Can I tell you a secret? In a parallel universe, Kyle and I would buy the charming bungalow up above. It’s the only house we’ve ever come close to considering. And by considering, I mean we looked at it more than once. We talked about what it would be like to live there, and how much buying it would ding our savings.
In this parallel universe, we’d pay cash up front for it, move in, and create a life for ourselves. Maybe we’d start our own business. Kyle could expand and fully establish his custom furniture business. I could go back to school or start an event planning business.
And I’d be willing to bet that if we did live out that dream, nobody would tell us we were being brave, or crazy, or making a huge mistake. They’d all champion us for realizing a dream, after years of hard work, sacrifice, and planning.
Don’t get me wrong. The vast majority of our friends and family have been nothing but excited and happy for us as we’ve announced our plans to realize our true dream…long term travel. But I’d be lying to you if I didn’t also admit that we’ve had a few difficult discussions and faced a few uncomfortable confrontations over that same announcement. We’ve been cheered and congratulated and celebrated in spots, but we’ve also been lectured & cross-examined and accused of being irresponsible and failing to plan for our future.
And the funny thing is, I suspect those same naysayers would be happy for us if we pursued the more conventional dreams of home ownership and starting a business. They wouldn’t demand to know how we could afford it, or ask us if we’ve done any serious thinking or planning. I suspect they’d just be happy for us if we realized those dreams.
So why can’t they be happy for us as we realize this one? In actuality, we’ve sacrificed just as much, and in many cases much more, as we would have to buy a house or start a business. Both of those activities can also be considered a financial gamble, especially in the current economy. And honestly, neither of those dreams would ever make us as happy as getting to travel the world together will.
I’m a dreamer…a big idea girl. My parents always encouraged me to dream and dream big. They also encouraged me to be willing to work and sacrifice for my dreams and that dreams are worth pursuing. I was lucky enough to stumble across someone who has the same dream. And we have been just as methodical in our planning and pursuit of this dream as anyone ever could be.
What I really want to talk about today is dreams, and why following them is not irresponsible.
Pursuing your dreams helps you grow
And man, how we are growing. We aren’t even scheduled to leave for another 40 days but there has already been so much change and transformation in our lives. We’ve grown in ways we expected but mostly in ways we never even saw coming. We’ve learned to let go of so many things we’ve been carrying around for a long time, and I think we’re just starting to glimpse the things that are really important in this world. Without this dream to pursue, I don’t think we’d have arrived here anytime soon. And our horizons keep on expanding.
Pursuing your dreams is inspiring
And by that I don’t mean just inspiring to others. Watching us start this journey is inspiring for so many of our family & friends. And we’re glad of that. We want to inspire other people to follow their dreams, no matter how crazy someone else might think they are. But I think both Kyle and I are amazed at how inspiring it is for us to pursue this dream. Over the years we’ve learned to think bigger, to go out and do the thing that others might think is crazy (even if it is a small thing); we’ve learned to enjoy life more, and dream even bigger than we originally planned. And pursuing this dream has been inspiring to our relationship. It’s strengthened it over the years as we’ve banded together in this pursuit. We’ve sacrificed together, and planned and dreamed and worked hard…and in the end it’s made us a stronger team and inspired us to go further than we ever thought we would.
Pursuing your dreams doesn’t have to bust the bank
In actuality, we’ll spend less traveling for a year than we would living our life here in ABQ for a year. And following your dreams, whatever they are, doesn’t have to break your budget either. I think this is where good planning and a willingness to sacrifice in some areas of your life in order to benefit other areas comes into play. You don’t have to be independently wealthy to travel long term and you probably don’t have to be wealthy to pursue your dreams. What you do need is courage, determination, good problem solving & project management skills, and a willingness to embrace the unexpected.
Pursuing your dreams can be the death of regret
There is a saying that if you don’t pursue your dreams then you crush them. And I don’t want to do that. At the end of your life, don’t you want to look back and reflect that you did exactly what you wanted with your life, whether that is have a family or own a house, have a successful business, travel the world or whatever your dream may be? I don’t want to live a life of regret and it’s not something I wish for any of you either.
There are countless other reasons why following dreams can be a good thing, but I think these are the most important for me. I really believe that at the end of the day we’ll get so much more out of following our dreams then we ever would doing what is expected of us. And that is anything but irresponsible.