In 2019 I came up with the idea to make a documentary where I would travel around the world and ask random strangers one question: are you happy? If you want to speak with me about the inspiration and plans for this project, click here. When I came up with the idea, I faced some serious challenges: no money for travel; a fear of speaking to strangers; I never made a documentary before and I could not afford proper equipment to do so. The desire to share honest stories was the only thing I knew I did have.
Today, the Are You Happy documentary series averages 10 million views a month across our social media platforms. Here are some things I learned along the way.
Travel is free, if you want it.
Saying hello is enough to strike up a life-changing conversation.
A good filmmaker can shoot with their eyes closed.
Happiness is behind a chain that you already have the key to.
I have been to Vietnam, Taiwan, Italy, England, Ireland, many states of the United States, Albania, Macedonia, Kosova, Mexico and Ecuador and never had to pay for a place to stay.
NO... I would not have to sleep at nasty hostels
NO.... I wouldn't have to sleep on the streets
YES... I did eat 3 square meals a day
YES... I was always safe and comfortable
When I first started traveling for no money, I was alone... Then my friends started to catch on to my traveling ways. They joined the paid way, while I continued the (basically) free way.
I managed to go all around India, Vietnam and the US with my close friends. They were very jealous when I would leave always leave my beautiful foreign home with no wallet!
I met some amazing people along the way and captured some very touching stories.
Not to mention I saw some of the greatest sights our beautiful world has to offer. Look at my smile here! You can tell I didn't spend a dime on that view!
I wasn't traveling in first class but I did figure out how to get first class in economy. Here's me stretching out across three economy seats.
I was really surprised to find that no one really talked about all the ways someone with no money can travel to the most beautiful places in the world.
I explain all of my traveling secrets in the below video. My next video will explain the "talking to strangers" aspect of this series I had to learn to overcome.