How did I end up in Malaysia. It was this mug, right here:

KL mug

But let me back up for a moment and share some history on mugs.

The forbidden mug

When I went to China many years ago, there was a Starbucks inside the Forbidden City. The menu was all in Chinese and the experience was a bit surreal. There I was, in the Forbidden City and I didn’t know the Chinese word for Mocha — or any other coffee word for that matter. That wasn’t in my “must know to get around” vocabulary list. But, I thought, what better way to remember my experience than a coffee and mug from the Starbucks inside the Forbidden City? So I bought one and somehow managed to order a drink with my new cup.

The Starbucks is no longer in the Forbidden City so it’s even more special that I have that memory.

The abstract art mug

My next out-of-the-area Starbucks encounter was in New York City where I discovered a really cool mug with abstract shapes depicting Central Park. Again, I thought, what a fun way to remember my time in New York — a good looking item for my hot beverages, not something that’s going to collect dust. These mugs seemed to be the perfect souvenir, usable and they literally and figuratively contain a memory.

Back to Malaysia…

I never intended to start a collection, but my husband thought that’s what I was doing since I had two mugs in the cupboard. He very sweetly and innocently bought me a mug from Kuala Lumpur (KL) while shopping at the local second hand store in Oregon. I thought, this is awesome, now that we have the souvenir, we must go there! He didn’t understand that my collection represented the places I had been, a special memory for each mug. Now that I had the mug, we’d have to make the memory. I mean, I couldn’t rightfully own it without having been there, right? My husband had no idea what he signed up for when he bought the gift: a trip to Malaysia!! Oh and on the way we’d need to visit Bangkok, Bali, and Singapore. I’m a huge fan of making that long trek worth it.

This trip ended up as the honeymoon we’d always wanted — a week in Bali. All because of a second-hand mug. A mug and a quest to fill it!

Tell me your quest and you could win

Do you have any quests? I’d love to hear about them. Plus, one lucky person that comments will receive a book about quests, The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau. I’ll follow up in two weeks with the winner and a list of some of my conquests.

How is a quest defined:

A clear goal with a specific end point, a clear challenge, a sacrifice of some kind, a calling or mission to fulfill and steps to achieve your quest. I can’t say that I used this whole formula for all of my quests like fulfilling my coffee cup mission but I got there!

The book has tons of examples of what other people have done or are doing for their quests. It’s inspirational but yet real world too. You should check out the book if you are looking to add more meaning to your life or you like the pursuit of it all. To me, there’s always more in the journey and than in the end game.

A quest to see Malaysia because of a mug