Some people are happy all the time. Damn you. Most of us get smacked so hard in the face with life we feel nauseous and want to sit in the corner with an In-N-Out Double Double or a bag of Doritos and wait till the storm subsides. Yet making a conscious effort to make our own lives better and happier is an essential part of being a living, breathing human. A lot of happiness stems from stepping outside your comfort box and growing, a.k.a, making progress in understanding and being a part of the world. If you’re an explorer you know exactly what I mean. Below are my key points to generate more love, comfort and overall happiness in life and travel.

Talk to people. As humans we have a need for social interaction, yet over the last decade smartphones have become our excuse not to look up, make eye contact and open our mouths. Start conversations, especially with the same sex. If I see a woman sitting alone I’ll almost always start talking to her. Some of my best friendships have started this way.

Order food and beverages unique to your location. If you’re a creature of habit and always order a cheeseburger with fries and a beer, for the love of all things holy try something new. Expand your taste buds. Try tasteful foods that you can’t get anywhere else when traveling. You are stuck in your own city, try a new restaurant or learn how to cook something other than a grilled cheese.

Have less “stuff.” When you travel, pack light. You’ll be amazed how little you essentially need/use while you are traveling… or just living. Get rid of things you don’t use and free space for your life. Clean out your closet, give the clothes to Goodwill, stop spending money you don’t have on crap you don’t need. This goes for beauty products as well. How many shampoos do you really need in your shower?

Sit and stare. When you arrive to a new town or city, grab a coffee or lunch and sit in one place for at least an hour and people watch. When that hour’s up you’ll feel more connected to the area. Do this were you live to take a break from the busy hustle and bustle of your life to slow things down.

Make decisions. You have to be decisive. Whether it’s where you’re going over the weekend or what you’re ordering at a restaurant. Be a person who knows what they want. You will drive less people crazy and waste less time.

Read everything. Pick up a freaking newspaper, magazine, book or tablet. Educate yourself and know what’s going on in the world especially where you live or want to visit. You should have to excuses especially with digital technology and the news being fed directly to your hands through smartphones.

Get up early. The day belongs to you. The mornings are a beautiful time to be awake. When you’re traveling, this is a great time to sightsee without crowds and yelling people. In your everyday life in your hometown getting up early will make you more productive throughout the day.

Don’t sweat the small things. Learn to let things go, especially if it’s something out of your control. Your plans are never going to be perfect. You’ll be happier if you can acknowledge things are not going right and shift your focus on making it better than negatively dwelling. Move on honey.

Be kind. Most people deal with a lot of negativity in their lives. Don’t add to that flame. Treat people with respect. It goes a long way.

Don’t be afraid. By being less afraid you will realize just how much you actually can do. Don’t be afraid to get on a plane, visit a new place or meet new people. The world is not a scary place. With a little courage your whole world can change for the better in so many ways.