A Month of Happiness Over 50s Lifestyle

Meaningful Mondays: Make May YOUR month of happiness

May 1, 2017
May the month of happiness

May the month of happiness


I’ve just returned from a 7 day cruise to New Caledonia and Vanuatu.  The time away certainly gave me time to reflect and think about my life – what I am happy with and what I would like to change. It also made me appreciate all that I have in my life.

May the month of happiness. This month I want to focus on happiness and what that really means to each of us. Simple ways to find happiness in our life.

What makes you happy?  Have you really thought about it?

Travelling is such an education and on this cruise we arrived in Port Vila, Vanuatu and met Arthur.  Arthur was our taxi driver for the day we were in port and he really reminded me that you don’t need much to be happy.

may the month of happiness

Coming from Australia which is still regarded as the ‘lucky country’ I was reminded that I am indeed fortunate to live here but also perhaps Arthur’s life was just as good – even though in a material sense he doesn’t have much.

As we drove along, we asked Arthur about his life and living in Vanuatu.  He told us that he works six days a week driving a taxi then on Saturday night takes a 1.5 hour bus journey home to his wife and children who live in a village on the other side of the island.  His grandfather is the chief of the village, they live in huts and make a living from growing fruit and vegetables which they sell at the markets.

The average wage in Vanuatu is $100 per week.  Schools and medical services are not free and in fact many of the schools are only attended by children of foreigners or government officials. The normal person cannot afford to send their children to school.  In Australia we have free education and medical.

My husband asked Arthur:  “Have you lived in Vanuatu all your life and have you ever thought of leaving?”

Arthur replied that he had always lived on the island and was quite happy with his life.  He couldn’t really afford to leave but didn’t want to anyway.  Family life and village life was very important to him.  He was contented with his life.

We had a fabulous day exploring and visiting the Blue lagoon & the Rarru Rentapau Falls.  So peaceful and inspiring to be in nature and to just ‘be in the moment’.  I’ve included a short video of the Falls – so relaxing.


I left Arthur that day feeling uplifted and also with determination to continue my quest to ‘Simplify My Life’ (which was my word for 2017).‘Simplify My Life’ (which was my word for 2017).

We don't need material things to make us happy - we need to find our happiness from within.Click To Tweet

Why not take 5 minutes to reflect on your life and think of what really makes you happy?  Then make that a priority.


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  • Reply Donna May 1, 2017 at 06:49

    Sounds like a great trip, Sue. Welcome back!!
    I look forward to working with up on our upcoming link-up!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 1, 2017 at 09:30

      It was so relaxing Donna and the hardest part is coming home and not getting caught up in the stresses of life. Yes I’m looking forward to working with you as well. Have a great day!

  • Reply Leanne | crestingthehill May 1, 2017 at 12:11

    We really are blessed to live in such a great country aren’t we Sue? But happiness isn’t always about how many luxuries we have or how much money we earn – it takes people like Arthur to remind us that it’s about family and community and finding pleasure in the life we have been given. Welcome Home x
    Leanne | cresting the hill

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 1, 2017 at 12:46

      We certainly are lucky Leanne and I really think I could do with a lot less in my life. I went a whole week without social media and it was such a relief not to have to check constantly!

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl May 1, 2017 at 15:24

    Glad you had a lovely trip and thanks also for the life lesson you’ve taught me through this post as well. Happiness truly comes from within.

    SSG xxx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 1, 2017 at 15:30

      Thanks SSG and you’ve made my day with your comments! Have a fabulous week!

  • Reply Shirley Corder May 1, 2017 at 15:26

    You’ve got such a powerful message here. You’re so right that we don’t need all the external trimmings to be happy. We need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude! Six Tips to Safeguard your Comments from Spam

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 1, 2017 at 15:32

      Thanks Shirley and lovely to hear from you now that I’m back. I certainly learned a great deal from Arthur and hope to start making some changes in my life. Have a fabulous week!

  • Reply Grammy Dee May 1, 2017 at 16:04

    Thank you Sue for linking up and co-hosting at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared this post on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 10:39

      Thanks for sharing Dee and have a wonderful week x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan Blogs May 1, 2017 at 19:10

    Lovely reflective post Sue and I found Arthur’s outlook refreshing too. I seek contentment over happiness these days and I am slowly moving towards that state after feeling very disconnected and not content for many reasons. Let’s move slowly in May to enjoy what each day brings. Take care. Denyse Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 18/52 Next week: “My Mondays”.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 10:39

      Actually I was listening to the ABC on Sunday Denyse and they were discussing happiness and how we should look at it as contentment so you certainly have the right idea. I like your thought about moving slowly through May and enjoying each day – so important but not always easy. Have a fabulous week and thanks for the link up.

