”Riding for Happiness”; is a one-of-a-kind motorbike adventure from Rome to Bhutan, crossing 16 countries and covering more than 14.000Km. Reversing the myth that “all road lead to Rome”, I will drive far beyond the Roman Empire, from the Alps to the Himalayas, from the “Boot” to the Land of the ”Thunder Dragon”.
The purpose of this adventure is to investigate the true drivers of happiness across cultures, interviewing the people I will meet along the road while raising money for Operation Smile.
Carlo Avati, 21 years old is ready to start his journey, with a Royal Enfield Himalayan, from Rome to Bhutan with a great and unique spirit and goal. He’s going to leave Rome on March the 4th 2019, planning to reach Thimphu, in Bhutan, by the end of August. He’ll be crossing 16 countries and riding for more than 14.000 km.
“My aim is to interconnect the more philosophical and anthropological perspectives on happiness held by the people I will meet, to the more economic and scientific ones embedded in the “Gross National Happiness Index”(GNH) developed in Bhutan. The plan at the end my journey is to remain in Bhutan for a while to further develop my cross-cultural study on happiness. Bhutan: the very first country that proposed happiness as a matrix for development back in 1972, with King Jigme Singye Wangchuck declaring: “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product”!”
Happiness; is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence “Aristotle”.
One of the gifts of travel is the glimpse into other ways of happiness and life. We all want to be happy. When looking, though, in greater detail into other cultures, one can recognise that happiness, probably the most universal of emotions, has its distinct connotations and circumstances when observed through different cultural lenses.
Studies have pointed to different areas, still, the road to finding happiness appears coloured and diverse for each of us. If happiness is different in different cultures, it cannot serve for the comparative evaluation of cultures. If culturally variable, the definition of happiness can also change over time and if so then it isn’t a robust criterion for public choice within cultures. The lack of empirical evidence makes it very difficult to draw any conclusion.
Through Riding for Happiness my aim is, in fact, to address this lack of evidence and attempt to understand and connect the “true” drivers of happiness around our world while interviewing the people I will meet along the road between Rome and Bhutan.
Giving back to society is also a fundamental component of the mission. The adventure will, in fact, also serve as a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for “Operation Smile”. Why “Operation Smile”? Simple! Because a smile is the universal expression of Happiness.
What is a smile but a few facial muscles pushing the edges of the lips upwards? Yet this simple act, even if forced, transforms the entire face and changes the way a person is viewed. It is universal; overcoming religion, ethnicity, class, gender and language.
Operation Smile is an international medical charity that provides hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children in developing countries who are born with a cleft lip or other facial deformities.
ONLY 6.3% of an estimated 312.9 million surgical procedures performed each year go to the poorest third of the global population. Without surgery, 9 in 10 children born with a cleft condition could die. Donating to Operation Smile today means new smiles, new lives, new futures for children and families who are dreaming of a life-changing surgery. My objective, through Riding for Happiness, is to collect enough money for a 100 new smiles.
The Gross National Happiness Index; (GNH) was developed in the 1970s in Bhutan.
The concept proposes that development should be measured through a more holistic approach and give equal importance to the non-economic aspects of wellbeing.
The Index includes both traditional areas of socio-economic concern and less traditional aspects of culture and psychological wellbeing. It is a holistic reflection of the general wellbeing rather than a subjective psychological ranking of ‘happiness’ alone.
The GNH directly addresses the global, national and individual challenges we are currently faced with, by pointing to the non-material roots of well-being and offering ways to balance and satisfy the dual needs of the human being within the limits of what nature can provide on a sustainable basis.
Follow Carlo and his unique adventure on Motoexcape.com!