Posted: 09/08/2014 | September 8th, 2014
When I first started blogging, I came across a website called The Art of Non-Conformity. It was by this guy on a personal quest to visit every country in the world before he turned 35 years old. That guy was Chris Guillebeau. I began to follow his adventures intensely — as a traveler, the idea of watching someone visit every country in the world was inspiring (I’m doing the same thing but on a much, much, much slower time scale). Over the years, Chris and I have become friends and have run into each other in multiple spots around the world.
A few months ago, Chris told me about his new book, The Happiness of Pursuit. It examines why people begin quests and what others can learn in order to set off on their own. As travelers, I feel we are often each on our own quests, so his book intrigued me and, while I criss-crossed Europe last month, I read his book.
For those familiar with Chris, you’ll recognize a lot of themes he’s talked about before: breaking off on your own, not giving into fear, following your dreams, and bucking the trend. They are a lot of the same themes I talk about here.
In his book, Chris lays out pursuing a quest in a format designed to move people from that crazy idea to execution, and along the way he highlights 50 stories of people who have followed their dreams, giving insight into not only why they went and how they did it but how following the quest changed them and created smaller side quests. I found all the stories to be very inspirational and interesting. They are all woven together very nicely. I bookmarked many to follow up on, including a girl who sailed around the world alone and a guy who walked across the United States.
But quests don’t have to be this grand — some can be as small as the woman who set out to cook one dish from every country in the world for her daughter. Since she couldn’t travel to every country in the world, it was the next best way to bring international culture to the family.
This weekend, Chris and I sat down over Skype and talked for a few minutes about his book and what he’s learned about quests (P.S. I recorded this on my computer via Skype. Apologies for the bad video quality. It was the first time I’ve done this):
I think of quests, big or small, as a way to do something different that enriches your life. From Chris’s quest to see every country to the quest to eat a meal from different countries, to mine to just learn Swedish — these adventures come in all shapes and sizes, and his book is a great inspirational read that will help convince you that your crazy idea is not so crazy at all.
The Happiness of Pursuit is a book worth buying. You can purchase the book through this link!
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.
Photo credit: 1 – Official Leweb Photos