What dreams may come


Some things in life are largely unexplainable. Words fail to do them justice, and their existence can only be defined in sensory terms. As I was growing up, I always imagined that people just knew what they wanted to do in life; I assumed it was an awakening that I too would one day be privy to.

So I waited… and waited.

And in my waiting, my expectation swept in like a tidal wave, drowning the dreams I was perhaps too naive or afraid to listen to in the crescendo of water, and the soft voice inside of me that struggled to be heard was submerged beneath the blue.

There my dreams stayed for many years, blinking silently in the depths, until slowly the waters began to recede… and I heard the voice once again.

For the past year and a half that voice has been repeating the same three words over and over like a mantra I couldn’t ignore: Travel, write, truth… travel, write, truth.

There was no switching it off, no getting away from it. Day in, day out, the mantra resounded, urging me to follow my dreams. And so I did.

Travel, write, truth.

I booked a ticket to travel the world, started this blog, and challenged myself to be honest each and every day, both with myself and others. Well actually that all happened in reverse order, but any hoo…

Only now, as I creep further into my thirties, have I learnt to actually listen. I tune in daily to my inner voice and act on her advice; it has become a core part of my being.

Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
– Walter Anderson

Several years ago, a good friend said something that has stayed with me ever since. She likened challenging periods of our lives to being lost in a dark forest, and said that all you had to do was keep moving. Eventually you would come to a clearing, and from then on the path would widen until the forest faded away behind you.

I have never forgotten her words, because she was right.

If I had to choose just one word to describe the past 18 months of my life, it would be motion – or perhaps momentum would be a better choice. I kept pushing myself forward, and this is where that momentum has taken me.

The further I have travelled along my own path, the more the scenery around me has changed, and the more I have changed with it. I am more aware of myself and my capabilities, and can finally say with certainty what it is that I want to do with my life.

I have battled with inner demons, and faced up to my own faults and failings. It has been like reacquainting myself with an old friend; one that is sometimes really annoying, but who you accept and love wholeheartedly.

The most important thing to remember is this: to be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.
– W. E. B. Du Bois

If you want to make your dreams come true, you firstly have to be exactly that; true.

True to yourself.

I spent three decades ignoring the whispers of my soul, and shutting out the very part of me that has made me the happiest. And yet, if I’m honest with myself, I know that I always heard it. I always sensed that I was destined for great things – that on some level, my life would become great. Not because I walk around thinking that I am great, but because I believe in my power to make it so. I believe in myself.

More than anything, I always had hope, be it misguided or well placed, and that positivity has shaped my life. Maya Angelou, a woman known for her way with words, put it best when she referred to herself as a Professional Hopemonger.

Maybe that’s what I’ll be if I ever decide to stop travelling.


This is part of a community post on dreams and creativity hosted by Aletheia Schmidt. Read her original post You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one and check out those of my fellow invitees below:


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Therese June 14, 2012 at 18:01

“Travel, write, truth.”
So glad that you– that we– our learning to listen to our deepest selves 🙂


Hannah June 14, 2012 at 22:27

Thanks Therese – I’m glad too 🙂


Holly June 14, 2012 at 22:02

How funny – the Du Bois quote prefaces my recently completed novel! I love it: it’s an arresting idea and one that you could take as a good or a bad outlook on life, depending on your point of view. But I embrace it fully – brill.


Hannah June 14, 2012 at 22:50

Wow, you finished your novel – amazing! And what a great quote to preface it with. I totally embrace its meaning too 🙂


Carmel June 14, 2012 at 22:20

I just saw this quote of the day on the Goodreads Facebook site and thought of you immediately. It seems appropriate to this post, too: “I never change, I simply become more myself.”
― Joyce Carol Oates, Solstice
Another well written piece, Hannah. I love the imagery of being in a dark forest with no path out in sight. We might take different ways of getting to a clearing, but none of them are wrong as long as we keep moving and doing our best to keep going. I feel like I can really relate for different reasons. Just lovely.


Hannah June 14, 2012 at 22:51

Thanks Carmel, it makes me happy to think that quotes like that bring me to mind. It totally makes all the struggle worth it. Keep walking through those trees honey, and eventually you will find the light xxx


Candace Rose Rardon June 15, 2012 at 00:26

Thanks for such a beautiful post, Hannah, and for your honesty! I think there’s a lot of power in being able to turn off all of the world’s voices and listen only to the one inside of us. Sometimes it’s tempting to let our own desires and dreams be dictated by outside forces – whether for approval or to put off having to make our own decisions – but following what we know if best for ourselves is the key. As you say, it’s all about truth. Love your writing!


