Our Online Program Manager Mike reflects on the things in life that make him happy.
Where do I even begin to start with such a diverse word? It means many different things to many different people.
Is it your wedding day?
Is it that fleeting moment when you realise you’ve successfully won a bid on EBay?
Is it sightseeing some of the remote corners of the Earth?
Is it watching cat videos on YouTube until the wee hours of the morning?
The truth is there is no right or wrong answer.
Every year I try to go back to my hometown Manado, on the North Sulawesi Peninsula, Indonesia. Why? Because it makes me happy.
If I could pinpoint why it makes me so happy, I couldn’t name just one thing…
It’s the amazing vistas in the volcanic ranges located inland.
It’s places like ‘Bukit Kasih’, where five religions have built their places of worship into the side of an active volcano (an achievement in itself when considering that parts of Indonesia’s history have been shrouded in religious and political conflict).
It’s the incredibly beautiful scenery under the waves, considered by many to be the top diving spot in Indonesia, and one of the best diving spots in the world (if you’re lucky, you can catch sight of a Coelacanth!)
It’s the breathtaking beaches and sunsets.
It’s the collection of all of the above, combined with spending time with my extended family, that truly leads to happiness.
Sharing experiences with the people you hold dearest is what makes us human – I think it’s part of the reason why I work at RedBalloon; to be in an organisation that can help people give, quite literally, a package of happiness in the form of an experience, which the recipient can then go on to share with family and friends.
So what’s my next goal? To share this world with my seven month old son and my wife.Â After all, to see them learn and smile is what makes me happy.