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 1, 2017 at 19:56

    Sounds very relaxing Sue, it’s always good to remind ourselves of how fortunate we are. I’ve shared on G+ and Pinterest.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 10:37

      It was just what we needed Debbie and I love meeting new people from other cultures. Travel is a great reminder of what I have and also a great education of how others live. Have a fabulous week Debbie! x

  • Reply Jean | DelightfulRepast.com May 1, 2017 at 23:10

    Sue, this is just what I needed to read on this morning of May 1. I think I need to make a plan for May. Thank you!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 10:37

      Oh I’m so pleased Jean. I know I needed a plan when I returned from my cruise so I wouldn’t lose the wonderful feeling of calm and relaxation. Good luck with the plan and let me know how you are going. Have a great week! x

  • Reply Carol ("Mimi") May 1, 2017 at 23:45

    Traveling opens up the world so that you encounter new ideas and people with new points of view. It’s so refreshing! Thanks for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’ve shared your post on social media.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 10:35

      Yes I could travel all the time Carol but my bank account doesn’t stretch that far!!! Thanks for sharing on social media and have a fabulous week. x

  • Reply Clearissa Coward May 2, 2017 at 02:21

    Sue that waterfall video is the best. I could just sit and watch that for hours. What an awesome trip. I dream of visiting Australia. I have a friend who has moved there for her husband’s job and they have bought a home and settled in quite nicely. I think they are planning to raise their girls there. It is wonderful to visit and get to know different cultures. #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’ve shared your post on social media.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 10:33

      It was so peaceful Clearissa we sat there for quite a while just soaking up the peace and quiet. Australia is a lovely place to visit and also to live even though I may be a little biased! Come and visit us one day!

  • Reply Roxanne Jones May 2, 2017 at 03:31

    There’s nothing like getting away to gain a new perspective–and appreciation–for what you have. Thanks for sharing your reflections and realizations!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 10:30

      Exactly Roxanne. I love meeting people like Arthur who have very little in material terms but so much heart and laughter which is more important. Brings me back to reality and appreciating all I have.

  • Reply Laurie Stone May 2, 2017 at 06:06

    Sue, You make me want to visit Australia someday, even though its on the other side of the planet. Arthur sounds like a wonderful man — like many who live with less, but have a full, happy life.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 10:29

      I’m sure you would love Australia Laurie and we would make you feel most welcome. I love meeting people like Arthur because they make me feel humble and remind me of what is important in life. Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day. xx

  • Reply Lori Hill-Smith May 2, 2017 at 11:33

    It’s so important to focus on the positive in our lives! Thank you for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 15:10

      Certainly is Lori! It is also great to co-host with you and hope to connect through #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. Have a great week x

  • Reply Mackenzie Glanville May 2, 2017 at 14:08

    We honeymooned in Vanuatu and spent a couple of beautiful weeks there on a little Island called Erakor Island which was so pretty, and we literally walked straight onto sand from our Villa. My favourite was the kayaking though, most peaceful thing I have ever done. The food was amazing there too! But one thing I still say the most that struck me being there was the children, always laughing, big smiles, playing so happily, they were just so full of life and knew how to live in the moment. I would go to the market there and buy things and give the little children helping their parents out some money too, and they were so grateful. The school where my children go to now donate lots of school books and pencils, paper etc to schools in Vanuatu. It is such a special place to me. Thanks for linking up with me this week. Sending love #mg

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 2, 2017 at 15:09

      It is a beautiful place and the people are gorgeous aren’t they Mackenzie. Such a wonderful opportunity for your children to be able to send over school books etc and learn about giving to others. Have a great week lovely!

  • Reply Grammy Dee May 3, 2017 at 07:27

    I’m back again! The video was relaxing. Could have just relaxed there in a lounge chair and fell asleep. Looks like a nice trip. Actually, I’m hoping all of my months will be full of happiness.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2017 at 08:16

      Hi Dee yes the waterfall was so relaxing and I also agree each month should be full of happiness but sometimes we need to really focus on it don’t we? Have a great week!

