University of Wisconsin–Madison

Introducing Megan

This past summer, a friend of mine started something called the #100daysofhappy challenge. While scrolling through my Instagram feed one day bored and at work, I saw that she had posted a simple picture of hot chocolate in a mismatched coffee mug, saucer and spoon with the caption, “hot chocolate in July – day 1 #100daysofhappy.” While I definitely thought this was a little weird, I decided to google #100daysofhappy to see what this was all about.

The #100daysofhappy challenge (technically called the 100 happy days challenge) is a campaign put on by the 100 happy days foundation that challenges everyday people to post everyday pictures of everyday things that make them happy. For one hundred days in a row. Pretty simple idea, right? The website proclaims, “While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being (100happydays.com).” Thinking this was a little over the top, I turned off my phone and returned to my super exciting day at work. But as I watched my friend post more and more pictures each day, each time with the #100daysofhappy, an idea started forming in the back of my mind that maybe I would like to try out the 100 happy days challenge as well. After all, the website I had read did list many benefits that can be had from finishing the challenge, including: noticing what makes the people happy each day, being in a better mood on a daily basis, realizing how lucky the people are to have the life they have, and a few others. Being a generally competitive person myself, I had this growing desire to show the world that I could complete this challenge too. But of course, that would take tons of time I didn’t have at the moment, so I put it onto my bucket list with all of the other super-epically-awesome-but-probably-very-time-consuming-or-overly-expensive things I want to do someday.

Since I’ve moved back to Madison and have got even busier with school/work/life/etc., I’ll admit that the 100 happy days challenge hasn’t been something I’ve been thinking about explicitly for quite some time. However, as I start to prepare to study abroad in Arica, Chile to go on the adventure of a lifetime (or whatever other overly-used cliché you’d like to use to describe it), #100happydays has been once again creeping into my stream of consciousness. Chile will be the perfect time to cross off TONS of things that are currently on my bucket list, so why not cross this off while I’m there as well? A few days ago, I was lucky enough to be struck with a (debatably) brilliant idea. What if I did the 100 happy days challenge FROM CHILE? (Genius, right? Cross two things off the list at once!) While I’m studying abroad, what if I take a picture (almost) every day and then post it with #100daysofchile!? Out of curiosity, I searched this hashtag on Instagram, only to find that no tags were found. So clearly the only solution is to start posting myself to make these tags, right? Whether or not this is the logical answer, I’ve decided that that’s what I’ll do. As I prepare to go to study in Chile, and once I get there and start to experience all that Chilean life has to offer, I will post 100 pictures from different days that make me happy. And to make things even more exciting, my blog posts, while probably posted much less frequently than the pictures, will allude to and be shaped by my pictures that I post for the challenge. So in effect, you will get the honor of hearing about all of the happy things Chile has to offer. Like the website says, “the #100happyday challenge is for (me) – not for anyone else. It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting.” So just warning you now, my pictures aren’t all going to be your typical Eiffel Tower Selfie or the classic standing-on-top-of-a-mountain-with-a-backpack-looking-awesome pic. But they will be little things that make me smile as I learn how to live in a new country/continent/hemisphere. And although I am posting them solely for me, you are more than welcome to follow along.