The best thing about going on a quest for me, is all the awesome adventures you have along the way. When you throw yourself wholeheartedly into your quest, you will come back with so much more than you set out to achieve.
Sometimes, when you finally reach the goal, place or object you were seeking, it is better than you ever could have imagined. Other times you may be disappointed, or fail on your mission. But when you look back on a quest, it is often the journey to accomplishing your goal that is the most memorable and satisfying part.
On the road in Bolivia.
Having said that, the feeling of pursuing a grand quest is what makes the journey so exciting. You can build an epic adventure around any quest, whether it is something extremely silly, or wild and extreme. Here are some ideas to get us started…
1. Reach a high point of a city, country, or the world.
I recently travelled to Dubai because it is home to the Burj Khalifa, which was the tallest building in the world when I visited the observation deck at the top. Someone may have built something taller by the time you are reading this, and I will probably be planning to scale that too! Although going to the top of the Burj Khalifa was the main goal of my Dubai trip, the other experiences I had in that crazy city far outweighed those few moments of bliss stepping out onto the 1/2 km high viewing platform.
View from the top of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai.
Reaching Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal was another significant moment, which was part of a far more amazing trek through the Himalayas. But you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world to reach a high point. Find the tallest building in your city, or make it your mission to climb all the hills in your area. It can be as simple or elaborate a quest as you desire.
Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal
2. Go celebrity hunting.
First of all with this one, it doesn’t have to be a celebrity you have any real interest in. It’s about the thrill of the chase! When we discovered a certain B-list celebrity lived near our parents houses, my friends and I had a great time climbing trees and running through muddy fields trying to catch a glimpse of him. None of us were fans (not that I’m aware of anyway!), but we still had fun with our binoculars trying to see into the blacked out windows of his passing car. Don’t judge me for this until you try it!
Climbing a tree to get a better view of a local celebrity’s house!
It is best done with friends as a purely recreational activity, otherwise you are just a weird stalker. Don’t take it too far and get arrested, or develop some kind of crazy celebrity obsession. If this happens, begin a new quest ASAP!
3. Learn a new skill.
Learning to scuba dive was the main purpose, and BY FAR the best thing about my trip to Indonesia a few years ago. However, the gorgeous beaches, stunning scenery, amazing temples and beautiful boat trips were a massive bonus!
My quest to learn basic conversational Spanish while in South America was (almost) fulfilled when I found myself chatting to a local in a bar in Cusco, Peru after a few drinks. Words were just flowing out of my mouth. The grammar was all wrong, but we managed a semi conversation.
Long bus journeys passed by in the blink of an eye, while my head was buried in my Spanish book. It was also a great excuse to relax and watch TV with subtitles, picking up many new words and phrases. If you make learning something new your quest, I guarantee it will bring enjoyable experiences into your life.
3. Follow a river all the way to another town.
This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. Mainly because I have a terrible sense of direction and it’s hard to get lost while walking alongside a river! There is something so appealing about the idea of arriving in a new or familiar place the same way as the river. Plus being next to water is always so relaxing.
You could take this to the extreme and follow a river all the way to its source, or all the way out to sea. Or you could embark upon a quest to walk its entire length.
4. Find the oldest tree or building in your area, or further afield.
This one may involve a bit of research, but that’s all part of the quest! I am planning to visit a really old tree with a friend soon, and it got me thinking, I wonder where the top 10 oldest trees in the UK are? I could find out with a quick google search, but then I would probably end up on a whole new quest that I don’t currently have time for!
Amazing tree in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Going on a quest to find the oldest buildings wherever you are can be fun, even if you’re not into history. Plus you might learn something! Once you’ve ticked off the oldest buildings in your home country, you can go on a quest further afield to discover some amazing places. When you approach it in this way, you may find that you are more interested in history than you first thought!
5. Give yourself a time limit.
Not all quests need to have time limits, but it can make things more exciting! I remember going on a quest to find an indoor rollercoaster in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A fellow traveller and I gave ourselves an hour to get there. We had no idea where it was, and we ended up running through the city like maniacs.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
When we eventually found it, we realised that it was far too expensive to be worth the money for us poor backpackers, and we didn’t even go on! But we had a really fun time and an epic mini adventure. We saw parts of the city and spoke to people we never would have otherwise.
6. Food quests are the best.
I won’t write too much about this one, or I will make myself hungry. I’m always hungry, and earning enough money to satisfy my gigantic appetite is a constant struggle! If you love food, food quests are probably something you undertake pretty frequently anyway. Just make sure you have an emergency snack with you, or the quest could turn into a hangry rampage pretty quickly.
7. Turn a goal into a quest.
Want to save up money for your next adventure, further your studies, or start a new career path? Whatever your goal, life is an adventure, so completing your mission should feel like a quest, not a chore. Think about WHY you want to achieve this goal. What aspect of it makes you feel excited and alive?
Start to re-frame your goal in a way that makes it feel like an adventure. Dedicate a notebook to your quest, and jot down any helpful words or images that come to mind. What will life look like when you succeed on your quest? Focus on that, and ENJOY THE JOURNEY. Remember that being on the quest is as much the purpose as reaching the goal.
You can never have too many exciting quest ideas… please share yours with me in the comments below!