When my friend Aubrey and I began redesigning Of Whiskey and Words (it’s coming in 2018, I promise), she was convinced that the new site needed a motto. A phrase that shapes my writing and resonates with my readers. A creed I use every day that affects how I see the world. In short, something that easily conveys the message around which I’ve spent years writing.
Aubrey is a designer by trade and a creator by nature (the new blog layout is incredible). She has a natural talent for connecting ideas and concepts to people. In a time where everyone has the ability to make their voice heard, it’s imperative to know what you’re trying to say and why.
At first, I laughed at her suggestion and said that I had too many mottos to count – perhaps a side effect of my love of quotes. But the truth was, after almost three years of writing (and publishing), I couldn’t come up with one core message.
My message has varied over the years. At first, it was, “Fuck everything. Travel everywhere.” Then it was, “Living abroad. Avoid Routine,” which morphed into, “Traveling and the concept of home.” If you’re bored (or just love reading my writing), you can go through all the posts I’ve written over the years and you’ll see the shift for yourself.
The issue is that I no longer consider myself a “world traveler.” Yes, I still travel as much as I can. Yes, I visited six countries this year alone, but compared to my “past life” it didn’t feel like a big deal. I’m no longer the guy taking year-long trips, sleeping in a new country every few days. I’ve accepted that.
Over the past few years, I’ve started feeding both sides of the wolf.
When Aubrey and I started talking about the new message for Of Whiskey and Words, I realized that it was about balance. I want to write and tell people that you can work a “normal” job and still live a rewarding life full of adventure. Just because you aren’t going to sleep in Budapest and waking up in Belgrade, life still has plenty of meaning. It’s choosing to see the purpose in whatever you’re doing; wherever you are.
But, admittedly, “Find balance” isn’t a great motto and makes me sound like a yoga studio.
I wanted something that spoke to finding adventure – not just on the other side of the world, but in your everyday life. I wanted to convey that you shouldn’t live life with your eyes fixed on the horizon chasing something because that’s how you miss the things happening in front of you. I wanted something that inspires people to find purpose in their everyday actions.
I saw Serengetee: “Travel More.” Cotopaxi: “Adventure on.” Kurt Vonnegut: “So it goes.” King Solomon: “This too shall pass,” and I was amazed at how a few simple words could convey so much meaning. How two or three words could convey an entire lifestyle.
Using those as inspiration, I went through a lot of ideas (spoiler: none of them were good).
- Choose Adventure
- Find Balance
- Adventure First
- Find Adventure
- Adventure Always
- Immerse Daily
- Seek Purpose
- Explore the Ordinary
- Seek Adventure
Of those above, I liked “Seek Adventure” the best. It was short, sweet, and to the point. It spoke to what I was trying to accomplish with Of Whiskey and Words: telling people they need to seek adventure in their everyday lives.
As fitting as it was, it still didn’t feel quite fit. It didn’t move me and say, “Take a step back and appreciate what’s in front of you.” I didn’t know what exactly I was looking for, but I knew as much as “seek adventure” seemed to fit the bill, it wasn’t quite it.
I stumbled across an article in which the author describes the best wedding ever which he went to in California. He mentioned that everyone in attendance got a mug, and on the side of it was the phrase: This must be the place.
I instantly knew. This must be the place was the phrase I’d been looking for.
I sent the article to Aubrey but didn’t tell her why. Her first response was, “you should use that as the Of Whiskey and Words motto.” Great minds…
The more I thought about, it the more I loved it.
To me, This must be the place represents appreciating wherever it is you are and accepting it. It’s being at peace with yourself and your place in the world. Stuck in traffic? This must be the place. Watching the sunset on a beach in Costa Rica? This must be the place. Busting your ass to finish a report? This must be the place. Drinking at a hostel with your new Australian friends? This must be the place. On a sixteen-hour flight across the world? This must be the place.
There are certain things in life you can’t change. Certain things (both good and bad) that are necessary and unavoidable. Whenever I get frustrated, I remember This must be the place, and it centers me. Whenever I’m excited I think, This must be the place, and I’m appreciative and thankful for the source of my excitement.
At the end of the day, you are where you are. This Must Be the Place reminds me to make the best of everything and be present. To not miss what’s happening around me, or let external factors dictate my mood.
So whether you’re traveling the world, working a fulltime job, raising three kids, or trying to finish school, just remember that wherever you are is exactly where you need to be.
After all, This must be the place.