About George and Heidi

Welcome to Kensho Quest!

Are you planning a once in a lifetime journey to the other side of the world? Have you had a little anxiety about the unknown? You want to dress appropriately and comfortably but don’t stand out as if there was a sign on your back that screams ‘tourist’? Are you researching all the latest gadgets you can bring so you will take the best photos ever? Are you worried about your health? Not just about getting sick from the local cuisine but being healthy even when at home? What about children? Do you have one or two in tow? What about work? Do you want to become a digital nomad and work while you travel?

If you answered yes to any of these then you are in the right place 😉

Even if you aren't ready for your next great adventure, you may find our anecdotes entertaining and/or useful in your own life and work. Kensho Quest is about awakening your soul and being the real you.

At Kensho Quest our goal is to help you rediscover living in the moment through your adventures in life. But who says you can't do it with a little style?

You must have patience and prepare.

If you want to have a great time you need to prepare both mentally and physically!  What about spontaneity you say?  Absolutely! That is a must, but some preparation beforehand could mean the difference between loving a destination or hating it.

The last thing you want is to arrive in India and expect your taxi to have a/c (air con) and seat belts. Instead, it’s 110 degrees (43 celsius) outside so you have no choice but to keep your window rolled down. You cover your face with your shirt in an attempt to not inhale all the dust and smog coming in from the windows.  All the while hoping to arrive safely at your hotel as your taxi driver shouts expletives at the other drivers and whips around corners at twice the speed limit. When you finally arrive at your hotel your driver demands a tip and when you get out, you think the driver took you to the wrong hotel. Then you realize it IS your hotel! The photo from the booking website was 20 years old!

Choosing what to pack is part of the preparation.

Depending on where you are going and what season can drastically change your wardrobe. But if you are going to the tropics (near the equator) it’s going to be hot. Very hot and humid. Even in the rainy season. If you are coming from somewhere like Seattle or Sweden and you aren’t familiar with equatorial tropical heat then it is going to appear even hotter to you!

If you have toddlers then you probably will need to pack extra clothes because, well, they are kids and they will get dirty.

What about gear you say?

This will depend on your destination and length of time. Will you be working during this trip? Are you a pro photographer or just looking to take great photos?  We are tech junkies.  Ok, I am but both Heidi and I work online so we always bring our laptops and cameras wherever we go. Weight, portability and battery life are the most important features for us and probably you too. Bring only what you need, not what you want! Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way. Otherwise, you might be carrying 30 lbs of junk on your back which becomes a huge strain for you as you trek through the jungles in Borneo. Then when you spot that Sumatran rhino you waste so much time trying to change your lens to the super duper 500mm zoom that you miss the shot and now you have leeches crawling up your legs from standing in that puddle too long.

Take better travel photos.

Anyone can take a great photo while traveling but it certainly helps if you have a decent camera (a dslr of sorts). What is a decent camera you say?  Well, some phone cameras are fully capable in decent lighting but many times the lighting will be mostly nonexistent or backlit. Three things that your camera must be capable of:  1) adjustable shutter speed, 2) capable flash, 3) timer and you must be able to keep your camera steady.  We’ll go into details about this in our photography tips posts and don’t forget to signup for our photography of the week and tips newsletter.

Who are we?

My name is George and along with my wife Heidi we began our nomadic journey in 2008. With a couple of large clunky suitcases and a one-way ticket, we headed to our favorite place, Thailand. After a month and a half exploring the southern islands and learning from other travelers, we decided to get adventurous and headed north.

But first, we realized that our suitcases weren’t going to cut it.  So we ditched those and most of our belongings by storing them at a facility in Bangkok. What remained was only five days worth of clothes and a hoodie for each of us.  In addition, we had a camera backpack that was stuffed with an assortment of lens, flashes and a macbook pro. Total weight = very heavy.

Over the next six months, we made some great friends and visited 15 countries including Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Tibet, Nepal, Portugal, Morocco and others.

It certainly gets easier over time as you learn but every country had its own challenges with language, culture, religion and other unforeseen circumstances. We just keep at it, improvised and went with the flow. We learned that we were guests in a foreign land and what seemed strange to us is perfectly normal to them. Once we understood this everything became easier and more enjoyable.

Fast forward to 2018 and we are now a family of four with the birth of our son Kaisho in 2013 and our daughter in 2018. Now, with a toddler and a baby, we have more reason to be prepared!

Heidi and I have traveled through 35+ countries and territories. During this time we have lived in California, India, Japan, Thailand, Viet Nam and recently we returned to Honolulu, Hawaii for the birth of our daughter Harumi.

If it wasn’t for the help of family, friends and you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. Thank you for reading and we hope you join us on our adventure and we hope we can help you with yours!  If you have any questions or comments please contact us. We read every email and will respond to you unless we think you are a robot 😉

So what are you waiting for? Get out there, experience the world and live in the moment!


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