“Expedition Happiness,” A Film About Life on the Road

Poring over hundreds of essays, locking myself away in the Melville Library for hours at a time during the semester often gives me the itch to get out and travel the world, leaving behind all my responsibilities as a college student. Luckily, I recently discovered a captivating film that gives me all the vibes of freedom and wanderlust to at least pretend that I’m out traveling this vast, beautiful planet, experiencing all of nature’s alluring offerings.


Titled “Expedition Happiness,” partners Selima Taibi and Felix Starck grabbed their basic necessities, hi-tech camera, and Bernese mountain dog named Rudi and left their home in Germany to travel the Western Hemisphere. Not by car or RV, but by school bus they took on the US, Canada, and Mexico, seeing some absolutely unforgettable sights and meeting some beautiful individuals along the way. After discovering an old, discarded cheese bus on sale in North Carolina, they decided to completely transform it into a quaint living space equipped with all the amenities to live comfortably while on the road.



Starting from North Carolina, Selima and Felix made their way up north through the US to Canada, passing through the beautiful sights of Niagara Falls to capture the monstrous, glorious waterfalls that border the US and Canada in action with a drone they brought along the way. Across Canada they embarked through beautiful scenes of wildlife, meeting local folk who showed their Canadian way of life through hobbies like ice fishing. The pair went onward to Alaska, capturing the snow-capped mountains and moose hidden away in the vast forestry of the Denali national park.


Life on the road was a breeze; every day begun with a new and beautiful sight to see and experience to capture. That was until they discovered issues with their dog Rudi’s health, and reached the border to America on the Pacific Coast, in which they encountered problems with patrol who wouldn’t believe their story of simply passing through the country to reach Central America. Disheartened and stressed, they weighed their options yet decided to continue on and were able to get into the US three weeks later. The Pacific Coast had some exquisite sights as they passed through, and eventually they arrived at Mexico where they encountered border problems yet again.



With Rudi’s health failing and constant issues traveling through borders, the pair decided to slow down the rush of traveling somewhere new so rapidly. Settling down in Mexico, a place so rich in culture, it quickly became one of their favorite countries. With all these experiences under their belts, Selima and Felix came to realize they were beginning to crave the routine they once sought to leave behind while at home in Germany. To get Rudi’s health back on track and to relieve their stress, the two eventually packed up their things and said farewell to their greatest adventure.



Revealing all the ups and downs of life on the road, this film is a great eye-opener to how wonderful this planet is, yet how important it is to maintain mental and physical health along the way. They received such a genuine education about different places, cultures, and ways of life, experiencing new foods and traditions firsthand during their time on the road in their beloved bus. This expedition has definitely become a goal of mine to complete one day. You can find the film on Netflix, iTunes, and Google Play, and visit their page on Facebook, called Expedition Happiness, to see tons of photos and videos about their life on the road!


Photos courtesy of Facebook.com