I’m fascinated by dreams. I always have been.
Maybe it’s the mystery of them. Your subconscious coming out to play. Many of us play it safe in our everyday lives, but when we fall asleep, our mind knows no boundaries.
Have you ever woken up from an awesome dream only to find it wasn’t real? Your body feels alive for a moment, before your mind catches up. In that split second, it’s bliss.
Dreams are funny things. We think of them as hard-to-reach and somewhat obscure. Something that’s different from our reality. Dreaming vs. being awake. They’re two separate things, we’re conditioned to think.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question we’re asked when we’re kids.
Doctor. Astronaut. Singer. Dancer. Pianist…
As we get older, we stop dreaming. We give away that desire to become great, for something more ‘realistic.’ See, it’s that word again: reality.
I’ve been travelling full time for 12 months now. Often when I meet people, I’m told ‘I’m living the dream.’ And sure, I totally am. But you know why? Because I wasn’t scare to chase my dream.
What would the world look like if we all look at our dreams differently – something we can make our reality.
I’m writing this in a cosy train, from London to Luton. I’m catching a flight tomorrow to Austria to see a friend I met two months ago. See, my life now is full of spontaneity, adventures, and constant travel. This is the life I always dreamed of.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I fear that I’m going to wake up and realise it was just a good dream. But then I remind myself of every decision and every sacrifice I made to get here, and continue to every day.
12 months on and I’m not slowing down. I’m just starting to pick up speed.
It’s always important to stop, reflect, and appreciate the journey so far. And while I never confine anything in life to a numbered list, for the sake of not putting you to sleep, I’ve kept it to 12.
12 months. 12 lessons…
- Live your truth. People will come around.
Forget what people tell you. Going after your dreams often means breaking out of society’s constraints. Some people don’t know how to deal with this. They either think you’re weird or the bravest person in the world. But once you’re living those dreams and people see it, they’ll finally ‘get’ it. Until then, respect their opinions but don’t take any of it on. This is your life.
- Some people stay in your life. Other’s go.
I’ve made countless new friends, whom I can’t imagine my life without. It certainly hasn’t been easy, though. Goodbyes are part of life for me now. I’ve learned to accept this. I used to worry about whether people would forget me. The people who are meant to be in your life won’t.
Deep connections don’t just disappear. But they do take a bit more active nurturing when you’re on the other side of the world. I also feel closer to my friends and family, and for reasons much deeper than my increased reliance on them for hot water and air conditioning. I’m at my most honest, truest self, and, they see that.
- The more I travel, the grounded I feel.
When I’m sitting in that window seat, eye level with clouds, everything is put into perspective. I never feel as grounded as I do when I’m up high, flying. You learn how small your ‘world’ is.
- We all want the same things in life.
The world is a strange place right now. There’s a lot of uncertainty. But one thing’s for sure – the human spirit. No matter where I travel, I see the things that connect us. We all want love, safety, opportunities, and to be happy.
- Things change (and that’s okay).
If there’s one constant in life, it’s change. People change, dynamics change, and you change, too. It can be hard to swallow, especially when you love things just how they are. But when you’re away from home for a long time, you’re comparing years, not days. It can hit hard. This is all part of the process of travel. The lessons don’t stop on the other side of that flight.
- Loneliness isn’t a bad thing.
I’ve had some pretty lonely days, I’m not going to sugar coat it. Travelling alone is something everyone should do in the lives, I honestly believe this. In those moments of sweet solitude, you’ll learn things about yourself that you never thought you could. Just like life at home, travelling isn’t all cocktails, sunsets, and fun. It’s all-consuming, heart-pulling loneliness.
Not everything gets posted on social media, you know. There have been many nights where I’ve laid awake and listened to the mysterious sounds on dark city streets, wondering why I’m doing this to myself. It can be hell. But, then there are the nights when I wonder how I got so lucky.
Who really knows what equals happiness, but I know one thing for sure. Looking out to that infinite skyline or sitting on a cliff at the edge of the earth, I certainly felt it.
- It’s okay not to love travel.
I’m living my dream, I never doubt that. But there have been times, like in those dark lonely moments, where I question what I’m doing. Every time, I felt a pang of guilt. I should love every minute. This is my dream… I’d think to myself.
But no, it’s completely okay not to love every moment. This life is not easy, although many people think I’m one a constant holiday. Now I let myself feel whatever I’m feeling, without judgement.
- Nothing’s perfect. But some days come pretty close.
And then I have great days. The type of days that etch into my memory. I feel like I’m dreaming again.
- Slow down. Simplify life.
The more I travel, the less I move. It’s not about ticking off bucket lists and boasting the long list of countries I’ve visited. I stay in a place for a few months to really get to know what’s under the surface. Sometimes what I see is good and other times it’s not.
- Comfortability isn’t key. Adaptability is.
I used to think that being comfortable was a good thing. ‘I want to earn enough to be comfortable’, or ‘he makes me feel comfortable.’ Neither of these things are positive. I function best when I’m exposed to new things. When I’m pushed out of my comfort zone and I prove to myself that I can adapt.
- I’m always searching for what’s next.
I’m never done, learning and growing. I thought that once I created this life for myself, that was it. I’d live happily ever after, wandering the globe. But the funny thing is, once you achieve the thing you’ve always wanted, there’s a gap. You’ve got to create a new dream. We all need purpose.
- Follow what feels right. It might surprise you.
I’ve become really in tune with what makes me happy. Even if it seems like a crazy thought, if it excites me I follow it. Like moving to New York. I had no real reason to be there, apart from loving the city. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I found my city, or at least one of them. When there’s a battle between head vs. heart, always choose the heart.
Since this day, 12 months ago, nearly everything has changed. I’ll continue to be an unstoppable dreamer. An idealist at heart with an intense imagination. One that’s always enabled me to see the options that others easily ignore.
March to the beat of your own drum. Follow those crazy ideas. Don’t take no for an answer. Zig! Go for whatever the heck you want. Who is someone to tell you that it’s wrong. This type of idealistic tenacity is truly a rarity.
Incredible things manifest within our dreams. If you dream it, ya simply gotta do it. Life’s too short.