We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway – Anticipation by Carly Simon
For months we’ve dreamed of Mongolia and what we’d find when we finally arrived on the steppes. We discussed the idea of walking the same ground as Ghengis Khan and the great Mongolian Empire. We read about the history of the country and learned about it’s relatively recent shift to a democracy (in 1990). We spent hours discussing what we’d find when we stepped outside of the city and encountered the vastness of the plains. Since our initial interest was piqued last year excitement has continued to grow.
We’ve built up the anticipation of seeing this country with a wealth of hope and reading (thank you Conn Iggulden). Our thoughts conjuring images of endless plains of sand and grasslands which were the battleground of the Mongol Empire. The excitement was so thick that we were like little kids on Christmas morning when we boarded the Trans-Mongolian railway on June 19th. We knew we had 30 hours of travel in front of us but that was simply more opportunity to build our anticipation for Mongolia.
When looking forward to a big event or your dream, just the anticipation can make you excited. You may be looking forward to the day you give notice to leave your job, the day you first get paid you for your writing, or the moment your feet touch the sand of your vacation beach. You shake with enthusiasm as you envision the moment and relive the experience over and over in your mind.
Anticipation is a wonderful part of the process of going after your dream and should be embraced early and often. Building up the excitement of fulfilling your dream will help you during those times when you question your sanity (which happens to us all) and will remind you why you are taking this leap.
Anticipation is also a way to start living your dream now. You can imagine your new life and see yourself in it. In fact, research from the Journal of Applied Research in Quality of Life found “the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation. In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks” (NY Times – How Vacations Affect Your Happiness).
Mongolia: Worth all the Anticipation
After months of anticipation, and a day on the train, we awoke and received our first taste of Mongolia – the Gobi Desert was just outside our window. The sight simply blew us away. We both stood there at the train window for 5 hours while we watched the landscape go by, catching our first sight of camels, eagles, and sand dunes. Slowly the scenery changed to grassy hills with small clusters of trees. Then, we began to see our first signs of civilization as we neared Ulan Bator (12+ hours after crossing from the Chinese border). The culmination of all this anticipation was so intense at times we found ourselves with tears in our eyes looking out at the expanse before us.
That moment when anticipation became reality blended so well together that it was simply perfect.
After a couple days of planning in Ulan Bator, we were ready to head out into the steppe for our first real interaction with the country. We were not prepared for what unfolded when we left the city last Saturday to spend 4 days with nomadic families about 3 hours southwest of the city. Within minutes of leaving the city all our anticipation culminated in the most magnificent of moments – exceeded expectations. Mongolia is simply stunning and no amount of thinking about it could have prepared us for what unfolded. We stopped in the midst of a hike to record our thoughts and share a few images.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here for a few thousand to give you a sense of what we encountered, with so much more left to explore in the next 2 weeks.
Whatever your dream may be, revel in the anticipation for what is to come. Let it build slowly and enjoy the process and feeling of excitement that comes from envisioning your new life. Slow down this week and embrace this anticipation by reading a book related to your dream, watching a movie, or talking with friends/family to get your juices flowing.
What are you anticipating? Drop us an email, leave a Facebook comment, or record a video and let us know. We’d love to hear about it.
Anticipating your dream is one thing, but taking the first step to making it a reality is another. What is stopping you? Buy a copy of Dream Save Do today and begin creating your plan to making it happen.