From Alaska To Argentina, Expedition Happiness Is Redefining The Good Life

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated September 29, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Is happiness the journey or the destination? It may depend entirely on who you ask. For a young couple from Germany, the joy seemed to be all in the journey. The creators of a video log (or vlog) called Expedition Happiness tell their journey across a continent and how they found new definitions for what it means to be happy with every mile they traveled. You may create your own version of Expedition Happiness by examining what the concept of happiness means to you and creating a plan to achieve it. An online or in-person therapist can help you experience more happiness in your daily life.

Where Would Expedition Happiness Take You?

What Is Expedition Happiness?

What could inspire someone to give up a comfortable apartment and a stable life in Berlin, Germany, to buy a 40-foot bus and remodel it into a "loft on wheels" to travel across an entire continent? For Mogli and Felix, it was a heartfelt desire to explore the world and the experiences it has to offer. The couple dubbed their 2017 vlog documentary Expedition Happiness because it brought them joy, and they wanted to tell it with others. 

How Do You Define Happiness?

What is happiness? It may be a simple question, but it often has a complicated answer that can vary dramatically from one person to another. Some view happiness as a positive emotion, while others see it as experiencing pleasure and thriving or fulfillment (hedonia and eudaimonia, respectively). Whether you take an emotional or scientific approach, the exact definition of happiness can be unique to each person. 

“Philosophers have most commonly distinguished two accounts of happiness: hedonism and the life satisfaction theory. Hedonists identify happiness with the individual’s balance of pleasant over unpleasant experience … Life satisfaction theories identify happiness with having a favorable attitude toward one’s life as a whole.” — Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Meet The Expedition Happiness Founders

Mogli and her partner, Felix Starck, left a comfortable life in Germany to travel North America with their dog, Rudi. 



Mogli is a talented singer, songwriter, and musician. She wrote the soundtrack for her partner’s documentary and is known for composing and acting in multiple cinematic albums, such as Ravage, Mogli: Animal, and Mogli: Mirror. Traveling was always her dream, and she uses her experiences to help her create new music. 

Felix Starck

A year before they embarked on Expedition Happiness, Felix Starck, an accomplished filmmaker, spent 365 days cycling more than 18,000 kilometers through 22 countries. He filmed his journey and released the documentary Pedal The World.

Mogli and Felix met and became a couple while he was on the cycling trip, moved to Berlin together, and were both unhappy living in the confines of the busy city. They wanted to travel and film another documentary about their experiences and how those experiences shaped their view on happiness. 

Experiencing The World From The “Loft On Wheels” Tiny House

After giving up their apartment, the pair bought an old school bus and converted it to a loft on wheels, creating a comfortable tiny home from which they could travel anywhere they wanted. They went to New York on a three-month visa and converted the old bus into the perfect portable home. From there, they made their way to Canada and on to Alaska to officially start Expedition Happiness.

They undertook their journey without a specific route in mind, preferring to decide each day’s destination that morning. Exploration and showing a different perspective of the world is generally what brought them happiness, so they took each day as it came, hoping to make the most of the opportunities presented to them. 

Getty/Halfpoint Images
Where Would Expedition Happiness Take You?

Why Go From A Comfortable Berlin Apartment To Life On The Road?

Travel is often a meaningful experience for the couple, and both felt too constricted living in a busy city. While their tiny home may have come with less square footage, they usually had an endless and constantly changing view each day and a wide array of new experiences with each place they visited and new friends they made. 

Lessons You Can Learn From Expedition Happiness

While the things that inspire happiness can be different for each person, there may be some lessons you can learn from Mogli and Felix.  

Find Ways To Make The Mundane Fulfilling

As you might imagine, incredibly long road trips can get monotonous when you're driving the interstate every day. Mogli said they often took side roads and even dirt roads to shake things up and add some excitement to the trip. Sometimes, the longer route offered unique sights or required them to backtrack, but the fun was in not knowing. 

“It’s called Expedition Happiness. When you wake up and open the door and stand across this here, this mountain, these trees, and this river, that kind of is happiness, I guess,” Felix said.

Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

Following your dreams can lead you to uncomfortable places before you get where you want to be. Expedition Happiness's founders suggest stepping outside your comfort zone and opening yourself to new experiences. It may go badly or beautifully, but either way, it will likely be an experience you may not have had otherwise. 

Dream Big, Then Plan Realistically

Big dreams often require big plans, and things sometimes go differently than you want. Sometimes, reality may interfere with your goals, and the only happiness to be found can be how well you handle an unexpected obstacle. When the couple's dog got sick and required surgery, they had to shift their plans and adjust their expectations. As the cliché says, it can be ideal to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. 

Take Time To Let The Simple Things Ground You

One of the primary lessons the couple learned on their journey may have been that happiness can often be found in simple everyday adventures rather than grandiose moments. While they frequently faced unexpected challenges and obstacles, they frequently found fulfillment in how they adapted to the circumstances and made things work.

Be Present In The Moment

Mogli and Felix rarely compare the places they visit with their former home in Berlin. They usually prefer to live in the moment and enjoy life wherever they are. They found joy in many unexpected places by focusing their attention and efforts on having fun and being happy wherever they were. 

“Our routine is waking up when the sun goes up and going to sleep when the sun goes down. No appointments. Just living the life, living the moment,” Felix said. “This is happiness for sure.” 

How Can You Develop Your Own Expedition Toward Happiness?

You don't necessarily need to take a massive road trip to develop your own version of Expedition Happiness. You might begin by examining what makes you happy. Perhaps you could make a list of the things you think would bring more happiness into your life. If you like nature, you might take a regular walk and enjoy the abundant beauty around you. If you prefer quiet solitude, you could try working meditation into your routine. The journey to happiness can take you to many places, even if you don’t physically go anywhere. 

Happiness Can Be Individual

It can be important to remember that happiness is typically an individual experience. What makes you happy could be a terrible thing for someone else. Try not to compare yourself to others; instead, it’s often recommended to work to be happier than you were yesterday or to achieve a steady baseline where you can focus on and appreciate your happiness more.

Studies suggest that altering your thought patterns can increase your happiness by activating brain regions associated with positive feelings.  

How Therapy Can Help You Redefine Happiness

Many people have trouble experiencing or trusting happiness. If you are struggling to feel happy on your own, consider working with a licensed therapist online through a virtual therapy platform. A qualified therapist can help you identify unhealthy thoughts and behavior patterns so you can shift them toward more positive, productive habits. Therapy can also teach you coping skills to manage stress and communication techniques to enjoy healthier relationships by expressing your emotions and needs. Plus, online therapy can make it easier than ever to schedule and attend appointments.

According to mental health experts at the American Psychological Association, online therapy offers similar results to traditional in-person treatments, often at lower costs and with shorter wait times. Many patients reported that being physically separated from the therapist made talking personal details easier, leading to a more trusting relationship. Another frequent comment is that the convenience of receiving treatment at home made it possible to participate in more sessions. An open relationship with your therapist and regular attendance can increase the effectiveness and duration of therapy outcomes. 


Happiness can have many definitions, and the journey to achieve it is often just as individual. For Mogli and Felix, it generally meant following their wanderlust and dreams of seeing a unique view of the world. Taking the time to explore your own definition of happiness and planning how to get there can lead to a fulfilling personal journey, whether it’s a literal or metaphorical trip. A licensed therapist can also help you take steps toward happiness and fulfillment.

Find your happiness with professional support

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
Get the support you need from one of our therapistsGet Started