|Taking the leap while zip-lining with our friend Stella!|
The grocery store clerk asked me what I was up to today. I said, "Packing." This led to my sharing with him that we are leaving home in a week to travel the world.
Most everyone says they are excited for us. Some tell me about a time they traveled extensively or lived overseas.
The rest say one or all of these things:
"I dream of doing that one day!"
"I wish I could do that!"
I say, "Well, you should!"
Sometimes they smile. Sometimes they look at me like, You are crazy...you have no idea how impossible that would be for me because of x, y & z.
For years Dave and I have traveled a lot. Before we met, he went scuba diving and followed his favorite band all over the world. When I was 29, I sold everything I owned and moved to Japan to teach English. I also spent time in Mexico, and traveled alone to Hawaii and Europe. In other words, we unknowingly were preparing for this moment. Wherever you put your energy, there you are...
Also for the past few years, I've been looking at a lot of pictures of lovely places I want to visit and things I want to do. I began cutting them out of magazines or printing them out, and pasting them into a scrapbook.
When I came across that scrapbook recently, I realized most everything in it had come true: I'd learned to ski and spent a lot of time in the mountains, we'd gone on several cruises, we'd ziplined and wine-tasted, we swam with dolphins and a manta ray, we'd enjoyed beautiful gatherings with friends old and new, and we'd gotten married on the beach in Hawaii...I'd gathered images of versions all of those things because I thought they were lovely, not because I was attached to them happening. But indeed, they did.
Also the past few years, I've been reading a lot of blogs written by people who live a traveling life. One couple rode their bikes from Argentina to Alaska...with their twin 8-year-old boys! One family has lived in eight countries and grown their family by five children along the way. One is a single woman who goes wherever the winds take her. One followed her dream to move to Costa Rica without being exactly sure how it was going to work...and years later she takes people on whale and dolphin tours.
For a few years, when I'd bump into to my friend Tiffany at the California university where we both taught, she'd talk about loving to travel and wanting to teach overseas. That desire, that focus, led to her living the dream when she got a job teaching in Korea.
There are so many ways to make the world your home. Some people have specific jobs. Some people make a living online. Some create new jobs where they are. Some work a little here and there. Some live on their life savings. Some join the Peace Corps. Some live happily on a shoestring.
I noticed that many people experienced a specific event to prompt them to change their lives: loss of a job, a divorce, death of a loved one, an illness.
Powerful stuff. Then again, why wait for such a harsh reminder of the evanescence of life?
One thing all these travelers have in common is that they took the leap.
So many of these people share their adventures online. That's why the internet is such a great resource for how to get ideas to make it happen for you.
At the same time, no one can tell you how it can work for you. You have to start with the idea that it's possible, without worrying about wrestling all the details to the ground.
Start with the feeling, then the knowing, that you can create the life you want. Then everything will start to fall into place.
The minute you say, I'd love to do that, but I can't, you've roadblocked your dream.
Why not say, I'd love to do that! without attaching a "but"? Focusing on your limitations makes them feel insurmountable.
Instead, use the magic of stories and pictures and conversations to inhabit your wishes. If extended travel is what you crave, relish short road trips and live your daily life as though you are an adventurer. Joyfully swimming around within the space of your desires will help your dreams to become your reality.