The word quest has been niggling at me for some time now. Before we left, I was delighted with it. Yes, we were on a quest around the planet to find the answer to how we wanted to live in this world – to find what makes us happy – to, dare I say it, find ourselves. But something isn’t sitting right with that statement now. It implies there’s an endpoint and a definitive answer to who we are and what we want, when actually it’s a state that lives in constant flux. All we really know is what we want now – the quest to find a way to live ended the moment we woke up to that and stepped out of our lives in London. Before that moment, we were dreaming of ‘something else’, but now we’re living that dream.
In England, I knew I wasn’t happy in my job. I didn’t enjoy the 9-5, and I felt claustrophobic in a city I’d lived in for nearly 10 years. I felt the pull of safety, yet I yearned for something else. The idea of travelling almost seemed cliched, even though it’s something I’d dreamed of for years. I think the English culture is often prone to rolling its eyes at the idea of ‘living the dream’ – it seems so American we might say. Sometimes I wondered if I was trying to escape. Was travelling a way of jumping off an inevitable merry-go-round – a way to run away from life’s responsibilities? Despite these doubts, it never felt like that. I wanted to travel to face and enjoy life, not to run from it.
But what did I expect from travelling? Why did I want to do it? I think when we left, I had the idea that travelling was another stage in life, something we’d do before settling down. I wanted to see the world but I’d also fitted it into the idea of a loose life plan. Somewhere along the way we’d find the answer of what that ‘settling down’ would look like – where we’d live and the jobs we’d have. I was still waiting to ‘grow up’ and know what to do with my life. As we go along, I still think about these things, but I’ve stopped waiting for the answer. This is what I’m doing with my life. There is no ‘destination grown-up’.
That’s not to say I know everything and that there is nothing to ‘quest’ for. Far from it. Every day I learn about myself and the world. It’s a constant journey and I have no idea where its taking us.
It may turn out that we find a place we want to call home, or a job that seems like ‘the one’. We might return to London or instead travel endlessly. We might have children, or that moment may never come. Any of these options is possible. But what’s important is now. In this moment, we are travelling and working because we want to. We listened to ourselves and made a choice. We chose what we wanted to do, rather than what we thought we should, and that in itself feels like happiness.
Some may say “Of course, you love what you’re doing, you’re gallivanting around the world”, but that is to frame our journey as a holiday. We are both working hard to find a way to make a living. Steve is making a feature film, and we’re both launching companies and making websites and apps. Oftentimes we work past midnight – it’s not all glaciers, whales and wine tours, but we love the fact that, in the off-time, those things are options. Life is short but wide. There is so much to see, and mixing work and travel is our dream. It’s not for everyone, but right now it’s definitely for us.
So there is my long-form answer to why we’re removing the word quest from our ‘about us’ blurb. We are no longer on a quest to find a way to live. We’ve already found the destination – living our dreams around the world.
Feel free to share these travel quotes and photos that Steve created.