw the beach through the mountains. I just started screaming… Literally. “Hell yeah!”. The entire day was absolutely epic, and I still consider it to be one of the better days of my life. It sure was a great start to my time spent in New Zealand.

“I still remember the intense happiness I felt when I first saw the beach through the mountains”

Happiness tracking while traveling to New Zealand
From upper left: Piha beach, Auckland city skyline, Flying above the UAE, Takapuna Beach

I want to leave some of the positive experiences for the next monthly happiness report, so I’ll briefly cover the negative factors now.

I really had a great month, but there were some factors having a negative influence on my happiness. The obvious factor here is sickness. I caught a flu in the middle of the month, and it lasted 3 days. I don’t think I have to explain why this influenced my happiness in a bad way. Also, there were some minor arguments between me and my girlfriend. But as I’ve talked about in last month’s happiness report, these minor arguments are to be expected and part of a healthy relationship! Finally, there was some stress and emotional instability, which was all caused by the big amount of preparation required for such a big adventure.

I want to stress here that I don’t often have months like these. I only counted 10 negative happiness factors, which is just really low for me. It might be interesting to see how the 5 months I spent in New Zealand influenced this number.

And with that, I want to finish this Monthly Happiness Report. I sincerely hope this kind of posts are somewhat interesting. They are for me at least. If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to answer them!



Hugo Huijer

Founder of Tracking Happiness

Founder of Tracking Happiness and lives in the Netherlands. Ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). Data junkie and happiness tracker for over 7 years.

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