The Happiness Of Pursuit, My Search For A Quest, And A Book Giveaway!

the happiness of pursuit

Last Updated on February 21, 2021


There’s a quest waiting for you to find, claim or create.

After reading Chris Guillebau’s latest book, The Happiness Of Pursuit, this sentence stuck with me. I wasn’t even twenty pages into the book when I decided that it’s time to find – and pursue – a quest of my own.

The author himself undertook to huge quest of visiting every country in the world before turning 35. And even though he was successful, he had to overcome countless hurdles, setbacks and other issues, but he never gave up. In the book he doesn’t only talk about his very own quest, but he looks at all kinds of other quests, pursued by people who he got to know while in the process of reaching his own goal. The things people were challenging themselves with were not always travel-related, but included self-discovery quests, academic quests, athletic quests and creative quests (to name just a few).

He shows examples of people who successfully pursued their quests or are still in the process of doing so, on track to reach their goal soon. He explains why the people he interviewed for the book decided to pursue their respective quests, how they overcame roadblocks and blocked out naysayers, and what exactly defines as a quest.

The happiness of pursuit book reviewWhat exactly defines as a quest?

Many people set goals, like getting in better shape for example, or run a marathon, travel to fifty countries or improve their photography, but a quest is actually much bigger than that.

Chris Guillebeau defines a quest as an undertaking with a specific goal and end point, a challenging pursuit, something that requires a sacrifice of some sort and is driven by an internal motivation that can border on obsession. To reach the end goal, incremental progress is made, step by step. Quests that he talks about in the book that I thought were remarkable included Laura Dekker, who set off to become the youngest person to circumnavigate the world alone in a sailboat at the age of 16, Martin Powell who ran 250 marathons in one year and Thomas Hawk, who challenged himself to take, edit and publish one million photos. As you can see, no quest is like the other.

I am longing for a challenge

Maybe the book resonated so much with me because I am at a point where I am simply ready to take on a challenge. The author asks the reader in the book: What’s the next chapter of your story? And after the big changes and hurdles I’ve dealt with this year, I have actually asked myself this question several times in the past few weeks.

I’ve already made the decision to undertake a quest of my own, but I am not ready yet to announce what I am going for. I have to admit that it’s not likely to be a travel-related quest, just because I don’t feel anything in travel would really challenge me. While for many people walking the Camino is a quest, I never doubted my physical ability to finish it, even though it will be challenging. A quest to visit all the UNESCO World Heritage sites around the globe is just not special anymore. Cycling overland from Europe to China or walk across Africa? Visiting all 50 US states or National Parks? It’s all been done. And, even though I have seemingly a million places I’d like to see on my travel wish list, I don’t have the desire to visit every country in the world, that’s just not my quest.

To challenge myself, I know it has to be a physical goal, something that pushes my body to the limit. That is all I am going to say about my own quest for now πŸ™‚

the happiness of pursuit book reviewAre you ready to pursue a quest?

If you are like me, looking for something to challenge yourself with and to work towards to, want to get some more inspiration to find your own quest, and how to successfully pursue it, this book is definitely for you. I found myself taking notes the entire time I read The Happiness Of Pursuit, and I don’t remember the last time I actually marked paragraphs and sentences while reading a book!

To find out if you are ready to undertake a quest, you could ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you long for a challenge?
  • Do you enjoy setting goals?
  • Does making progress toward a goal motivate you?
  • Do you have a hobby or passion or something you might be almost obsessed with?
  • Are you ready to follow your passion?
  • Do you have ideas you can’t stop thinking about?
  • Is there more to life than this?
  • Are you ready to break out of the traditional life path?

If you can answer most of these questions with YES, you are probably ready to pursue your very own quest.

finding your quest
Finding your quest is not always easy.. but pursuing it is even harder.

You can order the book from Amazon or find it in your local book store – or enter the giveaway!

Win a copy of the book!

I am giving away one copy of The Happiness Of Pursuit to one lucky reader – so if this sounds interesting to you, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy! I’d like to know if you’ve ever pursued a quest, and if so, were you successful? What kind of quest was it? If you are planning to pursue a quest: what kind of quest would be for you? A physical challenge, a travel quest, self-improvement or educational? I am looking forward to your comments!

