I really enjoy traveling. Â I have traveled toÂ EuropeÂ and Africa, and lived inÂ Australia, Spain, and many states in the US. Â When I go on a trip I often send myself on a Quest. Â While travelling when I was a kid, my dad would always have a handful of things that he thought would be really cool to do or see. Â I think I have internalized this sentiment and distilled it down to my own personalÂ medievalÂ tale.
The QuestÂ is simply a search for a particular person, place, thing, or experience. Â I will get the thought in my head that I absolutely must take a photograph from the bottom of a waterfall I read about four years ago in National Geographic. Â Or I have to find to most special and amazing hand crafted wooden box that can hold a secret treasure. One recent quest was to eat at least a pound of raw fish every day of my trip (Hawaii, Poke). In Spain my quest was to live and train with the bestÂ SpanishÂ bicycle racers (I trained daily with a Spanish Vuelta a EspaÃ±a winner and a Canadian-Iranian ex-Pro bike shop owner). Â In Australia, my quest was to not just dive the Great Barrier Reef, but study the ecological physiology of the reef at the same time (I did this at James Cook University). AnotherÂ quest I have heard suggested is learning to cook the signature regional dish from a grandmother wherever you travel (the real experts on food tradition!). Â That way you even combine the quest for a person and experience.
People may argue that you can gain freedom by setting off on a journey without aÂ particularÂ goal in mind. Â They propose it will leave you more open to opportunity. Â I feel that this mindset can be incorporated into a quest. Â You never know who you will meet and what you will experience on your way to completing your quest.Â Having a quest means that you have thought about what would be worthwhile pursuing, which translates toÂ heightenedÂ awareness of experience.
For me, the most apparent side outcome of having a specific quest is that it connects you with people. Â When you haveÂ somethingÂ you want to accomplish, the world conspires to help you. Â I first saw this idea described in Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist. Â It means that you will encounter just the right person to help you at just the right time (Is this why adventurers have such good luck?).
The Quest can give you the reason to take that first step out of the door and begin your journey. We all know when it is time to go in search of something.
Maybe The Quest is my own version of a spiritual pilgrimage.Â Perhaps the quest is just part of the human condition: we feel we must accomplish something or build a collection of experiences. Â Perhaps this way of looking at it is unique to a small percentage ofÂ weirdosÂ like me.
When you travel do you have a quest? Leave me a comment describing what kind of quest you would choose for your next adventure!