Road to Happiness Expedition


The World Happiness Report 2016 documents Denmark as the happiest place on Earth. Furthermore, Bhutan is a country that measures prosperity by gauging its citizens’ happiness levels, not the GDP.

By travelling overland point to point on our own Road to Happiness Expedition, we wanted to discover and document how between these two places we can create a happier world.

There is growing global interest in happiness and subjective well-being as primary indicators of the quality of human development. We want to be part of that discovery. Because we are undertaking the whole trip overland, we will be able to fully immerse ourselves in each country we visit.

As a result of this we conducted research in three different ways:

1. Firstly, using the Subjective Happiness Scale to measure the happiness of people we meet along the way.

2. Carrying out personal subjective fieldwork on the cities and countries we visit to suggest ideas which may support better lives and writing about it on this site.

3. Finally we captured Interviews and photos of the experience which will be included in a three part travel book.

And just as a side note…

Since you must be wondering, I want to confirm that we are not Psychologists or Psychiatrists (though Phil did get a Psychology degree at University). We are simply two people who care about the planet we inhabit, and more importantly the people we share it with.

Also, Hannah is a member of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), who have listed the Road to Happiness on their Expeditions Database for 2017. You can read about it here.

Finally, you should know this trip was entirely self-fundedWe are both self-employed and have saved our own personal cash to fund this trip.

This expedition is now over, and Hannah & Phil are based in the UK working on their research to create a three-part travel book to be released Christmas 2020.

Map of the Trip

Below you can see the route we followed on our trip from the UK to Bhutan.  Our expedition took us through Eastern Europe, Central and South East Asia. We travelled overland by road, rail and ferry; crossing Russia and Mongolia on the legendary Trans-Mongolian Express.

Every city we visited is marked with a green dot, which also has a link to the corresponding blog post.

The full list of Cities, Countries and our Itinerary can be found below, and for every week we completed, you will be able click on the link to read a roundup of what we got up to. We are in the process of updating the blog posts, and these will be live again shortly.

The Story of the trip…

Week One – UK and The Netherlands

19th March: Aldeburgh, UK to Harwich, UK  to Hook of Holland, Netherlands
20th March: Hook Of Holland, Netherlands
20th March: Amsterdam, Netherlands
23rd March: Osnabrück, Germany

Week Two – Germany and Denmark

24th March: Hamburg, Germany
28th March: Fanø, Denmark

Weeks Three and Four – Denmark

1st – 14th April: Wwoofing, Sonder Omme, Denmark

Week Five – Denmark

14th April: Copenhagen, Denmark

Week Six – Denmark

21st April: Wwoofing, Bornholme, Denmark, Germany

Week Seven – Germany

29th April – 5th May: Berlin, Germany

Week Eight – Poland and Lithuania

5th May: Poznan, Poland
8th May: Warsaw, Poland
9th May: Kaunas, Lithuania
11th May: Vilnius, Lithuania

Week Nine – Latvia

13th May: Riga, Latvia
16th May: Līgatne, Latvia

Week Ten – Estonia

22nd May: Tallinn, Estonia
23rd May: Äksi, Estonia

Week Eleven – Estonia

27th May: Tallinn, Estonia

Week Twelve – Finland

6th June: Helsinki, Finland

Week Thirteen – Finland

10th June: Wwoofing, Mantereen Tila, Finland

Week Fourteen – Finland

16th June: Turku, Finland
19th June: Helsinki, Finland

Week Fifteen – Russia

22nd June: Saint Petersburg, Russia
26th June: Moscow, Russia

Week Sixteen – Russia

2nd July: Yekaterinburg, Russia
7th July: Irkutsk, Russia

Weeks Seventeen and Eighteen – Mongolia

11th July: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Week Nineteen – Mongolia

22nd July: Khogno Kahn, Mongolia
25th July: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Week Twenty – China

30th July: Beijing, China
3rd August: Xi’an, China

Week Twenty One – China

7th August: Chengdu, China

Week Twenty Two – China

15th August: Nanning, China

Week Twenty Three – Vietnam

19th August: Hanoi, Vietnam
24th August: Hoi An, Vietnam

Week Twenty Four – Vietnam

26th August: Hoi An, Vietnam (ctd…)
1st September: Nha Trang, Vietnam

Week Twenty Five(ish) – Vietnam

1st September: Nha Trang, Vietnam (ctd…)
5th September: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam*
27th September: Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Week Twenty Six – Cambodia

29th September: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
2nd October: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Week Twenty Seven – Cambodia

7th October: Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia

Week Twenty Eight – Cambodia and Thailand

14th October: Sihanoukville (Otres), Cambodia
18th October: Koh Chang, Thailand
23rd October: Bangkok, Thailand*

Week Twenty Nine – India

22nd December: Kolkata, India
27th December: Sunderbans Nature Reserve, India

Week Thirty – India

29th December: Kolkata, India
2nd January: Puri, India
4th January: Cuttack, India

Week Thirty One – Bhutan

6th January: Kolkata, India
9th January: Jaigon, India
10th January: Thimpu, Bhutan
11th January: Paro, Bhutan

Week Thirty Two – India

15th January: Darjeeling, India
21st January: Kolkata, India
22nd January: Heathrow, UK

*You may notice some gaps in some of the dates.  This is because on three occasions we had to interrupt our journey for work: once for Hannah, and twice for Phil.  Each time, while one of us was away the other remained in country, travelling independently.  We’ve decided not to include these periods of independent travel in our blog, as The Road to Happiness is specifically about our shared adventure across the globe.