To find out more about the author, visit To find out more about the book, visit

Disclaimer: This review of The Happiness of Pursuit including the book giveaway is sponsored by Random House. The winner of the giveaway will be chosen via The giveaway will close on 22 September.
Opt In Image
Beyond the Blog: Get updates straight to your inbox!

Keep up with me! Get updates, additional stories that don't make it on the blog, future travel plans, and travel tips. I also answer reader questions and have some pretty sweet travel giveaways exclusive to newsletter subscribers!


  1. I had a fear of the unknown, so I picked a place in Africa and went there, by myself, no knowing anyone there. The greatest adventure yet, met my new wife there, spent three weeks with some of the nicest people ever, I faced my fear and won

    1. John, wow, that’s an amazing adventure! You faced your fear and it totally paid off for you πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. I have several quests; to me, life is really a series of quests. Some are partially completed, others only in the planning stages. It would be really interesting to read another’s thoughts on this subject.

    1. John – I decided to start with a number of smaller quests before committing to a big one – I like the idea of your life being a series of quests πŸ™‚

  3. I always had a curiosity to try living in a different city. Gave up the dream job and moved to Hawaii for a year. Left with a new “ohana” (family) and an even stronger curiosity of the world now. In a little over 5 weeks I’ll be heading to Europe for 3 months. Ready to visit old friends and make new ones πŸ™‚

    1. Gina, a move to Hawaii, wow! I love how this turned out for you – enjoy Europe (I hope you’ll be in Germany for the Christmas markets :D)

  4. My quest was to become an actor. After a lot of study and a acting , I finally achieved my goal.
    I am now on a quest to direct short films. It will take a lot of
    work. I have already directed four plays , getting great reviews from the critics for one play. I will be shortly starting a course in film directing.

  5. Oh wow, this just relates to me so much! I am in the middle of planning my quest right now, next year I’ll quit my job, sell my apartment and start cycling around the world. It’s been a dream of mine for years and I’m so happy that I’m finally actually going to pursue my goal. Slowly cycling around the world seems like the best way to experience it I think. This book would be the perfect inspiration for me πŸ™‚

    1. Cecilia – cycling around the world is an amazing quest!! Check out for some inspiration if you haven’t stumbled across her blog yet. I look forward to following your adventures!

  6. Awesome! It’s a great chance to get the latest gem of Chris Guillebeau! My quest is about running: I try to get 3,000 km this next 2015 and sharing this goal on a blog! Thank you so much for this chance!!! I’m in!!


    1. Francesco, congratulations, your number has randomly been picked as the winner of the contest (thanks to I hope you’ll achieve your running goal – please share your blog with me once you’ve set it up, would love to follow along!

      1. Hello Dany! I’m so excited about! Thank you very much for this opportunity! You should receive soon my email with all the information you need! Keep in touch, Francesco

  7. My quest was to pursue my dreams and live freely πŸ™‚ So far, I think I achieved them all. I do my own business which is my passion also, I can go anywhere, anytime I want to without worry about my work or annual leaves πŸ™‚

  8. ha just like you Dani I’m not sure I should make it travel, I feel like is do that stuff anyway. Probably something fitness related or helping people. I’m looking forward to hearing what yours is! About to have a brainstorm now for mine πŸ™‚ This is great I needed something like this to kick me into gear!

  9. Last summer my quest was to hike the John Muir Trail. I spent hours reading & prepping. And then loved every step of it. When I think back on the trip it makes me smile & almost cry! It spurred me on (along with a few other pushes) to finally try my own hand at starting my own business instead of going back to the corporate desk. But now I feel a little lost & think I need to sort through what my true life quest is…

    1. Ashley – that sounds amazing! I am heading over to your site now to read about it and have a feeling I’ll leave inspired to trek the trail myself πŸ˜‰ Good luck with starting your own business!

  10. Awesome! It’s a great chance to get the latest gem of Chris Guillebeau! My quest is about running: I try to get 3,000 km this next 2015 and sharing this goal on a blog! Thank you so much for this chance!!! I’m in!!

