I first started watching Josh Gates when he had his show Destination Truth on Syfy. I continue to watch him with his show Expedition Unknown on the Travel Channel. Josh constantly cracks me up. He has a great sense of humor and an amazing sense of adventure.
In both shows, Josh travels to various parts of the world in order to solve mysteries. In Destination Truth, the mysteries often centered on mythological/mysterious creatures. In Expedition Unknown, his focus is on other mysteries, such as looking for lost treasure.
My spouse doesn’t enjoy these shows as much as I do. In fact, they bother him to no end. It drives him crazy that Josh gets to travel the world and never finds anything. He doesn’t find Josh as amusing as I do.
But I think my spouse is missing the point. I don’t think the purpose of the shows is about the destination. It’s about the journey.
It’s true that Josh rarely (if ever) finds what he sets out to find. In Destination Truth, he never filmed any of the creatures he was looking for and rarely found any evidence that they existed at all. In Expedition Unknown, he’s never found a treasure that he sets out to find. But that doesn’t make his excursions unsuccessful.
There is so much to learn when watching his shows. I learn about different places and cultures around the world that I had no idea existed. I get to go with Josh into remote places that haven’t been touched by humans in sometimes as long as thousands of years. I get to discover artifacts that often lead to more questions than they do answers. Through it all, I’m fascinated and intrigued.
It’s totally possible Josh knows that he’s not going to find anything when he travels half way around the world, but that doesn’t stop him. He still hops on a plane and travels to a new destination. He still lowers himself into deep, dark caves and sloshes through potentially polluted water to see what’s at the end of the tunnel. He traverses dangerous landscapes with nothing more than hope that he’ll find what he’s looking for.
What Josh does is inspiring. He takes something he’s incredibly passionate about and has made a living and a TV show following his dream. He gets to travel to amazing places around the world and immerse himself into the history and legends of the place. He gets to meet amazing people who are passionate about what they do—historians and archaeologists (among others) who are trying to find answers to ancient mysteries.
It is said that life is supposed to be about the journey rather than the destination, and I think Josh proves that with his shows. While he has a goal in mind, he often doesn’t find exactly what he’s looking for, but he doesn’t come home empty handed either. Just because he doesn’t find the buried treasure or the Arc of the Covenant or the Yeti doesn’t mean he doesn’t find some other really cool things. And think about how much he learns along the way!
If life is about the journey, then Josh Gates is doing life right. All he does is travel. Would it be cool if he actually found what he set out to find? Absolutely. But even if he doesn’t, he still gets to go on one hell of an adventure. And he never gives up.
Josh might live his life a bit more extravagantly and adventurously than some of us are comfortable doing (pick me! I hate traveling), but we can still learn that the journey is more important than anything and that following your dreams will open your world to endless possibilities.