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Making Dreams A Reality: Why You Should Book That Trip Right Now

Lumiere London: Me at 24 - reflections on a year of being 24, thinking about all that was achieved, done, and changed in the past year.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but continually put it off, or assume it may never happen? I know I do, and I truly believe that should change. Here’s why you should start making your dreams a reality right now.

Travel is often one of the things people wish they could do more, but either due to circumstances, excuses, or choices, never get around to doing it. I know I’m just as guilty about complaining I don’t see as much of the world as I’d like, and that is absolutely perpetuated by seeing glamorous adventures of full-time travellers on social media all. The. Time. However, I do believe that with a little motivation, a little positivity, and in my case a little philosophy, I can make sense of the desire to explore more, and start working towards doing so.
Make your dreams a reality -Get inspired with a lightbulb moment to give yourself the chance to be happy and experience the world by following your dreams and achieving your goals.

Get inspired

While I’ll be focussing on travel goals and making the steps towards booking that trip you want to take, I like to think the same theory can apply to other dreams too! It’s a popular topic covered by the likes of Forbes for the professionals looking to stop wishing and start getting what they want from careers and even advocating why travel can help you advance your career, to Lonely Planet’s own Instagram stories who remind us of the following:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step.” – Laozi

No matter what your dreams might be, here are a few ways to understand our wishes and desires through philosophy, and a few ways I’m working on making my dreams a reality.

What The Philosophers Say About Making Dreams A Reality

That’s right, it’s about to get all Good Place up in here (currently my fav Netflix show – it’s a philosophy grad’s dream!).
From a philosophical standpoint, doing what one wants to do and acting in our own self-interest could fall under the free will and moral discussions. This pulls into question what should we do, versus what we want to do. But in order to avoid getting too heavy and breaking down every possible argument, here are just a few ideas based on the more easy-to-digest concept aroun the philosophy of desire, and how one can use these arguments to motivate ourselves to follow our desires.
Make your dreams a reality - overlooking a pond in the English countryside to contemplate the philosophy of desire and how it impacts our actions.

Calm reflection

Philosophy of Desire

A number of philosophers have commented on theories of desire over the years. From Strawson to Lewis and beyond, largely contemporary philosophers (those of the 20th Century) have debated what it means to desire. Consequently, we have a number of theories to consider when it comes to the Philosophy of Desire. For the sake of speed and not completely changing the subject, I’ll focus on just a couple of primary ones: the action-based theory and the pleasure-based theory.

Action-Based Theory

Action-based theories of desire lean towards the overarching concept that “having a desire is a matter of having dispositions to act”. There have been several issues raised with this, firstly being far too broad (would itching my arm be a desire?!), and leading up to the definition’s lacking distinction between “judgements of what is good” and “desires”, despite it being clear they are very different. A reasonably satisfactory addition to the action-based theory is to say that the action must fulfil a purpose – that being, to bring about the satisfaction of the desire.

A little more to-ing and fro-ing leads philosophers to an action-based theory of desire that says we should supplement our definition with other elements, namely, pleasure. And now we move onto our second theory: pleasure-based theories of desire.

Pleasure-Based Theory

These theories are of the opinion that the following definition applies to desire: For one to desire something, then one is disposed to take pleasure in the object (and displeasure in the absence of it).

Combined, the action-based and pleasure-based theories are what I would say are most important here. While there are plenty of other theories floating about, I do consider that when it comes to moving forward with making dreams a reality, that we are in fact taking action to satisfactorily reach something that gives us pleasure (among other great states!).

Make your dreams a reality - give yourself the chance to be happy and experience the world by following your dreams and achieving your goals.

Reaching your goals doesn’t have to be a puzzle

Challenges To Seizing The Day

Moving on from the philosophical chatter, there are plenty of idioms and proverbs to emphasise why you should dive right into life: YOLO, carpe diem, no time like the present, follow your dreams, and so on. Why have these phrases become so common, yet we so often still do not heed our own advice?

It seems to me, that there are so many excuses that can be made to avoid doing the things that we want to do. Finances, time, commitments, external and internalised judgement, which are mostly absolutely valid reasons – but there are a few who manage to find a way to do the things they want to do, right now. How did they manage to overcome these challenges?

Make your dreams a reality - Discover the beauty of the world such as an unforgettable sunset. Give yourself the chance to be happy and experience the world by following your dreams and achieving your goals.

Discover the beauty of the world

“Real life” is likely the most recurring reason for avoiding one’s dream travel ideas. The job that keeps you grounded, the rent to pay, the friends to keep in touch with: all of these matter to many of us, but those things will still be there on your return. Here’s a quick checklist of the most common obstacles and easy ways to overcome them:

How can I afford to travel?

Save your money! Pack your own lunches, seek out free or low cost hobbies. Squirrel away the pennies and make sure every little helps you reach your goal. Cutting down on superfluous daily expenses and setting strict budgets will mean you’ll soon see a decent saving being made.
Make your dreams a reality - give yourself the chance to be happy and experience the world by following your dreams and achieving your goals.

Save money

How can I make the time to travel?

If your job has a certain number of annual leave days, make the most of them! Where Charlie Wanders has some great advice on doing just that: make each day count and get smart with bank holidays for extra days off!

If your job can be done from home, how about asking your employer to work remotely to give you a few extra days in your destination? It may mean working while away, but if you’re up for the challenge and plan your day right you can still have a healthy afternoon or evening to enjoy your new surroundings.

Make your dreams a reality - give yourself the time and a chance to be happy and experience the world by following your dreams and achieving your goals.

Make time to reach your goals

When asking your company for leniency around your work, remember that compromising and negotiating are key to making sure you all come away happy. Try and be flexible in their requests, and they’ll hopefully treat you similarly. It’s always worth a shot to see what the company are willing to consider, and you might be surprised by their response. After all,  if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

How can I leave family and friends?

It can be hard to drop your normal life in favour of distant, mysterious places, but if it’s something that calls to you there should be nothing in your way. Saying goodbye to friends and family is challenging, wondering if you’ll be able to keep in touch as much as you’d like, thinking if they’ll be ok without you and you without them. A frank and honest discussion about how you’re all feeling about an imminent departure is the best way to quash those concerns. They may worry about your safety and health when so far away, but a calm explanation of all your precautions and proof of your sensibility is the best you can do – and remember it all comes from a place of love after all!

Ultimately, they will be happy to see you happy. All we want for those we love is for them to thrive and live joyfully, and if that’s what you’re doing that will be a weight off their shoulders! Stay open and honest with the loved ones you leave behind and it’ll ease the transition.

Make your dreams a reality - give yourself the chance to be happy and experience the world by following your dreams and achieving your goals.

Loved ones are there no matter what

Reasons To Follow Your Heart

Plans Change

What if something happened tomorrow that stopped you pursuing your goals as easily? What if life takes you on another, unexpected path? I know I don’t want to regret the things I didn’t do while I’m still able to do them. Change your plans before the plans change past your control.

Create memories

The adventures that await you may be some of your best yet. Actively working towards your goals and living them out in reality is pretty much a guaranteed way to make amazing, beautiful new memories.

The journey itself can be a magical one, and the end result is even better. Every day has the potential to be a good one, it’s the decision to make it so which is pivotal in moving forward.

Make your dreams a reality - give yourself the chance to be happy and experience the world by following your dreams and achieving your goals.

Follow your heart

Grow and learn

The journey of travel is such an extraordinary experience. The planning, the anticipation, the sensory changes, the challenges, the highs and lows: they all help us to grow into our personalities and learn more about ourselves and how we overcome or embrace certain situations. As a wise Kiwi regularly tells me, it’s character building. Missed your train? Character building. Lost in a new city? Character building. Skydiving for the first time? Character building.

We are the sum of our parts, and each trip we take, each new path we forge, it’s another story to add to our ever-growing book of adventures and lessons. Even if things don’t go exactly to plan, you’ll be left with a story to tell and a new perspective to share, and sometimes that can be worth more than the perfect stories!

Why not?

What’s the worst that can happen? Ok, maybe that’s not the right question to ask, there’s a lot that can happen. But really, what is it we’re really afraid of?

