Jess Grotfeldt is the epitome of a Happier Place Person. Her exuberant passion for nature, having fun, and for making people happier is a great inspiration to us. We believe she will inspire you, too…
Jess Grotfeldt currently lives in New York City, where she makes people’s lives better through her work as an acupuncturist. Raised in Texas, she’s lived in the Caribbean, Mexico, Venezuela, Vancouver, California, and Arizona, and on Cape Cod and a cruise ship.
Why do you do what you do?
I decided to devote my life to the study of Chinese medicine when I saw the miraculous benefits when my father was fighting cancer. It was the most meaningful and best decision I’ve ever made.
What is your general Happy Place category – and why?
The beach!! There is an alchemy of elements there which is magical to me. The rhythms of the waves feel like the breathing of the earth, which is extremely meditative. The sounds of the rustling leaves in the trees and the call of sea birds, of people murmuring and laughing soothes away the frazzled edges of my busy life. And watching the changing light and the shapes of the clouds reflected in the vast surface of the sea that connects us all. I don’t know, it just gets me.
What are some of your specific Happy Places – and why?
- Olympic National Park, Washington (USA): I just got back from a serious five-week camping exploration of this region, and I truly left part of my heart there. There is ancient rain forest, incredible beaches with seals playing in the surf and starfish, hiking trails leading to pristine glacier lakes, waterfalls everywhere and so much incredible First Nations history and wildlife. I just got goosebumps thinking about it.
- Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Ipanema beach is the quintessential beach for me. Perfect sand, surrounded by palm trees dotted with orchids, the incredible mountains, the people…. You want for absolutely nothing there. And the islands off the coast are absolutely lovely. I rented a house on Ilha Grande a few years ago, and I don’t think a week has gone by without wishing I could transport myself there again in an instant.
- Anza Borrego Desert, California (USA): I’m also a desert girl. There is something special about the light and shapes and vastness of the sky in desert scapes. But the Anza Borrego Desert during the wildflower season, when the whole place explodes with rivers of colorful flowers, is truly incredible.
What do you always bring out into nature with you?
I’m someone who likes to be prepared, even if it means my pack is a little heavier. Since I’m a beach girl, I usually bring a three-sided beach tent to block the wind and the sun. At the very least, I bring an umbrella. I also tend to bring a backpack-style beach chair that has the option of going into FULL recline mode. I’m planning on being at the beach ALL DAY… so in addition to these items, there is also an icy cooler filled with treats and my favorite prosecco. If I’m hiking, I have to settle for a cute hat, a pre-frozen beverage of choice and a blanket to sit on once I’ve reached my destination.
Do you have any Happier Place tips or hacks?
My personal little quirky tip would be to bring your favorite koozie [editor’s note: can cooler ;)] and pair it with a tall, skinny jar with a lid (like an olive jar). I’m a wine or cocktail person, and it stays nice and cold without getting sand in it. Ha!
What’s your dream destination (in space or time)?
There was a time when a lot of my close friends lived in New York. During the summers we would practically live at the beaches from early morning until well past sunset. Over the years we have all scattered around the globe. I wish I could transport us all back for a few of those epic days.
Inspirational quote or slogan?
“In the depth of winter, I finally realized that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus
Where you can find Jess Grotfeldt online: