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The Quest

The Quest

At first, you weren’t sure you had it in you. Fear, doubt, naysayers, and what-ifs threatened to hold you back. You left anyway, determined to see it out.

The people around you talked about consequences and the risk of uncertainty. Wouldn’t it be safer not to go? Wouldn’t you be better off homebound, shut off from the world in the comfortable setting you knew so well?

You smiled and went anyway, knowing the real truth: consequences can just as well be positive. Unexpected surprises can be good. But if you don’t go, you’ll never know for sure.

You embraced the logic of the underdog: the last shall be first; the poor shall be rich; blessed are those who live for adventure, for they shall never die with regrets.

These things kept you alive along the way:

The love of good friends.
The belief in yourself.
The conviction that your life should count for something.
The resoluteness of purpose.

Others debated whether the journey or the destination was more important; you split the difference by choosing to enjoy them both. It’s good to arrive, but it’s good to enjoy the ride.

At the end, you rest for a while. And then you’re ready to do it again.

###

The AONC book is available on Amazon for just $10.17 this week. If you’ve read and enjoyed it, would you do me a quick favor and write a customer review? The link is on the bottom-right side of the page (choose “Create your own review.”)

Image: Moose

36 Comments

  • Uttoran Sen says:

    Just like a true traveler – “Rest for a while, and get ready to do it again… ”

    It is important for a traveler not to listen to others and do what he thinks best, at the end, it is his own life that he is living and while looking back, he will only remember what he has done and what he could had done.

    thanks for the amazon link, going to check it out now,

  • Brett Henley says:

    Truth my friend. Poignant and reflective, as usual.

    To be honest, the balance you hint at in the last paragraph is the toughest part of blazing your own path, building a legacy, etc.

    For me, the key is confidence. You have to believe that what you are doing, above all else, is worth the wounds.

    But you also have to shift between intimacy and an outsider’s perspective – living the journey from the bottom floor while watching the ride from the outside-in every once in awhile.

    Thanks!

  • My new mantra in life, “blessed are those who live for adventure, for they shall never die with regrets.” Love this. Thank you!

  • Journey or destination: split the difference? More like combine and multiply.

  • Cindy Fortin says:

    Just printed this out so I can read it every morning. Thanks!

  • Brianna says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I have many naysayers and people trying to knock me down, but I just gently push them aside and forge ahead. I don’t want to come to the end of my days wondering “what if.” I want to know that I, at the very minimum, made a valiant effort to live my life to the fullest. Sometimes that means going against the grain and doing things a little differently than the societal “norm” dictates, but as long as I’m not harming anyone, so what?

  • “Others debated whether the journey or the destination was more important; you split the difference by choosing to enjoy them both.”

    Yes! I’ve always been an AND girl. I can choose when I have to, but I have found that there is often a way to do both, if not at the same time.

    And now I am thinking of UP! Adventure is out there…

  • Gene says:

    Good stuff again, Chris.

    Thanks for encouraging me on my “quest” around the world!

    Godspeed.

  • Rosanna says:

    Very well said, but it doesn’t apply only to traveling….whatever purpose you feel you have will most likely be difficult for others to understand. It is really up to us to keep our faith in our dreams burning and the light in our hearts shining even as the world says we’re kind of crazy.

  • Robert Redus says:

    Great insight on the importance of doing rather than thinking too much about doing…as always…
    ” It is better to travel well than to arrive”

    Thanks Chris….

  • Chris Walter says:

    There is is this beauty to embracing conflict even pursuing it. It’s almost as if the most important things are always learned thru conflict and adversity.

  • Lee says:

    This came in my inbox at the right moment. I’m in the Netherlands on my first solo trip feeling a little lonely. Thanks for the pick-me-up.

  • Amy says:

    Great to keep in mind for my week-long trip to Costa Rica… tomorrow!

    Perfect timing and perfectly said.

  • Patricia GW says:

    The Logic of the Underdog – I love it! It captures the essence of what so many of us are doing/trying to do with our lives. And really, it’s so very simple.

  • Kimberly says:

    So true. All of these things happened to me since leaving California on June 13. Now I am in Vermont, it is the first day with snow, and I am blissful.

  • iktomi says:

    Just a note about the journey..be sure you live it all. The adventures are well worth the trip…good or bad. On retirement I say there is still a lot left to see..and I believe in doing what I want to, not doing what I don’t want to, and I don’t have to do anything. (Some people learn this before retirement.)

  • Sabrina says:

    Review done!

  • >>The people around you talked about consequences and the risk of uncertainty. Wouldn’t it be safer not to go? Wouldn’t you be better off homebound, shut off from the world in the comfortable setting you knew so well? <<

    People this they are keeping you safe and secure. They want it to stay status quo. Don't rock the boat. No "job" is safe and secure. I don't regret my decision to build my business, I only regret that I didn't start sooner, to enjoy my true passion earlier!

  • myla says:

    I like this phrase:

    You smiled and went anyway, knowing the real truth: consequences can just as well be positive. Unexpected surprises can be good. But if you don’t go, you’ll never know for sure.

    I will sure print this…thanks for a very positive article…

  • Jessica Moran says:

    Heck. Yes.

  • Jo Gates says:

    I have enjoyed my share of low-key adventures in my life, and have treasured them all and learned much. Now I approach the “autumn” of my life, and although there are many who continue to adventure well past the age I am now, there is much to be said for finally hanging up my boots and putting away my passport to enjoy hearth and home, a life of simple contentment and good times with good friends, making music, good books, and a comfortable place to sleep every night.

  • Dawn says:

    I just love a good adventure. Put me in a car, with a map, and a final destination…and let the adventure begin.

    So many good memories, even when things go wrong.

  • Ben says:

    I travelled Europe for 6 months last year. Prior to leaving and during my travels i constantly received discouragement from friends and family. I learned very quickly to ignore their advice. I have not regretted any decision I made nor do i regret visiting any of the places I went to. “Don’t go to Paris, it’s too expensive.” Paris is now my favourite place in the world. Can’t wait to go back. I shudder to think what I might have missed.

  • Janna says:

    “Rest for a while, and get ready to do it again… ”

    Thank you! This is exactly the inspiration I need as I am coming off of a big adventure, the biggest of my life. A close friend had it right when he said that I did more and LIVED more in this past year than most people do in their whole lives…

    But there comes a time for rest. The rest that we long awaited while out there on the big adventure, that’s not always as glamorous as it seems, has its challenges and stresses and down moments of its own. But it’s in these ups and downs that we experience an extra-intensified form of living, and we become fully aware of actually being ALIVE. It’s not a fantasy, it’s real life, not always perfect unless we make it that way.

    And with the rest comes the uncertainty, the fear, the doubt. You get comfortable, comfortable enough that you’re not 100% sure you’ll ever step out again, but not comfortable with staying.

    But it’s SO important to push forward, and these words of encouragement help.

    I’m in the middle of reading your book now, it’s good so far :)

  • Wyman says:

    Don’t wait too long to have adventures. With old age may come mobility health issuses. Go while you can get the most out of the adventure. You can’t see as much from a wheel chair.

  • Monique says:

    This applies to my current situation, only it’s a metaphorical journey: Leaving a 12-year marriage. The same questions and issues arise.

  • Kanwal Sarai says:

    Great post Chris! The same can be true for other things in life. Like starting your own business. Do you take on the quest, the challenge, the unknown? Or do you play it “safe” and not doing anything.

  • John Sherry says:

    Perhaps the real traveller is on a journey inside them? A voyage of personal discovery? Which is why other’s can’t see the reason or worry about the consequences of what they will come across. Travel broadens the mind and opens the heart. There’s a whole world out there…and inside too. Happy wanderings.

  • Amelia says:

    Excellent, love it. Although I’m not travelling, I am leaving my current job in one month to pursue my dream of becoming a science educator. I identified with a lot of the points you made, thanks for sharing :D

  • Chris Peters says:

    A good friend once told me that the things you will regret the most, are the things you did not do.

    We simply cannot predict the outcome of our adventures, and life’s too short to play safe.

    Thanks for your great post. I wish you the best of luck in your travels.

  • Pamela says:

    “It’s good to arrive, but it’s good to enjoy the ride.”
    As a woman who can turn a 4 hour car ride into an 8 hour adventure by stopping at random tourist traps, bird sanctuaries, and miniature Big Foot Museums, I love this. (I also drive my husband crazy with it :-) I have places to go, but I want to see what’s on the way too. Truly, what is the point in having cake if you can’t eat it?

  • Love this, reminds me of one of my favorite quotes heard from a fellow traveler in China, “It is better to know what is, then forever wonder what if.” Go see the world!

  • Rebekah says:

    So so true. It’s a truth that has helped us move to Nicarauga, and now possibly to Ireland. The belief that to grow we have to be uncomfortable. And that will never happen in the culture we’re born in to.

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