We are the one’s most likely holding ourselves back, and once you realise that no decision will be the wrong decision, you’ll be free to embrace your journey. A lot comes down to trusting yourself and understanding why you want to achieve something. If it’s to give your life more value, to educate oneself, or any number of reasons – they are all valid and as long as you have reason and self-awareness to keep you grounded, you won’t go too far wrong.

Being Happy

Doing the things we want to do will make us happy. Or at least, we hope that will be the case! If taking the cruise of a lifetime will make you happy, then follow that dream! Maybe quitting your job to backpack South East Asia is what will bring you most joy, it’s ready and waiting! Maybe that city break to Paris fills your heart with love, so go right ahead!

We are all deserving of happiness, and some of us need a little extra oomph to kickstart that ever-pursued emotion. If getting out of your comfort zone and discovering more of the world means you’re getting closer to that happiness, then it’s a very good thing.

Make your dreams a reality - give yourself the chance to be happy and experience the world by following your dreams and achieving your goals.

Being happy

Small changes to make you happy: Have the dessert at dinner. Visit the exhibition. Purchase the tools to learn that skill. Take the leap of faith.

Starting To Make Your Dreams Happen

It can be scary to think about how to start making that change. It throws up a lot of questions, concerns, and clouds your judgement, and oh no is this REALLY the best idea?! I’ve seen countless accounts of travellers teetering on the edge of excitement and anxiety around taking the leap of faith, and that’s totally normal. And even if your “thing” isn’t travel, taking steps towards achieving something you only ever considered a dream can be intimidating at best.
Make your dreams a reality - give yourself the chance to be happy and experience the world by following your dreams and achieving your goals.

Take a new path

There are a whole number of ways to get the ball rolling. Some may say to simply dive in head first, however, my approach would be to start small but think big. By that I mean start embracing small changes that encourage optimism, that harness your passions, that bring joy. Slowly work your way towards the end goal, and before you know it you’ll be ready.

If travel is your goal, here is how I worked up to taking the biggest trip of my life (so far!):

  • Narrow down desire to travel to focus on dream destination.
  • Book appointment with travel expert.
  • Order the guidebooks.
  • Research the socks off guidebook.
  • Put down refundable deposit on flight.
  • Tell family and friends.
  • Purchase exciting accessories.
  • Plan out trip.
  • Save save save.
  • Quit job.
  • Step on the plane.
  • Land in Australia.

Everything In Moderation

Obviously, everything has a limit. Without putting a downer on all this positivity, one should always take action within reason and within means. For example, I wouldn’t expect anyone to purchase a Porsche without having the cash to do so. Always stay grounded about whether your goals are financially viable, can be achieved without hurting others, are based within reality, won’t damage yourself or the environment.

Final Thoughts

These thoughts on making your dreams a reality are merely to encourage change in your life to pursue the things that will make you happy. But the first step is understanding that that is OK. Whatever you may want to do, your ideas, dreams, hopes, and goals are all valid and achievable whether that be in the next month, year, or 10 years!

There is no time limit to happiness. Don’t beat yourself up for not having visited that perfect destination just yet, it will likely still be there when you get the chance. The point is that it’s working towards the goal, rather than simply letting life pass by hoping it will come to you – you’ve gotta work for it! And you know what? I 100% believe that you will get there. Believe in yourself too, friend.

Do you have a dream that you just never get around to planning? What’s your trip of a lifetime you’d like to organise?

Head to my wanderlist to see mine!

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  • Reply
    Nikki Hall
    01/20/2019 at 11:58 am

    I think we are all guilty of putting things off whether it be because of life events, work, or money it’s so easily done. “We will visit X in the future” is a phrase I often hear, but I agree Suzy why not put a date on that trip. If it’s in 2 months time or 2 years, careful planning will ensure that dreams become a reality.

    • Reply
      01/20/2019 at 11:24 pm

      Absolutely Nikki! It’s all too easy to let life pass us by. Slowly reaching your goals is still getting there, so I hope more people live the lives they want!

  • Reply
    What Is Vacation Shaming And Where To Spot It | Suzy Stories
    02/03/2019 at 8:01 am

    […] on from my post where I looked into the ways in which I’m aiming to make my dreams a reality and travel more, I recently came across this Forbes article on how vacation shaming is a serious […]

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