As we take stock of the past 12 months, I can’t help but feel grateful. Our lesson from the past year has been this: “Dare to Dream!” We have spent the last year on three continents, visiting nine countries. We discovered many amazing places and met lots of new and interesting people. We even made it to Africa, a first for us.
Such a whirlwind of travel may not be for everybody, but it’s what we were craving for years while we were busy living “normal” lives. My husband and I grew up in families that moved across the globe several times throughout our childhood and adolescence. As much as we disliked leaving familiar surroundings and friends behind, we enjoyed the thrill of meeting new people, discovering new places and becoming fluent in other languages. Our 20s, although punctuated with travel, were really just “prescribed” lives. We got our education, our careers, got married, got a house and a kid. But after years of “polite” lives, we got bored and we started dreaming of a different life.
A few things inspired us to change our lifestyle:
- The birth of our son. I don’t know why, but I think most people, once they become parents, they begin to think back to their own childhood. That triggers comparisons to their own children’s lives. We saw the benefits that our international beginnings had on our lives and we did not want our son to miss that opportunity. Having him, planted the seed of wanderlust in us. But that was not enough, we needed a framework and a plan.
- Tim Ferriss and his book “The 4-Hour Workweek.” A friend recommended this book to us which we devoured and immediately began to implement many of Tim’s ideas. I won’t go into detail, but I will say that his book has to be the bible for digital nomads of today. “The 4-Hour Workweek” shows you how to live your life anywhere and still earn a living, location-independent. At the very least, you will learn how to take breaks from your “normal” life. There is something in there for everyone, whether you’re a beginner lifestyle change seeker or you’ve been living a location-independent life for awhile. We could not have done it without the inspiration and real life examples from Tim’s book. You can follow Tim and his crazy wonderful advice on his website here.
- The book “Ysabel” by Guy Gavriel Kay. This book is a fantasy novel set in the south of France. It really has nothing to do with travel or lifestyle design but it has everything to do with having fueled our dream. The descriptions of the area where the novel takes place were so vivid, real and enticing to us that we decided to make the setting of this novel our home base for some time. Essentially, this book book inspired one of our greatest adventures to date, set in Provence. It definitely dared us to dream. It has truly changed the course of our lives.
- Our Parents. As I mentioned, my husband and I grew up living internationally from a young age. Although our parents’ reasons for moving from country to country may not have been the same as ours, their bravery and resilience in facing change and obstacles, are what helped shape us into who we are today. They taught us to dare to dream. Thanks to our parents and the lifestyle they chose for us, we are now world-curious, multi-lingual citizens of the world. So thank you, Mom & Dad and Mom & Dad!
Your dreams may not be the same as ours, but whatever they are, our wish for you and for us and for the world is this: Dare to dream! If you’re not happy with your current situation, do not settle. Dream. Dream and then look for people and things to inspire you to act. It is scary to change your life. And change does not happen overnight. That is why, you need mentors and examples of people who tried, failed and tried again until they got it right. You may fail. Just try again with a different spin. Trust us, it will all be well worth it in the end. Ask yourself this question: “When I am on my deathbed, what will I regret the most?” When I asked this of myself, my answer was: “That I did not pursue my dreams.”
Dare to dream!