Travel Stories5-minute read
How being spontaneous changed my life
Motivational speaker Duku Forè made a snap decision in 2015 after watching a YouTube video. He tells High Life how his life changed for the better as a result
When was the last time you made a spontaneous decision? Did you hop on a flight? Change your career? What did you do?
Often the best stories about friends and families – or even about ourselves – are born out of spontaneity. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something about doing things on a whim that powers my curiosity and tests how far I’m willing to push my own boundaries.
Friends of mine frequently refer to me as the most spontaneous person they know, but I like to think of myself as merely intellectually curious when it comes to spur-of-the-moment decisions. Thinking of myself in that way has helped me to make a lot of reactive decisions I may not have otherwise done and, in turn, has caused me to meet some of the most amazing people – and visit some of the most amazing places – in the world.
On 2 May 2015, I watched a YouTube video where motivational speaker Eric Thomas spoke to the franchise owners of a sandwich company called Which Wich. At that time, the only place where anyone could eat a Which Wich sandwich was in the United States (a far distance from me in Brisbane, Australia). When the video finished, I was instantly moved by the desire to travel to the US and eat a sandwich from that company. I couldn’t do it at once, but the decision to get there was immediate.
I told myself that I could only travel there by using the money I made through following my dream of becoming an inspirational speaker. Once I made the spontaneous decision, I started working harder and even made my phone screensaver a picture of the sandwich to remind myself of what I was working towards. I wanted to see what would happen, where I would be and who I would become if I did everything to achieve this spontaneous goal.
As I continued to pursue my dream, individuals from the global community started becoming aware of my work. It wasn’t long before I received my first international invite – to Hong Kong. I didn’t hesitate. I took the trip. I loved that I was in Hong Kong because I’d made a spontaneous decision to eat an American sandwich. The only problem, however, was that there were not any Which Wich sandwiches in Hong Kong!
Next, I visited Thailand. Just like Hong Kong, I loved it! I realised quickly why it’s called The Land of Smiles. From learning to speak the language, to trekking the breathtaking mountains of the country and living in a Thai village, everything felt surreal. But in Thailand, I had the same problem: no Which Wiches.
Back in Brisbane again, I went to work harder than ever. But when 2 May 2016 came around, I was still in Brisbane and I had not managed to fulfil my spontaneous dream of eating the sandwich Eric Thomas has introduced me to a year earlier. I was disappointed in myself. However, I knew it was better to do it later than never, and so I continued working towards that vision and, to my surprise, I received an email inviting me to represent Australia at the UN Headquarters in New York for the 2016 General Youth Assembly. This was it!
Naturally, I was extremely excited to represent Australia at the United Nations but, more than that, I was thrilled by the fact I was finally going to eat the sandwich! As soon as I got to my hotel in New York, I threw my bags on the bed and looked up the nearest Which Wich. The closest one was two hours away and was closing in two and a half hours. This was my only chance. I jumped in a taxi and made my way there, even ditching the ride at a roadblock that was slowing me down.
I arrived at the door with seven minutes to go but, to my dismay, it was locked. I walked around to the back of the building and found a two-sided notice that read, ‘During summer break, we close at 4:30pm’ on one side, and ‘On Sunday we are closed’ on the other. Since it was winter in Brisbane, I had forgotten that it was summer in the US. Not only had I arrived during the summer break, but my plane landed on the only day of the week that the shop was shut.
It was in that moment that I realised this journey, and this last year, had been about more than a sandwich. Thanks to a spontaneous decision to eat a $9 sandwich over a year ago, I had achieved more than I could have ever dreamed of. That one decision had led me around the world, introduced me to some amazing people and places and furnished me with memories I will never forget.
I decided to tell my story in a book entitled The Poor Kid with Rich Dreams, in the hopes of inspiring others to follow their gut and take a leap. After publication, the book got the attention of the founder of the Which Wich company and he invited me to go and have a sandwich with him as soon as I can. So my dream will come true – just not in the way I thought it would. I will have to wait until I’m able to travel safely to the US but, once I can, I’ll be on the first flight out there to fulfil my dream.
Watch the video that started Duku on his journey here.
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