Have you ever had that dream that won’t die? Yes you have. We all have. Then do you wonder why you never acted on it? At least pursued it so that you knew whether it was worth it or not? Then it’s time.
I have a dream, a desire, a passion, a down right pit in my stomach everyday of traveling that will not go away. Hope it never does actually. I’ll go one step further and say when I have this traveling dream. I dream of going away and never coming back. Let me tell you though my traveling dream isn’t exotic. Well, it is and it isn’t. Yes, I dream of far away places, big cities, beautiful beaches and new faces but I also dream of a road trip to say, Target.
I love to get out of the house. The first of the year I had to have surgery to fix a hernia. Not a major surgery but enough to incapacitate me that I didn’t leave the house for almost two weeks. That was enough to make me go out of my mind. I’m that guy that if you start a sentence with, “Do you wanna go….” — “Yes!!”, I immediately shout. I don’t care where or what we are going to do. I do know that there are good chances there will be some people, maybe I’ll buy some random crap, see something new and a road trip always has a meal involved. That’s something my Mom taught me. I’m like a dog. A ride in the car is a magical thing.
So back to my question. Do you have that dream that won’t die? If so, what is it? Why have we not at least given it a try? I do myself travel from time to time but I want an adventure. Something big, something cool. I want to go away for at least three months, six would be ideal, a year would be a dream. Live someplace new, a different country, a new culture, a new language, a new food. God I would love that. There, I said it, now I have to to work towards it. It will take time and I’ll get to it, I promise myself that.
Do you promise yourself that you’ll at least try to taste your dream?
The hardest part I think about realizing your dream is that people won’t understand. The ones that you love will feel neglected. Financial responsibilities. Work commitments. Here is a list of things that I’ve come up with that have always slowed down the progress of living my dream.
1. The ones you love will feel neglected.
First off, if they love you they will understand. If they really love you, they will help you fulfill your dream and see it out. They really do love you but it could be a number of things. They love you so much they don’t want to see you fail, be in debt, they’ll miss you if you travel or it would break their heart to see you sad if your dream didn’t pan out. It’s like a band aid. Rip it off and go. They will eventually understand, if they truly love you, and they’ll be happy when they see you happy and doing what makes you happy that you’ve talked about all these years.
2. Financial responsibilities.
Easier said than done. I get it, I ain’t rich either. If I disappear for three months and tell American Express I’ll start paying when I get back, pretty sure they won’t be OK with that. I do know that bills will always come in, regardless. Even if I’m not working towards my dream. I can start putting money away, even if it’s $20 here and there. I can find an apartment in Peru and start budgeting and paying for it now. This will not stop next months American Express bill from dropping in my mail. Verizon is still going to bill me as long as I want my phone. Unless there are things you can do without, you will always have bills in your mailbox. My dear friend said to me once, “I’m 40 and been in debt my whole life. Why change now?” I guess she knows how to manage it. It’s not just debt, it’s the necessities you need that add up too. Make a budget and plan. Make a move towards your goal everyday.
3. Work commitments
What the fuck is this? It’s a job. Not only that, sometimes your dream doesn’t require you quitting your job. If it does, then plan, save and quit. It’s just a job. “I’ve hated every job I’ve ever had. Why should this place be any different?” A previous boss’ response to someone when they told him he was going to hate it at this new job. It’s beautiful, sarcastic and most definitely correct in most peoples eyes. Also in most peoples circumstances it’s not their job they hate, it’s the coworkers. They love the money. You probably make great money at your job and that’s your hang up. You’re used to your cushy life. Could it be your used to your cushy life because you haven’t tasted your dream where your true happiness lies?
4. What will people think?
Who gives a fuck? I have always had a fascination and a dream of being a writer. More specifically, a song writer. I happen to mention this to a friend and magically she said, “let’s do it”. I couldn’t escape or back out. She decided we go full speed ahead. You know what? Not only was it exciting, turbulent and down right fun, we actually got compliments from respected successful songwriters. People will love you and people will hate you. It doesn’t matter what you do. You have coworkers now that some love you and some hate you. You don’t give a shit about what they think about you, do you? So why would you give a shit what some asshole sitting behind a computer in Florida has to say about you? I have a blog about pastry because that’s what I love to do. I have gotten emails, comments, coworkers at my current job all talking shit about it. Do I care? Hell no. I actually love it. This tells me they’re reading my blog. My favorite part is the ones who supposedly hate my guts are my biggest fan. Shocked? Not really. Go, ignore people. The ones that do nothing with their lives are the ones with the biggest mouths. The people who don’t pay attention to you or have nasty comments are the good wholesome folks too busy living their dreams and being happy. This one should be the easiest one to overcome. Trust me.
The biggest and second worst problem. Tell me why? I can talk myself out of what will make me happy but not out of what will harm me? I can talk myself into buying a pair of $150 jeans but I can’t talk myself out of eating the 20 piece chicken wing platter. I can’t really afford the jeans yet I can talk myself into buying them. I know the chicken wings will make me sicker than a dog but I can’t talk myself out of eating them. You know why? Because I want them. I know the jeans are expensive but I want them! I know the chicken wings will make me sick but damn I know they are going to taste so damn good!!! I want them bad enough that I find an excuse that I have to have them. I will put up with upset stomach and sleepless night because they were so damn good. So why can’t you find an excuse to fulfill your dream? Fear.
The worse one of all. You can’t even attempt fulfilling your dream because of—See 1-5. Fear is crippling. I know, been there myself and sometimes still am. You will have fear until the day you die. Anyone who says they have no fear is a liar. I read a book when I was a kid called “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”. There. You. Go. Don’t lie, don’t fight it. You’re scared. Hell, we all are or have been. You know what’s worse than fear? Those assholes in this world that will fuel your fear. You know who you are. Don’t listen to them. These are the people in #4 who leave the comments on your blog. Doug, the 35 year old loser in Florida who hates his job and never did anything is filling you with fear about why your dream won’t work out. Either Doug never did anything or he failed and he’s bitter. Ignore him. Sure, go ahead and listen to someone who did nothing with their life. Here’s an idea? That person who is doing or did the exact same thing you want to do, who is happy and successful. Why don’t you go talk to them and let Doug me a miserable fuck?
I want to travel. I have people tell me everyday how dangerous it is and you can’t trust people. How about this? I don’t trust my coworkers anymore than I trust a stranger on the streets of Toronto. I work with a guy who has been mugged twice, just blocks from his own apartment. There you go. I did Airbnb a couple years back and people tried to fill me with fear about having strangers in my house and if I was scared. You know what happened? I met a guy who had been traveling the world for two years without one instance. I met a couple from South Carolina who were absolutely wonderful. The first guy I hosted gave me a hug when he left. I had a blast hosting people, hearing about them and their lives. It was a amazing experience. Fear will grip you harder than love. You gotta do it!
If you are comfortable in your cushy job and couldn’t go with less money because you want to go shopping, buy a bunch of meaningless crap, have lunch, the car note every month and the mortgage. Well then, aren’t you kinda living your dream already?
You have to be bold. Take chances. You’re going to lose. You’re also going to gain. Aren’t you losing and gaining where you’re at now?
“What screws us up the most in life is the picture in your head of how it’s supposed to be”