During these uncertain days of immobility, wanderlust has been supplanted by wander-denial. The painful ache to travel that we so often find to be tantalizing and delicious (because we know that we WILL travel again) has been replaced with a burgeoning fear that this may last forever. Or that the tourism industry will be completely disrupted, rendering our travel goals for the foreseeable future impossible.

Angela and I were on track to visit every country before her 50th birthday, but the likelihood of sacrificing most or all of 2020 to the coronavirus is forcing us to rethink that benchmark.

So, what to do?

With time on our hands and memories in our minds, it’s appropriate to put some happiness in our hearts. And, for avid travelers, happiness is most often found in the world’s wild backcountry, or along the twisting alleys of a foreign capital, or beside the warm hearth of new friends, sharing a common meal if not a common language.

Travel is an action, but it’s also a recollection. It happens, but then it ends. A riveting sense of the present that too quickly becomes a foggy mass of past sights, smells, and sounds. Half-remembered streets and faces. An amalgam of stunning sunsets.

Like the wonderful haze of youthful dreams, travel becomes those memories that shape us and define us. Those places that left us awestruck, humbled, and irrefutably alive.

This is a celebration of those happy places.

With full apologies and thanks to the creator of #100happydays, I’m taking on a similar challenge for myself.

Since my happiness is so often tied to my memories of a place, I’m proposing the #100happyplaces challenge. Every day, for 100 days, I will post on social media a photo of a place where I found happiness. I will reflect on that moment, and I will share that story.

For a short while, every day, I will allow myself to be transported in time and space to a happy place. And I invite you to do the same.

Share your daily photos and stories using #100happyplaces, and maybe we can get through this thing together with a little more happiness.