The Happiness Idea World

The Happiness Idea in the sub-Antarctic!

Happiness in the sub-Antarctic? First, a little background. In Kazakhstan.

Nicki & Patricia on an expedition to seek happiness. Here, in Kazakhstan.
Nicki & Patricia on an expedition to seek happiness. Here, in Kazakhstan July 2015.

A year ago, we met Nicki, an intrepid, dream-following scientist woman. Nicki and Patricia were seated next to each other on a bus in eastern Kazakhstan. Patricia was on the hunt for the story of someone pursuing an unusual happiness (she’d been commissioned by New York’s Narratively to write a piece about overcoming post-natal depression by way of Kazakhstan). Nicki was on holiday from her job. She and a fellow scientist friend were road-tripping overland from Mongolia. Like all conversations during long bus rides in foreign countries, the dialogue quickly turned profound. Patricia revealed she was on the hunt to tell the story of someone pursuing their happy. Nicki revealed she was also a documentary filmmaker. It wasn’t long before Nicki and Patricia decided to collaborate. They’d combine storytelling and filmmaking to create a short film about someone in Kazakhstan achieving happiness.

So what does this have to do with the sub-Antarctic? Well, after Nicki and Patricia created the short film, and after Nicki went back to her day job as a scientist for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, we got to thinking. We thought: What if we worked with filmmakers all over the world to tell stories, through short film, of people trying to achieve whatever it is that makes them happiest? What if a global network could help those people get the tools they need to create their own happiness?

That’s—in part anyway—when The Happiness Idea was conceived!

But guess what happened next? Just as we were about to pen our first post to you on this website, the one that was supposed to say, “Hey, welcome to The Happiness Idea’s website!”, we got a telephone call from Nicki.

Nicki said she was headed to the sub-Antarctic islands, one of the most inhospitable regions of our planet. It’s stormy, windy, and no one has managed to survive there for more than a few years. In fact, some of the few who have lived there over the last several centuries have been castaways from shipwrecks who were so desperate to escape that they took their chances sailing away with boats they’d made themselves!

But Nicki is a scientist. To be invited on this island expedition is an honor. So when she told us she’d be taking her camera along, we got all excited. Once again, Nicki would go on the hunt for a story about happiness. Just like she and Patricia had done in Kazakhstan. So while Nicki is doing her science duties, she’s also be looking for someone in the sub-Antarctic who knows a thing or two about happiness. Once Nicki returns from the bottom of the world, we will put together a short film for you about the pursuit of happiness—in the most inhospitable of places!

To watch our short film about finding happiness in remote Kazakhstan in the Altai Mountains, click here.

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