You Can't 'Be' Happy. Instead, Think of How to 'Do' Happy.

There’s a way of looking at happiness that’s action-oriented.

This fall I spent 6 weeks with my twin sister on a road trip through the American Southwest. As most the people we knew were returning to work or school, we were backpacking in some of the most iconic national parks of the United States. We crossed the state lines playing the guitar and navigating by map, hiked through wild and challenging terrain. We fell asleep every day tired and satisfied, and woke with the sun to start anew.

Along the way we gathered 80 GB of raw video footage. I knew I wanted to create something special with it, but I didn’t know what. It took me until January to finally finish writing the piece, but the idea for this piece originated in the desert northwest of the slot canyons in Canyonlands National Park’s Needles District.

“I’m not an expert,” I said, climbing the sandstone rocks, “but it’s like there’s a way of looking at happiness that’s action-oriented. It’s like instead of thinking how will I be happy, I try to think how will I do happy.”

So that’s where it came from. I hope it makes you think about how you find happiness in your life, I hope it makes you more aware and more intentional about the choices you make—and if nothing else I hope you enjoy the videography. I put hundreds of hours into it. I hope you enjoy the videography of the video on Vimeo.

If you want to see more about where we hiked, check out my list on The Outbound for planning the trip. Stay wild. Do happy.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Jonathon ReedExplorer

Adventure-based photographer and videographer. Sunriser.