Filling in My Map

About a month ago I was talking to my mom, dad and sister about starting the European leg of my bucket list adventure. We were reminiscing about old trips when my mom surprised me by interrupting the conversation.

“Danny, what exactly are you looking for?”

Even though it wasn’t the first time I had been asked that, I was still surprised. I cocked my head to the side and began to think. I didn’t have an answer then but about a month later the answer came into focus. I was walking around the streets of Stockholm, Sweden when it hit me.

One of the hidden benefits of pursuing my bucket list has been that it forces me to try out new cultures and ways of being. It puts me in new places and surrounds me with new people. This on-going process has given me a better idea of where I want to eventually end up. It doesn’t make any sense to try to figure out where you want to spend the majority of your life or who you want to spend it with if you don’t first explore the opportunities that are available. So while I don’t know how it all fits together, I do know how I want to end up.

It is as if I have already marked my X and am now just filling in my map.

So mom, what exactly am I looking for?

I am not looking for anything as there is no longer a void I am trying to fill. All I am doing now is filling in my map.

:-)


I wrote this while sitting in a cafe in Florence, Italy. I am feeling quite good at the moment. I attribute this to all of you.

I really appreciate all of the support that all of you have given me. It really means a lot to hear your comments and see this blog grow. I wish all of you the best of luck on your own personal journey.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hey Danny, last week I made a big decision. I’m selling most of my stuff, quit my apartment and will soon start living a dream I had for so long : I’m moving to Europe.

    In a day my priorities almost completely reversed and traveling ended up becoming first :) I booked a one way flight yesterday and rented a room for 5 weeks. It’s only been a week and I can’t tell you how happy I am with this decision so far.

    Simple questions are often the most difficult to answer. I really like your answer, especially “I am not looking for anything as there is no longer a void I am trying to fill.” That’s exactly what I feel this decision will lead me to.

    Thanks a million times for writing this blog cause this is one of the few I read that led me to this decision.

    • :-D Congratulations! The initial leap is by far the hardest part. I know from experience (my own as well as that of numerous people I have met along the way) that this will be one of the most important decisions you ever make.

      I’d love to hear more details. If you get a chance, I’d love if you shot me an e-mail (danny@intriguingideas.com). As you know, I am living in Europe as well. It would be great if we could cross paths.

      Cheers and congrats!

  • After you have had a few life experiences, you can look back and see how certain people and events changed the course of your life. In my case, three relatives unwittingly changed mine. One knew a member of the British royal family who then used to correspond with me as a schoolkid. Another was a big-league cricketer and stamp collector. Only that combination resulted in my moving to New Zealand. A third relative got me interested in electronics and radio, so I later got a ham licence. While that didn’t lead to anything, the electronics bit got me to build my first computer from a kit, which eventually led me to a career in high-tech companies and ultimately into the SEO world.

    I am sure that your stint at SEOmoz will lead to some twists and turns in your journey for some years to come. :)

    • That is quite an eclectic series of journeys :-) It sounds like you are doing life right.

      “I am sure that your stint at SEOmoz will lead to some twists and turns in your journey for some years to come. :)”

      In many many ways it already has. :-)

      Cheers!

  • Life is more about the journey than the destination. You said: “It doesn’t make any sense to try to figure out where you want to spend the majority of your life or who you want to spend it with if you don’t first explore the opportunities that are available” – the beauty, I think, is that none of this is set in stone! The journey and the experience is so much more important, and will shape and mould us towards who we are and want to be, but the twist and turning is what keeps life fascinating. Today, more than ever, people start on one path (ie: career) and part way through, pack it in for something different, whether more fulfilling and satisfying, or as a result of something that has impacted their life enough to make a major change.
    I think your mom’s question was perfect – sometimes we need to sit back, take a look and see what we want, where we want it to go, and if is still in line with what we started. Big thanks to your mom for the reminder! Happy trails and enjoy the journey.

  • Alicea Rieger

    Danny-

    I am one of your mom’s friends from grad school. I have had a great time following your blog & adventures (love all the ice cream Picts). I have to say you have a wise mom that asks the right questions at the right time. :D Have fun filling your map and eating ice cream.

    • I most definitely agree, I do have a wise mom. :-) I hope all is well and best of luck on your own journey!

  • LOVE it!

  • That is an awesome way of looking at your adventures and travels.

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