If I'm going to ask you to read my blog for a couple of months while I traipse around Europe seeking happiness, I suppose I owe you an explanation.
My Key To Happy is a traveling documentary series seeking to define, maintain and increase quality of life. I'm interested in what happiness means across cultures and time, and how our relationship with it is shaped by experience.
1. Provide a platform for the discussion of maximizing our experience of life.
2. Seek deeper experience, deeper understanding and deeper connection with new people, cultures and myself.
3. Create something beautiful that puts a smile on more faces than just my own.
1. Travel from culture to culture in search of lifestyles and philosophies that yield the experience of happiness, both transient and lasting, with an emphasis on how people are dealing with current global phenomena.
2. Make music an integral part of the experience, equipped with my guitar and a college degree.
3. Document the adventure and the insights that we find in the process, and make it all available to anyone for consumption and critique.
Meet Karim Sabry - the other half of the team. He's a 23 year-old photographer and videographer studying and working behind the lens in Rome. Being himself one of the happiest fellows that I've met, he's the perfect man for the job. "To travel, to film and to understand people are all of my favorite things packed into one," he told me. We met in person years ago, just once. Yet when I asked him if he'd be interested in joining me for a multi-month backpacking trip around Europe, chasing the elusive unicorn that is happiness-insight, without proper funding or a concrete plan, he didn't even hesitate. Our mission has heart, and that's enough reason for us both.
Our first country is Greece, where refugees still flood across the border from Syria and other neighboring countries seeking safety from intolerable circumstances. Our mission here is to interview refugees, NGO workers, and the people of Greece. I wonder how one's definition of and approach to happiness evolves in times when the fortitude of the human spirit is put on trial. I wonder the same about the volunteers and workers who provide aid in the face of the dangerous backlash of those who wish to keep the refugees out of Europe. Greece has been known to be home to some very consistently happy people - how do times such as these affect that?
If you, the reader, have contacts or recommendations while we're abroad, we'd love to hear from you! You can contact us, sign up for the mailing list, follow the Facebook page, and recommend yourself or someone else for an interview all here on the website (www.whoisdallasthornton.com). We've chosen not to do a proper fundraising campaign at this time on principle - we believe in creating value first, and asking for support only after that value has been given.
Having said that, if you do want to support this project we are accepting donations here on the website (My Key To Happy tab, bottom of the page). This will help support the expenses of travel, editing and proper promotion.
Thanks for joining us here on the blog as we travel for the next couple of months. It's a pleasure to have you aboard. What adventures will unfold? I'm certainly uncertain, but I'm positive that it will be positive.