  • Reply Amrita May 3, 2017 at 14:35

    finding contentment is the goal .Happiness is definitely inside.We need to tap into our soul to find what really keeps us feeling happy/Your waterfall made me smile.Lovely lovely video.Also, love the name of your blog.#mg

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2017 at 08:15

      Thanks for visitng Amrita and I think that waterfall was so peaceful just sitting and watching it I had to video and share. Have a beautiful day.

  • Reply Vanessa May 4, 2017 at 09:03

    Those falls look gorgeous!

  • Reply Deb @ inner compass designs May 4, 2017 at 09:19

    Happiness is such an individual thing- sounds like Arthur knows what he loves and needs. Sad that he has to be away from the village to make a living wage though. Your trip sounds wonderful. Looking forward to reading along with your month of happiness

  • Reply Patrick Weseman May 4, 2017 at 12:29

    Thanks. That is what I am trying to do. Love the reminder.

  • Reply Jo Tracey May 4, 2017 at 13:50

    I recall listening to a driver in Ubud one time to said something similar. He laughed at how complicated we make our lives & how hard we work to escape for a couple of weeks only to have to go & wreck ourselves again. Happiness really is in the simplicity. #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2017 at 15:35

      Yes they must think we are crazy Jo and really they have the right outlook on life don’t they?

  • Reply Grammy Dee May 4, 2017 at 20:16

    Yes Sue, we do need to focus on being happy as there’s always something to bring us down. Thank you for attending the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty. I shared your post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2017 at 15:33

      Thanks for hosting Dee and see you next week!

  • Reply Lyndall @ SeizeThe Day Project May 4, 2017 at 20:36

    Thanks for the reminder about focusing on the little things. We really don’t need a lot to make us happy … we just think we do! So pleased you enjoy a lovely holiday and some quiet reflection 🙂 x #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2017 at 15:32

      Hi Lyndall the holiday was exactly what I needed as we have had a bad 9 months with the death of Mike’s Dad and then his mum moving to an aged care facility. It was good to get back to basics with the locals and really see that material things aren’t everything in life. x

  • Reply Min@WriteoftheMiddle May 4, 2017 at 21:00

    Well fancy that! We did an 8 day cruise to Vanuatu and New Caledonia in December 2016. We went to Port Vila (Efate), Mystery Island and Lifou. I too noticed how happy the people in Vanuatu were … even though they had so little. Such a good reminder to us all to be grateful for what we have, particularly the important things like family, shelter, food and health. We went to the Blue Lagoon (so beautiful) but didn’t see those falls! #TeamLovinLife

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2017 at 15:31

      Hi Min, yes I remember your post and wondered if it was the same cruise. We hadn’t been there before so it was a lovely and relaxing time. We are off to Spain in October so can’t wait.

  • Reply Helena May 6, 2017 at 06:21

    It’s funny how life has a habit of reminding us of the words we set out for ourselves. #mg

  • Reply Nancy May 6, 2017 at 11:37

    What a lovely story! And a great lesson on happiness. Our family traveled through Costa Rica and Nicaragua for 6 months and this was probably one of the biggest lessons that my kids took away. They saw more in those 6 months than they had in all their lives. Happiness truly comes from within.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 6, 2017 at 15:56

      Thanks Nancy but what a wonderful experience for you and your family to be able to spend such a length of time in another country. A wonderful education for your children that is for sure. Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day x

  • Reply Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle May 7, 2017 at 21:45

    Sounds like a wonderful time that you had, Sue. We do tend to complicate life and wonder why we are tired and stressed sometimes. Every culture is different and it is wonderful that your driver was content in his culture. Of course in our culture, it is impossible to live a life that simple but we still need to find gratefulness and contentment where we are at.
    I hope you have some more to share with us,

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 8, 2017 at 07:27

      Thanks Kathleen and I have been so overwhelmed with life that I wanted to stay with Arthur in his simple lifestyle! Have a great week and thanks for the link up. x

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  • Reply Carol Cameleon May 15, 2017 at 04:21

    I’m not sure what it says about me – that sometimes I need a gentle reminder about happiness and by reading this story, it’s reminded to be in the moment! thanks for linking up to #HighlightsofHappy and sharing this.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 15, 2017 at 08:41

      I thinks we all need a reminder Carol and life can certainly get in the way. Thanks for the linkup and have a great week! x

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