Founder’s Note: Finding “The New You” Through Traveling

New experiences, new you.

Wendy Bhutan roadtrip
PHOTO WENDY HUNG

I get this question a lot: “What’s your favorite destination?” For the longest time, my answer had been automatic. Anyone who knows me long enough knows that Paris gives me freedom and a sense of confidence that is hard to explain. It’s also the sweetest feeling, finding yourself meshing within a foreign setting then realizing that something within you has been positively changed. Whether such metamorphosis came from the sight of a monument, the sound of a different language, the touch of sand or a plate of tasty local dish; traveling is a form of constant reinvention. And for those, like myself, who are on a continual quest of personal evolvement; traveling, in this aspect, becomes fantastically addicting.

Back in late October, I traveled with my mother to one of the world’s hidden treasures: Bhutan. A country rarely making international news, frequently overshadowed by Tibet, India or China. But what a life-changing experience it was! Not many have traveled to Bhutan because the Bhutanese government enforces a tourist daily fee of $250/day, making it one of the most expensive places to visit. While the rest of the world focuses on GDP, Bhutanese government carries enormous pride in its Gross Domestic Happiness. One can absolutely feel it throughout every town, every street corner in Bhutan. If you don’t know what true happiness is, then here’s how I can best describe it: it’s beyond every fathomable definition of peace. It’s when kindness and optimism naturally take over.

In Bhutan, there are no stoplights, because people are that polite towards one another. Simplicity, purity, traditions, spirituality are the basis of their lifestyle. Not completely “jetset,” but in today’s convoluted world, such a lifestyle is not only to be respected, but rather, beautifully coveted.

(Click on images for the slideshow)