Staying Happy In Any Weather

A weddell seal springs to attention while resting on an iceberg near Cuverville Island, Antarctica

Mindset is key to staying happy, in any weather. So why go through life miserable when you can choose a meaning rich, purpose driven life.

We can’t always control what happens to us, but we do have the ability to control how we feel about what happens to us.

Life’s what you make of it. It follows then that we make our own reality. Personally I choose to stay happy and engaged.

Travel photographers have to endure all manner of weather, fair and foul, to be able to create truly memorable photos.

My view is that, by cultivating a positive mindset, you’ll be able to stay happy and enjoy the process of making photos, no matter the weather under which you find yourself.

I visited Cuverville Island while running a photography tour to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula.

It was a blast! A truly great experience for which I’m extremely grateful.

Cuverville Island is situated just off the Antarctic coastline. It’s a cold and harsh environment which, as you can imagine, gets its fair share of extreme weather.

Photographing Antarctica

One of the great things about running a tour in Antarctica is the zodiac trips you make to interesting sites.

It could be the scenery, the wildlife or history that draws tours to such locations. In some places, weather permitting, you get to take a zodiac tour around a sheltered bay in search of wildlife or spectacularly sculptured icebergs.

The photo at the top of this post was made, on just such a day, while I was providing tutoring and practical, one-to-one help to tour participants photographing from a zodiac.

In this case it was a simple matter of approaching the Weddell seal at a gentle pace, so as not to scare or provoke it and to ensure any potentially beautiful reflections in the water weren’t disturbed.

It’s amazing just how different things look from water level. You’re provided with an entirely different perspective on the world around you compared to photographing downwards from the deck of the ship the tour’s conducted from.

You can see how this lovely Weddell seal has been roused from its slumber as we approached.

An experienced zodiac pilot will ensure that you never get so close that either you or the wildlife is placed in any sort of danger.

Actually, I’m not sure if orcas (i.e., killer whales) will always play by those rules. 

Weather and Motivation

There’s no doubt weather can effect our motivation, whether we’re at home or travelling the world.

Except for the old summer scorcher, the weather in Melbourne, where I currently reside, is usually quite mild.

Nonetheless, I’m not overly fond of the cool, grey weather we experience during the average Melbourne winter.

It’s not so much the cold, but the short daylight hours that makes winter, in this part of the world, my least favorite time of year.

Even though I dislike really cold weather, I seem to manage very well when I’m surrounded by spectacular scenery.

That’s why I found my time in Antarctica to be such an invigorating and creative experience. Sure it was cold, but in summer the days are really long and the light and photo opportunities are simply extraordinary.

A positive mindset and inspiration are just so important for the creative soul. If you can approach your photography with enthusiasm you’ll be happy and confident.

As a result you really won’t mind the weather conditions under which you’re photographing.

In fact you’ll learn to move, quite quickly, from accepting the circumstances you find yourself photographing under and begin to embrace the opportunities they provide.

Dare I say, it’s all a matter of perspective.

Do You Want to be Happy?

While I’m not a fan of really hot weather there’s no doubt that too many grey days adversely affect my mood.

A lack of light can be depressing and, as a result, our motivation, mood and energy levels can drop.

That’s why, whenever I can, I try to find time to get outside and into the light, even if it’s just a walk around the block.

It’s good for us to do so and, when the light’s good and you’re feeling fine, photo opportunities seem to appear around every corner.

And if it’s cold I simply walk a little faster. Before I know it, I’m as warm as toast.

The secret to being happy is, as is the case with just about everything else, to take action. In the sixties that may have meant dropping out so as to tune in. These days folks usually prefer a different approach.

Let’s try to ensure that we all get a decent amount of sunshine everyday, particularly those of us currently enduring the colder months of the year.

And, on those days where I’m unable to walk in the sunlight, there’s always my photography collections to keep me happy, busy and, perhaps best of all, dreaming of travel.

Every Little Bit Helps

I’m not saying you have to climb a mountain. I’m just recommending that you take a few minutes to go for a walk, in the sunlight.

Lunch time might be a good option. Otherwise consider walking to and from the train station as part of your daily commute.

If staying happy is important to you then simple changes in lifestyle should be considered. It’s my experience that they’re often the best way to move towards a more positive state of mind and, as a result, a better life.

Fashion and Fitness

As a slight aside I sometimes find myself in the city around rush hour. It brings me considerable joy to find a professionally dressed gal heading home in sand shoes (i.e., runners).

After all, what’s the point of fashion if it hurts.

If there’s one thing that can really adversely affect mood and, ultimately, happiness it would be uncomfortable shoes. Right?

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru