Everyone has their goals in life. One of mine has been the dream of traveling the world. Sometimes our dreams hit roadblocks, but we always need to keep our eye on the mountain.
Planning for the Dream
Traveling the world is quite an ambitious dream. It’s also kinda nebulous. Over the years, my dream transitioned from wanting to fly overseas to see a country other than the USA, to a desire to visit every country in the world, and finally wanting to spend the rest of my life traveling, moving from one country to the next to experience their cultures and cuisines.
Not everyone has the dream to travel. For some, traveling just isn’t a passion. Others have restrictions that prevent them from traveling. But one thing is true – everyone has dreams. Achieving those goals is something we strive our entires lives to do, some more successfully than others. Working toward our dreams makes us happy. I believe happiness is the overcoming of not unknown obstacles toward a known goal. In other words, running the race makes us happy, not the medal on the wall. When there are barriers trying to stop us from reaching our dreams, getting past those barriers makes us happy.
Knowing how to achieve our dreams is a very important part of life. Thankfully, there are some simple steps that make this easier.
The first step might sound funny, but we have to state our goals explicitly. You can do this with any goal in life, whether it has to do with a job endeavor, relationship, your body image, learning a new subject, setting a record, etc. Take the time to sit down and work out exactly what you want. This doesn’t have to be fancy – telling your best friend works just as well as writing it down in a notebook.
Try to get as specific as possible. I find that when I work out exactly what the goal is, there’s a better chance of achieving it. Once you get an exact idea of what you’re working towards, then it’s a matter of staying focused on that.
Keeping Your Eye on the Mountain
Staying focused on your dreams can be a challenge. Barriers can come from every angle, including those you least expect. Take the dream of traveling – there could be a global pandemic, you could run out of funds, someone you trust could betray you, obligations might come up you have to take care of…plenty could happen. The bottom line is to never give up the dream.
When you’re met with opposition, there are five ways to tackle the problem. You can attack, flee, avoid, neglect or succumb. The best handling is a rational attack.
To illustrate these, if a robber broke into your house, a rational attack would be to call the police or, if you felt safe to do so, grab a baseball bat and scare them off (as they’re usually terrified individuals themselves). Avoid would be to try to hide in a different room than the robber, fleeing would be run out the back door, neglecting would be to just stay in your bed reading your book, and succumbing would be to walk up to the robber and hand over all your jewelry.
Sure, if it’s a group of robbers heavily armed, you might want to try hiding or fleeing, but call the police and a neighbor too (attack). Even a hefty scream to alert others to the danger is a good attack.
Choosing the right course of action can be quite difficult. When you’re afraid, angry or upset, it’s almost impossible to make a rational decision. Thus, it’s important to keep a level head and not make any major choices until you’re in a better emotional state. When it comes to following your dreams, don’t give up (avoid, neglect, succumb or flee) when you hit a pitfall. Take a step back, work out the most rational way to overcome it and keep going.
The bottom line is to always keep your eye on the mountain. There are plenty of barriers that can get in the way of your goals, from natural disasters and global catastrophes to malicious individuals and family emergencies. Sometimes you lose sight of the mountain, sometimes you get lost in the forests on your way. Whatever happens, don’t forget to stay true to your dreams and overcome the barriers.
Dealing With Those Who Sabotage Your Dreams
Among the barriers that can prevent you from reaching your dreams are individuals who don’t have your best interests at heart. A very small percentage of the world’s population are people whose entire ambition in life is to suppress others and hold them down. Sadly, these few individuals affect others around them to cause trouble and take on a similar personality.
We see evidence of these people around us all the time – failed businesses, broken relationships, massive debt (these individuals love to make their way into corporations and the government), and (worst of all) self invalidation. It’s been a long-held belief of mine that self invalidation is merely the accumulation of invalidation of one’s self by others.
Movies are constantly highlighting the exploits of these people, and not always in a negative light. Too many people think it’s “cool” to behave like the gangster, to deal primarily in insults and rumor-mongering, and to cause doubt, insecurity and uncertainty in those around them. We also saw this in the Stockholm Syndrome, where the hostages befriended and trusted the terrorist.
Recognizing these individuals can be extremely difficult, as their first action is usually to convince you how much of a friend they are to you. Just look at how many business ventures went south when the trusted accountant ended up being the one to run off with all the money.
The one advice I will never give is to be wary of who you trust, as that’s not advice I would follow. I’m willing to trust everyone…which doesn’t make it easy when I trust the wrong person. The thing to do is to look at their general characteristics. Do they communicate well? Are they persistent on a given course? Do others trust them? What is their general emotional state? Witchhunts are made by the wicked trying to apply one mistake an individual has made to color their entire personality. All social personalities have lapses in judgment. With the anti-social, their gossip, invalidation, and undermining is constant (even and especially under the guise of friendship).
The way to handle this barrier to your goals is to move on. If you can catch them before they sabotage your dreams, great! If not, don’t regret what you’ve done or try to find fault with them. Fault is the opposite of responsibility. They’re probably not willing to take responsibility for things, but you can always look at what you’ve done, recognize that YOU did those things, and move on. They won’t always be around; your dreams will.
Traveling After the Current World Events
Due to the current world events, my dream of traveling the world is obviously on hold at the moment. Then again, so is everyone else’s. Not everyone has the dream of traveling, and I fear that more people will lose sight of that dream with the current fears and uncertainties – which is the point of this article.
Traveling the world is important, and not just to party on a beach in Thailand. The more we travel and learn about other cultures, the more we see similarities between our cultures. People tend to contest that which they think is different from them. Disagreements and differences of beliefs beget negative emotions. Conversely, agreement and shared realities increase the affection and communication between people.
There’s another reason to travel the world. Many villages, cities and even entire countries get their wherewithal from tourism. After cataclysms like tsunamis and earthquakes, it’s often tourism that helps the decimated villages rebuild. Those kinds of places depend on us to visit and help with their economy.
Just because we can’t travel right now doesn’t mean we can’t plan our travels in the future and keep the dream alive. We have no idea what the world will be like in the coming months, let alone the coming years. Travel restrictions could be in place, new vaccinations could be required, etc. We’ll have to factor all that into our travel plans.
My Dream of Traveling the World
Despite recent hiccups and the world situation, I have the dream to travel the world more than ever. I’m spending my time in Edinburgh making plans, and I have some really exciting things in the works. I won’t lay everything out right now, since (as mentioned above), things are a bit uncertain at this time and my plans might change. In general terms, I’m definitely planning to return to SE Asia in the near future, and I’m also starting to make plans for an exploration of Africa!
I want to thank everyone who has helped me make my dream of traveling the world a reality. I’ve had incredible Couchsurfing and Worldpackers hosts all over the world, I’ve traveled with wonderful companions, I’ve had friends help me out when I was in a tight spot, and I’ve had plenty of strangers lend a helping hand, always reaffirming my faith in humanity all around the world. I want to thank everyone who reads my blog, as I write for you. I love inspiring you to travel and to stay true to your dreams. Don’t ever let anyone get in the way of them. And if there’s anything I can ever do to help, don’t hesitate to ask!
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