• Vision Quest
  • Kathleen Donovan
Vision Quest

You know how some people have vision boards or guiding mantras? I had a picture. She’s from a spring issue of Paris Vogue. I saw her while traveling to Paris to tour lingerie shops and take my first steps toward making Fifth House a reality.

I guess it’s her carefree wide, open smile. Her joie de vivre.

It reminded me of the last time I felt truly brave.

Twenty years ago I bought a ticket in cash at a the Jewel Grocery Store on Clark Street in Chicago for a flight to Australia and New Zealand. I had a job, a boyfriend, an apartment, a life. My total experience abroad at that point was one semester in England. But I had always wanted to go. I only knew some friends that had studied at University of Illinois. It didn’t make sense. I just had to go.

I spent nine months traveling there. Many of them alone on 36 hour bus rides- making new friends and reading all sorts of books, writing, drawing, surfing, hiking, living. It opened my mind to the world and possibility in life and I have been hungry for more ever since.

It’s not that the experience meant more to me than getting married or having children. But it’s the last time I truly felt like the hero in my own life. Brave. I listened to my heart when it didn’t make sense and I felt unbelievable joy and satisfaction that I stepped into that opportunity.

Many friends will remember this picture was my screensaver for most of the summer. They would notice and ask “What a great picture!! Is that you???!”

No, but it is going to be.

  • Kathleen Donovan

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