I sat on the couch at my travel bloggers conference in Dublin taking a breather. I’d been talking nonstop for 2 days, my voice was hoarse and quite honestly I just wanted cave time. A moment to be alone.
A young Irish man walks past me and then stops. He is wearing a suit and I spot his name badge as a Dublin City Council member. He places one foot on the couch and shifts the weight of two heavy boxes he is carrying. Possibly filled with brochures not collected during the conference.
“May I ask you something?” He says.
I sigh inwardly. ‘Not really’ I want to say. I’m tired, I’m sitting here alone, clearly I have entered a cave and like any mother bear I want him to run away screaming. But none of this passes in the conversation and I smile brightly and with my husky voice I say, “of course.”
“I want to do what you do. I think it’s amazing you are travelling the world. I have only been to Spain and England and I want to see more. I want to do what you do.”
His Irish accent is alluring and I smile at him and ask a fundamental question, “What’s stopping you?”
He glances around and shifts the boxes to the seat.
“I have a mortgage.”
“So do I. I rented my house out.”
“I have a car.”
“We had two cars we sold them.”
And so the conversation went on with a few excuses on how it would be impossible for him to travel the world. I look around me. I am at a TBEX conference where 600 travel bloggers have gathered. Not all of them doing nomadic travel, but all of them doing travel in some shape or form. I look him in the eye as much as I can since he is still standing, while I sit.
“The only thing stopping you is you.”
The confrontational line is hard to take even when said with the nicest of tones and he grins at me, while picking up his boxes and standing back on two feet.
“It’s great what you do, I hope I can do it too one day.”
And he walks away.
This conversation came back to haunt me twice during that day as I discussed it with certain people during the conference. And I thought deeply about what stops people from living their dream.
We have a great blog series of different people who have moved into their dream, from nomadic travel to home-based travel, to local travel. It’s never the same, but it’s a dream come true.
I had a pile of excuses why we could not leave our home in Australia. Everything was too far. I had mortgages. I had cars. I had children for goodness sake. But I had a wanderlust that was not being cured by 4 short vacations each year.
Our family is not extra special. We have done nothing differently that other Australians do. We just realized there were much larger dreams in our life than owning a house, owning a car and taking kids to school.
Nomadic travel might not be for you, but there is some dream in your life that is lying dormant because of the excuses that the world feeds you and you believe. But it's time to get away from blame, excuses and denial to realise the only thing stopping you from your dream is you.
And it doesn’t need to.
Play that instrument you always wanted to. Write that book you always dreamed of. Sing that song you always longed to. Eat that food you always craved to. And visit that country you always thought to. Today is your day. The dream is not out of reach as long as you are still breathing.
Don’t wait till you’re married. Don’t wait till you have kids. Don’t wait till the kids are older.
You only live once, they say.
But I say you only die once. You actually live every day.
So how do you want to live? That choice starts now.
“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.” Lao Tzu