*Are you happy at the moment?
*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
I would explain to my 16-year-old self that everything will work out so stop worrying. Life is ultimately about the journey, not the destination.
*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I recently experienced a career/life crises and I decided to save myself by walking the 500 mile trek called the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I thought this would be cheaper than therapy. I found myself stuck in a career where I felt like a meaningless cog in a giant wheel. I needed to know why I was here on Earth and I decided a 30 day hike from St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain was what would give me my answers. At the end of my first week of walking for 10 hours a day, my walking stick fell on a stone in the path. Someone had written on the stone, “It’s about the Way, not about the destination.” This lesson stuck with me and reminds me that life is about the journey not about that thing in the distance you are striving to achieve.
*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I would like to publish my 2nd book, trek in Nepal and start a successful business.
*What’s your secret to happiness?
Enjoying the moment. I am constantly trying to focus on living in the moment. The minute I start to worry about the future or long for the past I start to lose my happiness. This simple way of thinking is the key to my happiness.
*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
I try to meditate for at least 10 minutes every night before going to bed. It is very difficult to turn off my thoughts so I simply try to observe them as they arise in my mind.
*What’s your biggest regret?
My first job out of college was a dream job. I landed a hosting job for a show on the Travel Channel and was elated. During the show we traveled throughout the Pacific Rim and my job was to report on local food and music in each country that we visited. My biggest regret is that I was so focused on using this dream gig as a stepping stone, to launch a career as the next Anthony Bourdain, that I failed to live in that moment and enjoy the incredible experience. I remember one day in particular in which I was filming a scene with a local Aboriginal Australian who took me out into the ocean in Australia to spear fish for stingrays. It was an absolute honor but I remember the entire day I was obsessed with asking the right questions and very hard on myself about being a terrible television host. I should have let go and enjoyed the moment.
*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
I don’t have kids yet but we will have our first very soon. I hope to teach them that the only person they ever need to be better than is the person they were yesterday.
*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
Everything for me has to have a deeper meaning. I want to learn to lighten up.
*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I am proud that I follow my curiosities. I don’t have 1 passion and don’t think that I ever will. I just wrote and published my first book, Sunrises to Santiago: Searching for Purpose on the Camino de Santiago, and am very proud of this body of work. If even 1 person learns some life lessons from the book then that will make me incredibly proud.
*When were you happiest?
I can honestly say right now. I was so anxious in my 20s and I constantly worried about my future. Today, I am more at peace with who I am and better understand that life is about continually learning. I will never have all of the answers and that is ok.
*What ten words best describe you?
Introvert, curios, kind, philosopher, introspective, laid-back, adventurer, traveler, writer, husband
Gabriel Schirm is a world traveler and author based in Denver, Colorado. He writes about outdoor adventures, food, and journeys of self-discovery. He has been featured on the Travel Channel, Discovery Travel & Living, and as a contributor to TravelChannel.com. His first book, Sunrises to Santiago: Searching for Purpose on the Camino de Santiago, was released June 9th, 2015.