5 Minutes With Chris Butsch, Happiness Expert

For McCool Travel’s 173rd travel interview, I am pleased to present Chris Butsch, a Happiness Expert and Workplace Happiness Speaker. I discovered Chris through a contribution he made to Jan Schroder’s The Travel 100 and I simply had to learn more about him and how he can benefit people who want to be happier travelers. Read on!
Chris Butsch’ bio: “Chris Butsch is an atypical workplace engagement speaker whose rare blend of wild anecdotes, never-before-seen activities, and barrier-smashing honesty have launched him to international acclaim. He is the author of The Millennial’s Guide to Making Happiness and the upcoming The Happier Workday. Featured in Forbes and HuffPo, Chris’s high-energy, no-nonsense, and BS-free approach to the delicate subject of “workplace happiness” has dazzled and inspired audiences from Tokyo to Istanbul.”

Chris Butsch the Workplace Happiness Expert with smile mug
Chris Butsch the Workplace Happiness Expert

Chris Butsch

HOMETOWN …
Atlanta, GA
ALWAYS IN MY LUGGAGE …
My bluetooth speaker, so I can play heavy metal in my hotel room.
3 FAVORITE HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME PLACES …

A FAVORITE TRAVEL MEMORY …
A 40-minute rickshaw drive during which the driver taught me the two secrets of happiness: gratitude and a sexy wife
3 FAVORITE TRAVEL BRANDS …

3 MONEY-SAVING TRAVEL TACTICS I USE …

  1. Whenever possible, pack only a backpack and nothing else, so you are always mobile and never ambushed by luggage fees.
  2. Ask cab drivers for the best cheap food in the city.
  3. Also, instead of hiring a tour guide, ask your cab driver to give you a tour.

3 WAYS THAT I HAVE FUN WHILE TRAVELING …
Ask people on the street what happiness means in their country (leads to hilarious and/or deep convo).

Chris Butsch leading a happiness seminar
Chris Butsch leading a happiness seminar

8 WORD (OR LESS) TRAVEL MANTRA …
“Pack less. Ask questions. Sample everything. Exude happiness.”
FAVORITE NON-TRAVEL WEBSITE …
Reddit. It is an invaluable tool for asking questions and creating a dialogue with people from around the world. I like asking questions like “What is it like to live in a Danish co-housing community” or “What are some unspoken social rules in Bhutan?”
MOST MEMORABLE SOUVENIR …
I visited Sarnath, the site of Buddha’s first teaching in India, and was meditating in the grass when I heard snickering in Hindi nearby. Soon, a class of 8th grade Indian boys, led by their teacher, surrounded me, asking questions and shaking my hand. We chatted about happiness for a while and their teacher, Abu, asked if he could have a souvenir to remember me by. I gave him a smiley face pin, and asked the same of him. He gave me a rupee coin. I still have it.

Chris Butsch in Sarnath India with a memorable Rupee coin
Chris Butsch in Sarnath India with a memorable Rupee coin

FAVORITE CHEAP EAT …
Conveyor belt sushi in Japan. Shockingly cheap, like 80 cents a plate.
RECENT DISCOVERY …
Driving dehydrated can almost be as dangerous as driving tipsy (source).
I AM FORTUNATE TO HAVE MET …
Dorji, my tour guide in Bhutan who has since become a good friend. His culture is so wildly different from America’s, yet we still talk about movies and girls the same way. Our friendship reminds me that people across the world really are not so different.
I WOULD LIKE TO MEET …
Thich Nhat Hanh. He is like the Dalai Lama of Vietnamese Buddhists, only most people do not know about him. He has published over 100 books about mindfulness and peace. Martin Luther King Jr. actually nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1967, but none was awarded that year.

Chris Butsch searching for happiness in Asia
Chris Butsch searching for happiness in Asia

Thank you so much, Chris, for sharing your travel inspiration and tips (travel tips and happiness tips).
Follow Chris Butsch on LinkedIn and ChrisButsch. Watch Chris Butsch’s TEDx talk.
For more happy travel tips, read my article: 8 Great Travel Hacks for Happy Travelers


McCool Travel presents tips from travel experts in our 5 Minutes travel interview series—featuring travel industry giants, super frequent travelers, and adventurous persons. Check out McCool Travel’s previous travel interviews. Previous 5 Minutes travel interview: Harry Mitsidis.


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