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And so it begins...

Today we embark on our 170-day trip around the world. It feels like we’ve been planning this trip forever. And I guess we have. I met my fiancé, Avery, more than 3 years ago, and we connected early on about our love for travel. Every date included never-ending discussions about which must-see country we should visit or which island we should explore before Travel+Leisure writes about it. It simply started as an idea, a casual conversation over coffee. It seemed at the end of each date, we had built our itinerary further. It’s amazing when an idea comes to fruition - especially the idea of dropping everything to travel. It’s a risk we both were willing to take. A part of my fiancé’s job was to assess risk - and we still went for it. 

So many emotions. Excitement. Marvel. Fear. Anxiety. (“Can you ever just be whelmed?” If you know this quote, I applaud you). All these emotions bundled up into in a pretty parcel in my brain. Now, if you know me, you know I am the preparation queen. I carry around an entire CVS in my purse for the “just in case”. Paranoid much? (Yes, but there’s always one person who needs eyedrops and I’ve got it.) Oh by the way, did I mention that we’re backpacking for all of this? This method obviously demanded a level of preparedness that was new to me. But thanks to my husband-to-be and my useful OCD, we have everything covered from immunization shots and doctor’s notes to permethrin dipped attire with moisture wicking. We are ready…right? (Shoot did I forget something?)

I feel blessed. I truly do. And I don’t mess around with that concept. Gratitude is grounding. With so much going on in the news, it’s so easy to get lost in the fear. Have you ever watched that animated movie, Inside Out? I’m Fear. With a capital F. But you know what, that’s what this trip is about for me. Saying F to Fear and embracing all of emotions full on. I’m leaping for the whole world to see. Exposed. Vulnerable. Oy.

When I left my corporate fashion merchandising job in New York City, I was so ready to do something new, something more meaningful. I have this unshakeable desire to give back. Being teased and bullied as a kid, I feel responsible to share my experiences with the youth because no child should ever feel alone and invisible. I hated high school. And we didn’t even have social media growing up. To be honest, I don't know how I would've handled that pressure. I see grown adults struggling with it - let alone high school kids. As a teenager, it's so easy to get discouraged and to believe in the negativity. As of 2016, suicide rates have tripled amongst adolescent girls, and that doesn’t even include statistics for the suicide attempts. While i’m just one person, I can’t just sit back. I know in my soul and spirit that I was put on this earth to help troubled kids get through another day with a smile, sprinkled with gratitude on top.

But before saving the world (cue Batman music), I’m going to explore life with the love of my life. We're going to try new things. And we're probably going to get lost on the way. Whether it's trying a new craft and testing my child-like creativity or making a wrong turn on a scooter in Chiang Mai, we're down. We're so down.

It doesn't matter if you're traveling or not. We're all on our own quest to our truth. While Avery and I are a couple, we are still 2 individuals. We have our own separate paths running adjacent to one other. We just want each other to be the best version of ourselves with courtesy, dignity, and integrity. So the name Quest Vibes was born and we encourage everyone to embark on their own personal journey with open arms and good vibes.

 

 

Catherine Joei1 Comment