Queen Curiosity

[Writing] is my lawful wife and [photography] my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.
— adapted from Chekhov

By principle, I’m a hedonist. Life offers an orgy of opportunities. It’s my duty to pursue them responsibly. My ancestors were denied this pleasure. Their existence was sunup to sundown in service of someone else’s profit, pocket, and purse. My life is my own. 

To thine own self be true...
— Shakespeare's Hamlet

For roughly three hundred years, from 1598 to about 1873, it was “care” or worry, that killed the cat, not curiosity. The Industrial Revolution with its machinations and automations made curiosity a crime. Why? For factories to flourish, be speedy, and efficient, workers were required to do one thing, and one thing only. Asking questions, exploring, experimenting and tweaking was the job of the Henry Fords of the world. A Ford employee was hired to perform a single task, over and over and over again. The assembly line.

I can get ‘em both, I don’t wanna choose.
— Cardi B

Who is queen? Nicki or Cardi? Beyoncé or Taylor? Rihanna or Gaga? Answer: None of the above. Curiosity is Queen. And she didn’t kill no damn cat. 

I get emails every day from people who always thought there was something wrong with them because they couldn’t find their true calling…by following their hearts and not sticking to one path, they were doing exactly what they’re meant to do and living in a way that’s in line with their true nature.
— Emilie Wapnick on Multipotentialites

I love witnessing women, who do not see themselves as writers, craft the most compelling, sensual stories in a short period of time. To be able to participate in this journey alongside them must be akin to the sensation doulas feel every time they help bring a brand new baby into this world. As noble as this work is, it is not my true calling, because I don’t actually have ONE true calling - except to relentlessly pursue my heart’s desires, and to satiate Queen Curiosity. This calling, if you will, is currently guiding me deeper into photographic practice.

The good news is, I’m not abandoning travel writing at all. I will continue inviting daring creatives to sojourn with me around the world. Next fall (2020), under the great Nordic sky, I’ll gather with other adventurers for poetry inspired by wildflowers, short stories influenced by nature, and Scandic fairytales reimagined by the fire, all while inhaling the freshest island air I have ever breathed, ever! 

Registration is open for the FALL 2020 RETREAT IN NORWAY. Only four spaces available.


Featuring Food + Travel Blogger Maroc Mama

Photographed on location in Sicily at Monaci delle Terre Nere

Text & Images by Malika Ali Harding