That time I figured out how to be happy

by Marzia Parmigiani
12 minutes read
That Time I Figured Out How to Be Happy

That time I figured out how to be happy. You’ve been told that psychologists have to deal with people’s discomfort, pain and adversity that each of us faces during our lives: but is that really the case?

Perhaps there is a better way to deal with people’s growth, empowerment and well-being.

What if a psychologist were committed to preventing people’s malaise by releasing their dreams and desires?

In my professional life, I have learned a valuable lesson. And I would like to share it with all people who are dreaming of improving their existence right now.

“For years I used to think that the most important thing in a person’s life was to have certainty. But I realized that it is the fact of exploring different possibilities that makes one free and serene.”


Introducing LCN blogger

My name is Marzia Parmigiani and I am an Italian psychologist based in Northern Italy registered as a therapist.

Also, I work as a copywriter in several languages, I’m a travel blogger and business consultant. Since December 2022, I have the pleasure of serving as content manager at The LCN Firm, Inc. From now on, if you follow this blog, you will find many articles written by me.

In my country I work between Milan, Rome and Sicily. My roots also include Apulia and the magnificent Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet. After working ten years in a clinic with people suffering from personality disorders, depression, anxiety and addictions, I realized one thing.

Our main approach to psychological and physical disorders, is very often aimed at curing after a problem has already manifested itself.

And as much as a new idea of wellness related to prevention is emerging, there was still a long way to go.

From office psychologist to digital nomad: how to be happy?

marzia parmigiani at the top of shibuya scramble square in Tokyo traveltherapists il mio viaggio in giappone - how to be happy
Marzia Parmigiani at Shibuya Scramble Square, TokyoMarch 2020

At a certain point, I understood that the way forward was a different one. Why not help improve the quality of people’s lives, before problems can emerge?

And so, I decided to create a new project and change my life. Together with Elina Sindoni, I co-founded the project Traveltherapists.it “Il blog di viaggio come mai prima d’ora avete pensato un viaggio”. (The travel blog as you’ve never before thought about travel).

The goal is to use psychology to help people experience greater well-being on an intimate and personal level through travel therapy. And into this slogan for our travel blog, also enters a different idea of experiencing the countries of the world.

In fact, we love to present Film tourism places, to conceiving a visit to a different nation from a perspective that is not only touristy, but much deeper. I can’t shy away from explaining this in more detail.

What is travel therapy?

Marzia Parmigiani and Elina Sindoni in Brick Lane London in front street art wall - How to be happy
Elina Sindoni and Marzia Parmigiani in Brick Lane, London – September 2022

You can’t take charge of the whole person without considering that in a globalized world, physical distances between people are virtually reduced by the Web and the use of social media.

In such a scenario, psychology has a relevant role in understanding the impact that travel can have on the emotional, affective and relational dimensions of each of us.

Indeed, travel can bring positive development that can be exported to everyday life.

In John Steinbeck’s celebrated 1962 travel memoir “Travels with Charley: In Search of America”

He writes: “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policies and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not make a journey; journeys make us.”

Why is the journey therapeutic? How to be happy?

Often, in concluding a cycle of one’s existence, or in the aftermath of crises, breakups and sometimes, bereavement, people need to distance themselves and decide to take a journey.

In such important moments, travel is not exclusively a chance to “unplug”. In the context of Travel Therapy, travel represents a highly structured frame of intervention.

During travel, experiential acceleration is determined, involving the acquisition of new skills, adaptation and problem solving. These conditions reveal parts of us that we did not know.

Thus, travel as a therapeutic path does not lead to unplugging. But to insert it, in order to gain greater self-awareness and knowledge.

This experience is therefore not an escape, an escape from a reality in which we do not recognize ourselves. But rather a tool that brings with it the opportunity to gain inner well-being. Travel is a multi-sensory experience that invokes sensations, emotions, skills and thoughts that lead to change.

Getting out of our routine gives a new perspective; it represents a change of pace. All concepts I included in the text I authored, “La Psicologia e l’arte di migliorarsi in viaggio”. (Psychology and the Art of Improving Yourself on the Road).

marzia parmigiani in front sagrada familia barcelona traveltherapists - How to be happy
Marzia Parmigiani in front the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona – December 2022

Getting out of the comfort zone sets you free: discover how to be happy

I spent years trying to figure out if the life I was living was right for me. But despite the professional accolades, there was always something that didn’t feel right and actually made me unhappy.

It was not easy to start from scratch and take a leap of faith by putting myself out there, but sometimes, this is the only chance to be the best version of ourselves.

I embarked on a new lifestyle as a digital nomad, continuing to do my work remotely. And until just before the pandemic, I was spending several months a year traveling around Europe and Japan. In fact, another project that is particularly close to my heart is Il Mio Viaggio in Giappone (my trip to Japan) and I plan to return to the Land of the Rising Sun soon.

This different vision in our travel blog led Traveltherapists to be noticed by the Italian media

Over the years, radio, several national Italian newspapers and magazines have dedicated interviews and articles to our efforts. In fact, we’ve been interviewed by Ansa.it, La Repubblica, Il Giornale di Sicilia (GDS) and ViverSani e Belli.

In particular, Ansa.it dedicated content to our book on the locations of the Netflix show “La casa de Papel” (Money Heist), also available in English that we presented at TTG Travel Expericence’s Book&Go.

This is Italy’s largest tourism trade fair. Here we curated and presented a seminar on travel therapy and Film tourism.

As bloggers we have partnerships and we are Ambassadors for different brands such as Booking.com, Surfshark, JR Pass, Sakura Mobile, and more. The last few pandemic years have been pretty tough for the reasons we all know.

But working as a freelancer has led me to grow a lot both personally and professionally and to experience up close touching and unrepeatable events.

Recently, in particular we had the privilege of participating and be a reporter at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London.

marzia parmigiani at TTG travel experience 2020 presenting Money Heist netflix la casa de papel book - How to be happy
Marzia Parmigiani presenting her book about Netflix show “La casa de Papel” (Money Heist) – Rimini, Italy – October 2020

No one knows how to be happy but you should never be afraid to change

So how to be happy? The key to happiness is simpler than you think and maybe it’s just a few steps away from you.

In this moment of my life, I have figured out how to be happy but as you can imagine, this condition is never stable, but in perpetual evolution. Perhaps, it’s the commitment to try to become better, that gives us the push we need.

Nothing is for granted; everyone’s future is a mystery, but fortunately it can be built in our present. In fact, none of us tend to live in the hic et nunc (here and now), but we are constantly projected into the past, or the future.

But remember that you don’t have to be afraid or think you can’t do it, if what you feel, is a great desire to change your life. The past is there to help us understand our present and to aid us avoid repeating mistakes we have already made.

This is the smartest way to approach the future, to become closer and closer to the idea we have of ourselves and would like to achieve, whatever it may be. And this is the noblest and highest mission to which every human being is called.

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