“I go home next week – back to reality.” This is something I hear a lot travelling. When people ask what I do, there’s always the same reply. “Did you guys win the lotto? You’re living the dream.” And sure, I agree. But it’s my dream. My life is travel. This is my reality.

I’m constantly thinking about reality. What is it? What does it look like? What does it mean? There seems to be this stigma around reality – that its something we need to escape from. There’s this element of real attached to reality. 

Reality vs. expectations

A lot of us fall into this trap. We believe there’s only one reality. We don’t follow our inner compass, and we end up unhappy and unfulfilled. We can’t enjoy our Sunday because we’re dreading Monday morning. We give into societal pressures often just to please other people. 

We come from an era where everything is mass-produced. And unfortunately, society’s ideals are one of them. A lot of us are afraid of being different. It takes guts. We’re afraid to let go and forge our own path. It’s ‘easier’ to follow the pack. As a result, we live by society’s norms instead of our own.

Why can’t we make our own rules?

Why does reality have to be different than our lives? Why can’t travel be our reality? Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t we have it all? I believe we can.

Sometimes I feel people think I’m living in this ‘dream’, where the real world doesn’t apply. I’m here to tell you it does. Just because I’m travelling and living in another country doesn’t mean that there’s not problems. Every week, I struggle with the same kind of things that everyone else does – questions about love, friendships, my career and finding my place in the world.

I’m constantly battling what society is telling me I should be doing. That is, finding the ‘one’, buying a house, getting married and having kids. The ‘two-and-a half kids’ and white picket fence.  

It’s not reality that shapes us, but the lens through which your brain views the world that shapes you. It’s harder to be yourself but nothing will be more fulfilling than truly living the life you want. 

This is a quote I love.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest achievement.”

Discovering your calling is, at times, lonely. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

We have the power to design our own lives

Whether it means working on a tropical island or running a little business around the corner from where you live, happiness looks different for every one of us.

For me, my reality right now is travel, seeking truth, meaningful relationships, creative fulfilment and freedom in my days. This is very different than what most people associate with ‘reality’ – the house, the ring, the kids.

This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often.  

If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, leave it. 

Life is simple. All emotions are beautiful. Open your mind. Open your arms. Open your heart. We come together in our differences. 

Be curious. Listen. Truly, listen. Travel often. Get lost. Some opportunities only come around once – seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the memories you create with them. 

The key to making your dream your reality is by discovering what makes you happy. Never stop until you find your calling. And once you do, wear them proudly. Live, unapologetically. 

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