To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, we travelers often choose our travel locations “not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

It’s 1988 and in Turkey, making my way cross-country from west to east. My final destination will eventually be Mount Ararat, another Wow place, the speculative location of Noah’s Ark. But today, I’m in search of the mysterious Mt. Nemrut (or Nemrut Dagi). The mountain, itself, isn’t much to speak of, but what’s on top certainly is. Scattered all about this rocky slope are the ruins of the mausoleum of Antiochus I. Unesco calls it “one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period” and I believe it. Everywhere you look, you see heads. Heads of gods. Heads of kings. Heads of giant birds. Each sculpture is roughly 6 feet tall and most likely fell off a figure 5 times that height. Many of the heads look, curiously, like lawn gnomes, giving the place and even more surreal nature.

Getting to Mt. Nemrut is an adventure (just the way I like it). There is a train, and a bus, and then a hair raising mini bus on a one-lane switch-back. It has the feeling of a pilgrimage – if you survive the journey, you may well be enlightened.

A friend of mine once said, “Everyday you should do something difficult”. I don’t know about that – sometimes you need a safe harbor. But there are definitely some days when you’re traveling, you hear about a cool location, and just decide, “That place sounds amazing. I am going to find some way to get there!”

What if you took that same attitude into your daily life? Instead of binging on the latest Netflix rom-com, you stamped your feet on the ground, puffed out your chest, stood up and declared, “I will now do something difficult! I will not be denied!” How might that change your life?