When I started speaking about my move openly, over and over again I heard how brave I was. How this was the time in my life to do it. But honestly, I am tired of hearing how I am young and don’t have much to lose … even though it’s totally true —- I am 23 and poor. The thing is, following my dream to move abroad was so much more than that. It was this feeling inside me that if I didn’t do it, I was denying myself happiness I could only begin to imagine.
As I talked about my move I also heard angst in others voices as they remembered letting their own opportunities pass. But this gut wrenching tone didn’t just come from the older and wiser looking back. I heard this in the voice of my peers, people my own age, unsure how to start doing what they really wanted… and I hated it.
The thought that others have buried their dreams and needs so far down they no longer know how to recognize them —- let alone make them a reality, was unsettling. That’s why starting today, I want to begin a weekly post where I share the steps I took, the realizations I made, and the struggles I have (and continue to) overcome to make my dream a part of my life. I firmly believe what I have done is not extraordinary, and can be achieved by anyone willing to put in hard work, and have the right mindset. The most important thing I have learned so far is half the battle is having the right attitude. That’s something we can all work on —no matter our age, point in life, or what our dreams may be.
This is not a fool-proof guide, or a step by step how-to. It is my experiences, and the tips and inspiration I have used to get here today. I hope these posts can at the very least, make you think a little bit differently.
This week I want to highlight a turning point in my decision to make moving abroad a reality. Last fall, I finally read The Alchemist after months of my best friend Ruth suggesting it. I was a few months into my job — loving my colleagues, enjoying my work, and appreciating the steady paycheck. The thought of moving abroad was slowly becoming further from my mind as I eased into the comforts of home.
And then I read this book.
It took me on an epic journey, and made me put my dreams back into perspective. If you haven’t read it, it should be the next on your list. It is an enjoyable and quick read that you won’t want to put down. I’m not saying anymore in fear of spilling spoilers!
Here are a (just) a few of my favorite quotes from the book that inspired me to start taking my dream seriously again, and figure out how to make it happen.
I was at a point where I could easily start making excuses to not keep pursuing my dream. I could have said:
I’ll go for it after I get a few years of work under my belt … after I start making more money … I don’t have enough saved … I am too busy to think about this now.
But why put off something I could do now, for later? If I kept making excuses then, I wouldn’t be here today. ‘The right time’ isn’t real — there is no perfect time to take a chance, or embark on a new adventure. There is almost always going to be something that can hold you back, you just have to decide if you’re going to let it.
I made my decision: I was going to find a way to move abroad. It scared me, as it still does sometime now, even though I am already here. But I think back to this quote, and remember that this journey is going to take me to places, and teach me more than I could ever imagine. Once you make the decision to follow your dream — whatever it is — don’t let the fear of the unknown overwhelm the optimism you should feel looking into the possibilities of your future.
There are going to be great times —- and hard times — believe me. But everything happens for a reason. Stick with your decision, and see where the journey takes you.
My entire life I have had the strong belief that everything happens for a reason. At times you may feel like the world is working against you, but I promise the universe is on your side. Once I made the decision to follow my dream, things began falling into place, and I began making connections to the Netherlands that I never knew existed.
You don’t know what treasures may lie ahead until you start looking. People are going to come into your life, opportunities will present themselves, and you will be challenged in ways you never imagined. This quote may seem idealistic, but half of getting through this journey and starting this adventure is having the right attitude. And when you start believing that things happen for a reason (good and bad) you give yourself the power to take hold of the situation and make what you want of it.
I’d be lying if I said I never doubted myself. Before Jeff got accepted to the university, and while I was applying for jobs, at times I doubted we could make this work. Then, when Jeff finally did get accepted and we decided we were going to make the move I was overwhelmed with excitement. But then I thought:
What the hell am I getting myself into? I don’t have a job lined up, I don’t have a permit, I am leaving a job I enjoy. This makes no sense.
But it did. This is the opportunity we had been waiting for. And while I was afraid of all the things that could go wrong, I was ignoring all of the things that could go right. I was robbing myself of all of the opportunities that may present themselves, and not taking into account all of the hard work I was going to put in.
For me, the situation wasn’t ideal. But it was my opportunity for me to start achieving my dream of living and working abroad. Once I reminded myself of this, I was reenergized for our new adventure.
We are finally settled into the new apartment, so this week I am continuing my job search. I am going to push myself to stay positive when I feel discouraged, and remember that I am working towards my dream. I am also going to drink copious amounts of coffee and surround myself with bright colors during this dreary September week. Take a moment to think about how you can make this week better, and if you’d like, leave it in the comments below!
Follow my blog with Bloglovin