a blog about seeing the world

Archive for April, 2011

Our happiness: a line graph

Our days here in El Nido seem to revolve around eating mangoes on the beach, gazing out at the islands in Bacuit Bay.

This lifestyle inadvertently allows for a substantial amount of time to reflect back on our travels in Southeast Asia. We thought of the good times and remembered the bad. And there seemed to be a lot of both.

One day we were loving it, and the next would bring uncomfortable levels of frustration and physical anguish. In the name of science, we decided to break out some long-dormant Microsoft Excel skills to bring you this graphical representation of our happiness during 11 weeks in Southeast Asia.

While the graph for our five weeks in Japan would be a gently undulating plateau on the upper end of the happiness spectrum, you’ll notice Southeast Asia looks more like the heart rate of a preteen at a Justin Bieber concert.

Click to see our Excel wizardry in detail.

Not coincidentally, deep chasms of misery often occur during a day of train or bus travel, or a night of vomiting, etc. in a Bangkok bathroom. But we now look back on these moments with a rueful smile, and it’s often the not-so-good stuff that makes the best stories.

We are preparing for a flight to a new continent with— surprise— mixed feelings. It will certainly be nice to take in the conveniences of the familiar modern world, but we’ll miss the sense of adventure that comes with travel here. There are countless things from every corner of Southeast Asia that we’ll miss… enough to fill another post.