A much anticipated introduction


Over the past two weeks I have experienced a huge internal shift. My recent emotional stresses have dissipated and the constant chatter of my mind has been muted to an almost inaudible whisper.
What now fills the space is an altogether novel sensation of calmness; a knowing. I feel like I have crossed a threshold; I have gone from being a dreamer, to a doer. I have found my place among that fabled group of people I always privately envied, those people lucky enough to have their dreams come true.
When I first allowed myself to conceive of this dream I had no idea how far it would take me, or how much it would change me. Or maybe change is the wrong word – more than change me, this dream has healed me, and allowed me to realise my true capabilities. I feel stripped of all the many ties that bound me to a life I wasn’t truly living. I gave my dream life, and in return it handed life back to me. It has been an unexpected gift I am eternally grateful for.

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

For the past 18 months my life has been turned over to the process of nurturing my dream and allowing myself to wonder at its limitlessness. It has been a very long, exhausting and emotional journey, but one that was absolutely necessary. It has left me forever changed, in all the right ways.
I have learnt that there is no end to my determination. Though I have felt knocked to the ground several times over the last year and a half, and indulged in a good deal of self pity, I have managed to come out the other side each time a little bit tougher and more resilient. I am stronger than I gave myself credit for.
When                                                                                again

  I                                                             up

    Fall                                    back

      Down            get


If I had known the myriad of changes, lessons and pleasant surprises that facing up to my dream would instigate, I would have done it years ago. But in not doing so, I truly believe that I have been gifted with so much more. I am in a much better place to enjoy the fruits of my labour, and feel a heightened sense of gratitude I believe only hard work and sacrifice could have brought about.
This has, without question, been the hardest thing I have ever done. Working diligently towards something I am so passionate about has resulted in a strange culmination of feeling endlessly broken down and built back up again. Dreams and reality have been woven together like a tapestry bound with over-locking threads – each crossing the other in the opposite direction, and yet working together to create something unique and beautiful.

Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.
– Anais Nin

I have always considered myself a dreamer, though I probably fell more under the daydreamer category than active dream-maker. Ever the optimist and never the activist; that was me. But once I set my mind to it and put the wheels in motion, I realised that every action, no matter how small, kept me moving closer and closer towards my goal.
From where I sit I can clearly see the cherry red plastic of the Flight Centre travel wallet that contains our RTW tickets. They sit proudly on the dresser, serving as a constant reminder of how far I have come. I have done the hard part, and survived it.
For the past 18 months I have chased after this dream, never quite getting within touching distance. Now, with these tickets acting as the physical embodiment of everything I have been working towards, I feel as though my dream and I have finally been formally introduced. I imagine us smiling at each other and politely shaking hands. I pause for a moment and soak it all in, then say:
Hello dream, it’s nice to finally meet you. You’re so much more beautiful in real life.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeremy or IHeartTravel May 8, 2012 at 17:45

This is such a beautiful written post Hannah. I couldn’t be anymore happier for a person realizing their dream, and being able to see it daily.
I congratulate you for working so hard towards something, and making what was once a dream, a reality !


Hannah May 8, 2012 at 22:06

Wow, what a lovely comment, thank you Jeremy. That means so much 🙂


Kim May 8, 2012 at 20:58

Hannah. Congratulations. You’ve worked hard for your dream and you deserve every good thing that comes from it.


Hannah May 8, 2012 at 22:09

Thanks Kim, and the same goes for you. The parallels in our journey have been a huge source of strength and inspiration and I look forward to following as you and Brian head off on your adventure! Oh yeah, and I’m just a tad excited about that little trip we’re taking in India too…


Leslyn May 8, 2012 at 22:08

Hannah, so looking forward to reading about your travels!!


Hannah May 8, 2012 at 22:10

Thank you so much! I can’t wait to pin them all too 🙂


Lindsey May 9, 2012 at 00:02

I just discovered your blog, and what a beautiful post to serve as my virtual introduction to you! It resonated with me a lot, and I love the honesty in it. I can’t wait to read as your travels unfold!


Hannah May 9, 2012 at 23:12

Thank you Lindsey, I’m so glad you found me! I have just been checking out your blog too and it is great – looking forward to reading more 🙂


Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) May 9, 2012 at 04:06

” I have gone from being a dreamer, to a doer.”
I love this line! Such a great sentiment and something I aspire to as well. Rather than being at peace with our upcoming journey, however, I’ve been a total mess ever since we bought our tickets! I guess it is really starting to sink in that “going” also means “leaving”. I am having a hard time letting go, but no one ever said the shift from dreaming to doing was an easy one.


Hannah May 9, 2012 at 23:15

Thanks Steph! I know exactly how you are feeling about leaving – I went through that a few months ago, but now am feeling surprisingly calm about things. With over four months until we actually leave though, this could change at any moment! I know I will be a blubbering mess when it comes to actually saying my goodbyes…


Maddie May 9, 2012 at 10:45

Beautifully written Hannah, it’s lovely to see a fellow dreamer make their dreams a reality. I’ve recently discovered your blog and can’t wait to follow your adventures.


Hannah May 9, 2012 at 23:19

Thanks so much Maddie. I will be following along on your adventures too – great job on your new blog 🙂


Devin May 9, 2012 at 13:55

You have been my greatest inspiration! I decided to take a leap as well. I am going to travel Europe for 22 days beginning in the middle of July (I am from the US). I will be landing and returning from London 🙂 It is very hard waiting! 7 more weeks before I put in my resignation at a job that has been both mentally and emotionally exhausting these last four years. I have saved a years worth of expenses. I am scared of finding another job when I return, but I am not going to worry about it, and sit back and enjoy a part of my dream. Thank you! I can’t wait to read about your future adventures!


