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  • Joe Danis

The Journey with No Destination…



Having just returned from my recent trip to Germany where I participated in a TEDx Talk at the University of Paderborn, I’m somewhat numb yet overwhelmed with the experience. As I sit here at 4:00 AM with a coffee trying to gather my thoughts as the jet lag kicks in, I have so many things rushing through my head. From reflecting on the past seven days and all that came with the experience, to where do we take things from here in terms of the unum society, the many projects on the horizon, future travels, my career, and when the heck am I going to have time to cut the grass!


But I have to remind myself of something I said during my TEDx Talk where I reference the journey that we are all on and that it’s just that… a journey. A journey with no destination. My trip to Germany was just one more experience, one more adventure, one more step in the overall journey that is life.


I’ve never been one to like the phrase “trip of a lifetime.” I feel it confines us and tell us that you will never experience something as special as this again. Maybe every “trip” is a trip of a lifetime. Yes, it will never happen again in terms of it’s unique place in our lives, but I feel for many, this is the end of the road, or the end of a dream, and that they will never feel this way again. We build up our vacations as such and then feel a strong let down when we return. A vacation is defined as being something separate from our everyday life while a journey becomes part of us.


A vacation is defined as being something separate from our everyday life while a journey becomes part of us.

The notion that our travels and adventures are part of the overall journey creates a sense of continuity and flow in our lives. They shape us in ways we sometimes don’t comprehend until weeks, months, or even years later. And, I know this to be true in so many ways. In sharing my experiences from my time in Bangladesh almost 20 years ago now, I realize the tremendous impact that journey had on me. And, as I reflect on this most recent journey to Germany, I know it will be the same.


While the experience of the TEDx Talk was the focal point, the journey became so much more than those 18 minutes on stage. The fascinating conversations with some unbelievably talented, warm, loving, intelligent, funny, and creative people was certainly a highlight for me. Connecting with such a diverse group of people will always stand out for me while I try and distill and interpret the meaning behind our interactions. And beyond those experiences, the sites and sounds of the small German city of Paderborn welcomed me and made me feel strangely at home.


This was one journey that impacted me in a new way however. I move forward with a new-found confidence in my ability to share my story and a greater sense of clarity in my purpose of connecting people with opportunities and experiences. This truly is who I am and what I do, regardless of context.


So, the journey continues. My reflections on the past week only serve as the foundation for future journeys and adventures and intersections of people, and growth, and learning…. And of course, a lot of laughter and fun! And, even the odd pint…


Go on a journey, don’t take a vacation! Forget the trip of a lifetime… tackle the adventure of the day!

So, the next time you are about to embark on a journey remember, it’s just that…. a journey. It’s simply one more step forward in this amazing and wonderful thing we call life. And that at the end of one journey, begins another. And, if we treated life as a journey, we would find fulfilment and a sense of purpose and flow every minute of every day. So, go on a journey, don’t take a vacation! Forget the trip of a lifetime… tackle the adventure of the day!


Joe Danis

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