  11. This sounds like a great book! I am in the middle of two quests now.. one is trying to make a new career in India and started massage as a business was ok since I do it from home, but starting this new candle business is hard! I am enjoying it. The second is about my desire to learn Hindi. I’m already a few weeks into class and loving it.. but it’s hard not to give up because it’s so hard!

  12. Really interesting post πŸ™‚ I wish you good luck on your quest and look forward to reading more about it!

    I have always been a goal setter but recent changes and a lot of obstacles to starting my ‘life’ so to speak have really gotten me down. I’ve had a hard time focusing my energies in one area. But I am truly passionate about dance – and after spending a few years not really having the opportunity to dance (due to where I was living), I know that whatever life holds for me, it needs to include dance to a very large degree. I’m really curious about this book now.

    Thanks Dani πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Linn! It sounds like dancing is the perfect quest for you. I wish you all the best with it – as long as you believe you can do it, you will succeed!

  13. I’m not a goal setter as much as I am a journeywoman. I feel that I’m always on some kind of path. Following that path, where ever it leads, is the goal.

  14. Hm, I suppose I’ve had a few quests, one (and probably the first) of which was when I was young. I had the nagging desire to graduate high school and go to college at age 16 (rather than the norm of 18 in the U.S.). At first it didn’t seem possible but after a lot of testing, work, taking an extra course over the summer, and petitioning the school board – I did it! It certainly changed the course of my life. Now I think I’m in need of another quest, especially since I’m in a big transition point of my life, so I have some things to ponder. Thanks for posting about this book – it sounds great. And I’m look forward to hearing about your own quest when you’re ready! πŸ™‚

  15. I don’t know what my quest will be yet, I think it will be something to do with hiking and travel but I’m not sure yet. I would also like to visit all of the islands in British Columbia. A mini quest that I am undertaking next year is to travel from Vancouver to Anchorage via ferry and bus by myself and it is something that I am very much looking forward to.

  16. Hi Dani,
    What a beautiful book–thank you!
    The quest of the deepest heart, being open to discover unknown aspects of yourself in relationship to the world is my favorite–ongoing–adventure, in life and work.
    I am so happy to have found your website.

  17. I really like the sound of this book Dani. Before I left the UK I felt that I needed a quest too and after volunteering in the UK for many years and then in Cambodia I decided that my quest is to dedΓ­cate my working life to international development and work in different develping countries to achieve that. So far I have done 2 countries over the past 2.5 years, so there are many more countries I would like to add to my list. Good luck with your physical quest. It sounds intriguing and I can`t wait to hear all about it.

  18. I’ve really enjoyed reading about the changes you’ve been going through in the last few months, Dani, and how you seem so much happier for it! This teaser of your own quest sounds interesting – I can’t wait to hear what it is!

    1. Thanks a lot, Sam! It’s hard to put it all out for the world to read sometimes πŸ˜€ I am much happier now, btw, and glad to hear that you can feel it!

  19. One of my greatest quests in life was to complete 27 months of service in the US Peace Corps. It was just a pivotal moment in my life when I packed my bags and moved to a remote African village in Botswana at the age of 21. It was my first move ever in my life and was the most challenging but rewarding experience every. It shaped my life in so many ways and led me to where I am today: a global public health professional. At this point in my life, I feel like I need to take on another quest: to give back to society in a greater way, whether it be in my local community or at the global level. I am still trying to figure that quest out, but I am confident I will get to that point soon!

    1. Parisa – wow! That must have been such a life-changing experience! I love that it shaped your entire life path. Please let me know what your quest is once you’ve figured it out πŸ™‚

  20. There’s something so romantic about having a quest to fulfil. I’m really looking forward to reading Chris’ book, and coming along with you on your journey, whatever it happens to be.

  21. I love Chris’s other books and can’t wait to read this one.

    My quest is to downsize significantly, moving towards a simpler life and a tiny home. It has been an incredible challenge so far and I’ve barely even started!

    1. Jessica – that was a huge quest for me, too.. or a huge change from hoarding / consuming to buying / owning almost nothing. It still is a challenge for me!

  22. My quest is to return to all of my favorite cities and spend extensive time in all of them: San Francisco, Paris, Vienna, and Isla Mujeres

  23. Tina – I am sure you’ll achieve your goal. And I love that Isla Mujeres is on your list πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to return there one day, too!

Leave a Response