live slow, love nature, be adventurous

Friday, January 17, 2014

Live Your Dreams Now

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I’m starting this post with an announcement: I’m traveling to Iceland this year!

Some friends and me just booked flights to Reykjavik and while our trip is still a couple of months away, I’m already super excited and have gone into extreme planning mode (what else is new…). I have dreamt of going to Iceland ever since a geography class in Grade 8 that got me interested in Plate Tectonics and the resulting natural effects and I still find it hard to believe that this dream is going to become a reality very soon.

To be honest, I always pushed going to Iceland to the back of my mind. I actually remember that just last year I was still assuming that I wouldn’t go there during the next decade of my life! I had this vision of a perfect Iceland trip that would have required both lots of time and a big budget and since I knew I would have neither in the foreseeable future, I didn’t go out of my way to actually think about turning this dream destination into a real-life destination.

I think this happens to a lot of us when it comes to our travel dreams. We have a perfect trip in our mind, but since reality or circumstances don’t match up with our vision, we don’t actively pursue our travel wish. We tell ourselves that the time is not right and that we can still go on that trip in ten years from now. But if we’re unfortunate, that day will never come.

Perhaps, I will one day be in a position where I can afford the time and the money to go on that month-long roadtrip in Iceland that I dreamt about when I was fourteen. But I don’t want to put my dreams on hold until that day may or may not happen. I don’t want to look back in many years and regret not already following my dreams when I was young. I want to live right now.

I would love to stay in luxurious hotels all the time, to go eat at fancy restaurants and to fly first class. But I don’t let the part of me that enjoys the finer things in life, keep me from traveling right here, right now.

This post may be in the context of travel, but it can really be applied to anything. If you have a dream, you should pursue it. How else can it become a reality? Right now, all you have is the life you’re living now and I think it’s safe to say that in the end, we all want to be able to say that we lived our life to the fullest, even when there were times when we were scared, unsure, sad or lonely.

Starting to pursue your dreams can be scary. When I first started to travel more, I was always nervous to hit the booking-button. What if reality wouldn’t live up to the fantasy? But do take the plunge. I promise it gets easier. If you always wanted to go to Paris, but where scared because you don’t speak French, then do it this year – Parisians are a lot nicer than they get rep for. If you always wanted to study abroad, but are afraid of being homesick, then look into your university’s programs and realize that Skype, Facebook and co have made it easier than ever to connect with your loved ones. The world really is your oyster.

In my limited life experience so far, reality is usually different from your fantasy. And often enough, it’s better than what you could have imagined. You don’t have to be reckless to follow your dreams, but it does take some braveness to start something new. I am a scaredy cat. I am not a super confident and brave person by nature. So if I can do it, so can you.

For now, I’m excited that I will soon visit a place that until recently I thought would only see many, many years down the line. We don’t have any plans yet, except to rent a car and to see as much as possible of the amazing nature Iceland has to offer, but I already can’t wait to start the descent to Reykjavik and to start this new adventure.

Have you been to Iceland before? Do you have any tips for me? What is not to miss?

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