This summer’s travels are my little happiness project. As I’ve gotten older I’ve given up the idea that happiness is found because we made the perfect life decisions or did creative work or have a great relationship with our spouse. I know for me, I am much more simple than that. A lot of things will be make me happy, but a few things make me really, really happy:

1. Sunshine

2. Exercise — but not of the gym-exercise variety, but more of the being outside and active kind

3. Travel and doing new things

4. Laughing

5. My kids being happy

6. Love

7. Wine, sugar, carbs and a good cup of coffee. Probably not all at once, okay maybe.

So biking my way across Europe means I hit almost all my happiness serotonin sweet spots… I’m outside in the sun, doing something physical but fun, traveling, which lightens my mood, makes me laugh more, which makes my kids happier, so they laugh more, which infects my husband with joy and he’s sweeter to me, then I love him more, while drinking wine, eating fresh bakery goods (or sweets) and having some of the best coffee in the world. Win, win, win, and win some more.

So what did I find in our tour of Costa Brava, our first time biking? Just that. So happy you feel full at the end of the day, like you just experienced a week of living in a just a few hours. It’s exhausting, but in a good way.

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The breeze hits you. The blue of the sea.

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My batman-spiderman costumed child approves.

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I want to live here.

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This guy waved to me after I took the photo. Hi!

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So there’s all of that but we’re biking through these beautiful old towns.

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Just gorgeous, you spend half an hour slowly approaching it, riding through the city, then as you’re leaving you look back for one last look. It’s a lovely way to see a place, to move towards it, around it and through it at a slow pace.

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So much farmland.

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The mountain ranges in the distance. The weather never totally cooperated but in a way the cloudy skies were great cover for keeping us cool.

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Happy, crazy kids.

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Oh and we ran into the Kite Surfing World Championships. Some of the most cool, chilled out families we’ve ever met.

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Then, too fast, it was all done. Luckily for us, it’s just a short train ride north of Barcelona… I said to Drew, “We’ll never have to leave Spain, not even to go on vacation” — love it.