Hannah June 15, 2012 at 00:41

Thank you Candace, what a wonderful compliment! It took me so long to find the courage to act on what I knew my heart was telling me, but now that I have, it’s like a stuck record. It just says “Do it, do it, do it…” And so I do 🙂


Toni June 15, 2012 at 14:12

Just beautiful hun. Your honesty is something I always look forward to in a world so increasingly filled with lies and half-truths xx


Hannah June 15, 2012 at 16:47

Thank you Toni, that means a lot 🙂


Sarahsomewhere June 15, 2012 at 17:12

Wow this is truly inspiring, Hannah. It takes so much courage to change, and even more to write about it! You constantly inspire me with your honesty, so much love and light radiate from your words. You are a very special woman 🙂


Hannah June 18, 2012 at 22:35

Thank you so much Sarah! Your kind words of support and encouragement are such a blessing, and mean the world to me xxx


Andi June 15, 2012 at 21:14

What a beautiful post!


Hannah June 18, 2012 at 22:35

Thanks Andi!


Lindsey June 16, 2012 at 08:27

Such a beautiful post.
“As I was growing up, I always imagined that people just knew what they wanted to do in life; I assumed it was an awakening that I too would one day be privy to.” I identify with this so much. In my case, I’m taking the time from building a career to try those things that whisper deep within my soul, but it’s such a guilty feeling to listen to them that it has taken me a very long time to admit they are the things I want.
I love reading your blog. You have such a beautiful voice, and every post strikes a chord with me. I really appreciate your honesty!


Hannah June 18, 2012 at 22:39

Wow, what a wonderful compliment – thank you so much Lindsey. I too felt guilty when I started to prioritise my dream, and I still do if I’m honest. I feel guilty that my dream will take me so far away from my family and friends, but still I know I have to pursue it. I just try to remind myself that our souls whisper for a reason. Not to torture us, but to encourage us to grow 🙂


Victoria Watts June 16, 2012 at 17:30

Beautiful post. I have been thinking along similar lines lately, which inspired my own post on learning to live in the moment http://www.bridgesandballoons.com/learning-to-live-in-the-moment/
I left on my travels a few months ago with an intention of working out what I want in life. When I slowed down and watched my own mind, I realised I was so caught up in thinking about what might be, or what could have been, that I was failing to see what was happening right there and then.
Your thoughts on motion and momentum are really inspiring. Its wonderful to hear from someone who has connected to themselves. Thank you and good luck with the rest of your journey to come. Vicoria x


Hannah June 18, 2012 at 23:37

Thank you Victoria – I just read your post and I love it! It has taken me a long time to feel this connected to myself, but at the age of 32 I think I have finally got the hang of it! It was so simple, yet perhaps my greatest struggle to date, but I found a way to listen to my inner voice, and I like what it says. It speaks the truth. I look forward to following your journey 🙂


Sunil Himalaya Hiker June 20, 2012 at 10:45

Thank you very much for wonderful post.It inspire me to travel more and more.


Hannah June 21, 2012 at 23:08

Thank you Sunil, I really appreciate that. I have checked out your site and am so impressed – I would love to trek the Himalaya’s and am deeply inspired by your achievement. I wish you all the best on your future adventures 🙂


izzy June 29, 2012 at 05:51

Hannah this is an awesome post. It is very real and genuine. I feel like it is a gentle call for authenticity. Well atleast that is how I heard it 🙂
“Not because I walk around thinking that I am great, but because I believe in my power to make it so”
I love this line. It shows respect for not only your own abilities but all of our abilities. The difference between those that go out and do awesome things and those that don’t is the willingness to take the journey.
I don’t buy into the idea that some are talented and others aren’t. Awesome is a road to be travelled not a location we are born.


Hannah July 17, 2012 at 16:07

“A gentle call for authenticity” – I love that! Thank you so much for your lovely comment Izzy, as always your support is greatly appreciated, and you words are so resonant. We all have the opportunity to reach our own ‘awesome’ like you said, we just need the perseverance to keep walking 🙂


Victoria June 30, 2012 at 15:01

Hey Hannah, You already know I like this post, but just wanted to let you know I’ve added it to my list of ‘Most excellent travel blog posts’ for June.
Take care, Victoria x


Hannah July 17, 2012 at 16:08

Wow, that is truly most excellent! Thank you so much Victoria 🙂


ashley August 11, 2012 at 04:13

Hi Hannah, Well done in deciding to follow your dreams. It is such an important thing to do. We are currently travelling with our 15 month old son. He is loving it too. I think you have a lovely turn of phrase, very true and honest and almost poetic. I look forward to following the rest of your adventures.


Stephen schreck August 17, 2012 at 17:11

I am the exact same. I am headed on my long term travels in may! Great article and safe travels.


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