Travels : Quests and Ramblings


The person that leaves on a journey is not the same one that returns.

~ Source Unknown

Whether on a quest or just rambling, we travel on many journeys during our life. And those journeys take many forms: physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, or vocational to name just a few. Some travels involve crossing great distances and take us into wonderous, unknown lands. Others cover only a short distance. And some, as in the case of inner journeys, cross no physical distance at all. No matter the nature or distance, all travels have the power to transform us. And those transformations are often the more interesting story in our journeys.

We typically view a quest as being lofty - having a noble purpose (e.g., heroism, selfless scarifice, or altruism) or an enriching goal (e.g., personal enlightenment, treasure, or discovery). Those are the classic quests of myth and literature. As is often the case for those on a quest, what is initially sought after is never attained. But in the process, we often reap something much greater.

However, a quest is not just the pursuit of something special; it can also be described as a journey with a specific purpose. It does not have to be lofty. A quest can also include more mundane or pedestrian travels, such as going to the store or commuting to work. Some might believe that classifying such activities as quests diminishes the term by removing some of its luster. Others may see it as a means of exalting our daily activities - elevating them to a more deserving status.

By strict definition, rambling is the oposite of a quest - aimless wandering with no clearly defined purpose. But that is a false distinction. Some Eastern philosophies (e.g., Zen Buddhism, Taoism, etc.) posit that the most rewarding journey comes when we completely immerse ourselves in the process of traveling - enjoying the sheer pleasure of being in motion or opening ourselves up to fate offers. Adopting that point of view, rambling is a quest - the purpose being letting go of our pursuits and experiencing the process of traveling. For the experienced travelers knows that some of the greatest discoveries are found when you least expect it. 

Whether a quest or rambling, this section will focus primarily on physical traveling and journeys - although not at the exclusion of the others. Because physical travels often combine with or promote other types of journeys, it is difficult to discuss one without venturing into the others.

In this section you will find:

  1. Information about great places to visit.

  2. Some of my travel experiences.

  3. Travel tips and other traveling wisdom.

  4. Recommended readings on amazing journeys other people have taken.