Chasing Dreams Colombia ~ Is Magical Realism Destination Life Rambles

Day 71 in Colombia: Of Contentment and Happiness

Lately, I have been overwhelmed by emotions. That is pretty normal, considering I will be leaving a place I felt at home for the past four months. However, I am not sure I like ‘feeling so much’… and that prompted some self-reflection. While I looked back on my daily notes, I stumbled upon day 71. Here’s sharing a piece of life reflection in Colombia:

Skyview of my beloved host city, Armenia, Quindio
“You must be having lots of fun there.”

Of late, I have been asked, ‘what do you do for fun/happiness during your free time?’ This got me thinking about the differences between happiness and contentment, and what it means to me or perhaps to others in the world.

In an attempt to find out the meaning of happiness, I asked myself what makes me happy and the thought that comes to my mind is: “Being happy can be tiring or rather, trying to make me happy or seeking happiness can be tiring.”

Happiness is when he placed his tiny hand in mine; sometimes, happiness stems from innocent trust. – One fine Sunday in Buena Vista
Because humans are conditioned in such a way that we often act without thinking and one feels and goes with the flow (allowing emotions to overtake your mental capabilities) rather than to explore why one feels a certain way.

Happiness is a moment in time when that sense of inexplicable elation welled in me, and I caught myself grinning goofily; my heart so full of joy. One day, I was taking a bus back to Armenia and my friend caught me smiling to myself. It was a beautiful day of blue skies and cotton candy clouds, the street was filled with colours in celebration of the town’s 138 anniversary and we had just spent a lovely afternoon at a finca (farm) with great views.

I cannot pinpoint what it was exactly that made that sense of joy welled within; was it the awesome company? the lovely environment filled with spontaneous people dancing and laughing heartily? the beautiful tranquil scenery of a coffee farm that overlooks green valleys? Perhaps it was one of these, or a combination of all but all I am certain is: I was happy and … it wouldn’t last.

Indeed, it didn’t.

However, I knew it is a feeling that I can go back in time to relive and savour in my memories. I am neither sad or frustrated that I do not feel that way all the time. In fact, I would not want to. And I guess this means that I am contented to ‘just be’. I am satisfied with living in the moment, with all that I have or rather all that I lack. I do not have much, but it is enough.

Are you content with your life? Being content does not mean that one doesn’t strive for more. It does not mean that one does not make further progress in life. It means you are comfortable with your current pace/process of life. And if you are not contented, what’s stopping you from taking actions to make yourself happier or more contented?



At the beginning of this year, my resolution (or rather new life motto) was ‘to live life vivaciously’ and to gain new and fulfilling experiences. Unwittingly, life happened. It has been three months since I first stepped foot into Colombia and every day, I count my blessings for being given the opportunity to live, learn and explore this beautiful South American country and her people.

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