Hannah May 9, 2012 at 23:21

Wow, what a lovely compliment, thank you so much Devin! And congratulations on your amazing plans – you are very inspiring yourself. I wish you all the best for your trip 🙂


Patricia GW May 9, 2012 at 15:23

“Dreams and reality have been woven together like a tapestry bound with over-locking threads – each crossing the other in the opposite direction, and yet working together to create something unique and beautiful.”
You put it so beautifully Hannah, you are so aware of the wisdom that your hard work and sacrifices have earned you. You followed your bliss and now there are so many blessings ahead of you that are only possible because you married your dream with action. I’m incredibly happy and excited for you xxx


Hannah May 9, 2012 at 23:22

Thank you so much my dear xxx


Rhonda May 9, 2012 at 19:52

What a lovely post! Well done. I came upon your website recently, having become “newish” friends of Kim & Brian. My husband & I did a 14mth backpacking trip around the world in 2007-2008 and are currently in full on plan mode to leave in 2014 to drive the Pan American highway for an indeterminate time frame.
Thanks for the excellent inspiration and we can not wait to follow you crazy ladies along as you race through India!
Cheers to you for following your dream and allowing it to take life.


Hannah May 9, 2012 at 23:28

Hi Rhonda, thank you for your kind comment. Your plans sound amazing and I am so inspired by what you and Jim are doing – truly amazing! I have just checked out your blog and look forward to reading more as you prepare for this epic adventure 🙂


D.J. - The World of Deej May 9, 2012 at 23:36

I love your last line Hannah…Keep at it… those dreams are going to be even more real soon enough!


Hannah May 10, 2012 at 00:07

Cheers D.J. – I can’t wait!


Sarahsomewhere May 10, 2012 at 05:07

You have such a poetic voice Hannah, one that sings from your soul! I am glad you are in a peaceful place and learning all the lessons you need to 🙂


Hannah May 10, 2012 at 20:31

That is a mighty compliment coming from you my dear – thank you 🙂


Carmel May 10, 2012 at 21:13

I think you are amazing. You’re not only challenging yourself by saving the money to follow your dream, but also by mentally preparing yourself. It’s something I am working on now. I hope by the time I get closer, I’ll be in a more peaceful and mentally prepared place. Right now, many months away, I’m still flipping out over little (and not so little) things. Over the past few months, I’ve received many comments about strength…but I think resilience is a much more admirable and necessary quality in life.


Hannah May 10, 2012 at 22:07

Thank you Carmel. I think resilience is dependent on strength and vice versa. You need to be strong to keep pushing yourself, and you need to keep pushing yourself to be strong. Some days I am both, other days I am neither. You my dear, are definitely both 🙂


jenjenk May 10, 2012 at 22:49

Thank you for this great reminder!! I need to print this out near my credit cards so I can resist the temptation of the instant gratification!!


Hannah May 15, 2012 at 21:13

Thanks Jen! Yes, leaving the credit cards alone can be hard. When I was getting myself out of debt I used to think of how much travel I could buy for the same price as the item I was tempted with. Would I rather have a new dress, or another day out on the road? Needless to say, I gave up shopping a long time ago 🙂


Tal Gur May 15, 2012 at 01:41

“What now fills the space is an altogether novel sensation of calmness; a knowing. I feel like I have crossed a threshold; I have gone from being a dreamer, to a doer.” – Wonderful writing… Our stories are very, very similar by the way. I closed $35,000 debt in roughly the same period of time and am now on my third year of travel round the world. Keep enjoying the journey!


Hannah May 15, 2012 at 21:02

Hi Tal, thank you so much. I’m off to read your blog now, your story sounds amazing…


Marisol@TravelingSolemates May 15, 2012 at 13:10

Hi Hannah, another very beautiful, touching thoughts and writing. I’m so moved by your determination. I’m happy for you, that you’re almost on the goal line. I can’t wait to follow you as you live your dream.


Hannah May 15, 2012 at 21:00

Thank you so much Marisol 🙂


izzy May 18, 2012 at 04:40

Hi Hannah,
I really liked the line that you stated following a dream is like a “strange culmination of feeling endlessly broken down and built back up again”. It is fascinating to me that this is what a dream entails.
In theory, I would think that we as humans would be attracted to primarily things that only give us pleasure. Yet, when we step out to chase our dreams it is never easy. There are always crazy challenges that can leave our emotions on anything but stable. Yet, we are attracted to going after a dream. Why?
I’m not totally sure. Maybe, because somewhere inside we actually enjoy the pleasure of the pain. You even seem to relish in it, as you are able to talk about getting back up.
This post made me think a lot 🙂


Hannah June 11, 2012 at 21:55

Thank you for your comment Izzy. I think it takes a lot of strength, courage and determination to pursue your dreams, and it can be a life changing process with unexpected challenges and gifts. I certainly wouldn’t say that I relish the pain it can cause, but I have a very healthy awareness of what it takes to bring my dreams to fruition. Nothing worth having comes easy, and really, if it did, would it mean as much? I’m glad this post made you think, and I wish you all the best in pursuing your own dreams 🙂


coco July 21, 2012 at 18:33

I have just stumbled upon your blog & I’ll definitely be reading along with you. What you are doing is so brave and exciting, and I would love to know how you get on! My husband and I want to travel the world, too, although we have a LONG way to go before that is on the cards. All the best of luck to you!!! 🙂


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