Value the Journey

Traveling across the world, sitting in a plane for over 15 hours is always long. Some people dread the thought of the journey, but I love it. It’s one of my favorite parts of traveling. The amount of things I could get done is almost endless- until my eyes give out and I fall asleep.

This particular flight from LAX to Hong Kong, I managed to watch three films, read more than half of a book I just started, and read a few academic journals for my personal research. The journey was long, my body ached by the time I reached HK, and my eyes were burning of weariness but I couldn’t be happier.

My flight read was called “The Happiness of Pursuit” by New York Times best selling author Chris Guillebeau in which he sets out to visit every country in the world (193 visited) by age Thirty-Five. After completion, he wanted to seek out people in the world who had goals as lofty and wild as his, and as he would put it “pursue a challenging quest.”

He meets strangers from all over the world on their own personal quest. This book is full of phenomenal inspirational stories which will prompt you to think about what your personal quest could be.

One important lesson learnt from the testimonies of these extraordinary people is the importance of the journey. The destination of our goals are life changing, and encouraging to complete our goals- but the moments where we learn and are challenged the most is within the voyage. Guillebeau quotes the following poem (part of it),

Always keep Ithaca on your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches

Ithaca.” by Constantine Cavafy (1911)

There will be plenty spontaneity and surprises along the way- they may be encouraging- or they could be very challenging- whatever it is, we need to remember to value the journey as much as the destination.

Valuing the journey can be as simple and small as appreciating the 15+ hour journey I had on the flight in which I could do everything I did. Or it can be as big as the journey towards our lifetime quest and goals.

Just a little something to think about. Too often or not, we have to step back from the stresses of the daily life and remember that we are all on a beautiful journey.

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