This article is part 6 in our A Week of Excuses series. Why do we put off those things we want most in life? Why do we let excuses stand in the way of pursuing our dreams? In this week long series we dive into these questions, deliver actionable steps for common obstacles, and provide resources to help you take the first step to making your dreams a reality.
Over the last few years we’ve met many people who have a dream but are worried about going after it by themselves. They’d love to start a business, adopt a child, or go on a big adventure but the idea of doing it alone is completely paralyzing. Instead they continue in their current lives hoping to find the right mate and then, and only then, embarking on their dreams.
Step Out On Your Own
None of us ever does anything all by ourselves. You know that, right?
Even if you start your salsa lessons by yourself, you will partner up with various other people along the way making new friends in the process. Starting by yourself simply means you are getting a head start on your dream and new friendships to boot. Solo travelers meet others along the way (in fact, you have to go out of your way not to meet people). Hobbyists join clubs with other enthusiasts. Marathon runners may train solo, but often run races in groups.
While you may begin by yourself, with a smile and a ready hello you will certainly not complete your goal alone.
You can choose to overcome your concern and dive in alone with the expectation other swill join your fun at some point. We’ve met scores of individual travelers during our time on the road who have shared how much they love they did not wait any longer. Each person tells us about how scared they were before leaving, and then the complete release and excitement which replaced it the moment they took off.
These are the same people who now find themselves coordinating day trips with other travelers at the hostel, making dozens of new friends to visit around the world, and having torrid love affairs (we promise to share no names).
Yeah, don’t feel sorry for them.
The fear never completely leaves any of them, but they continue to follow their dream because to them it is simply too important to not embrace the life they want to live.
We met one woman in her 70s who is married but has been traveling alone for over 10 years. She and her husband finally realized he was never going to want to travel even though they had the time to do it, so he gave her his blessing to do it without him. She’s been all over the world with friends, travel groups, and solo, and she returns home to her husband who only wants to experience it second-hand. It works for them.
Dream Partner may not be Life Partner
For some of us we want someone beside us as we embark on our big dream. Whether to share the moments, help to conquer the fear, or simply to take our photos along the way. Regardless of the reason, we simply cannot move forward without someone beside us to encourage and push us forward.
What if someone else is waiting for you to be that push?
Having someone to join you in pursuit of your dream does not mean you must wait until you find your life partner before you can embark of your dream life.
Seek out people that share your interest and connect with someone who is just as passionate and ready to dive into your dream. Attend MeetUp groups, join online forums, reach out to friends and family via Facebook, email, or good old fashioned phone calls. Let people know your goal, what you want to accomplish, and ask them if they want to join you in making it come true.
10 Dreams with Resources for Solo Adventure
- Visit all 7 continentscheck out TravBuddy.com where you can search for others looking for a big adventure or post your own
- Work on a ranch – read about a solo woman who spent 3 months, over winter, on an estancia in Patagonia
- Take the Trans-Siberian Railway – list your adventure and take advantage of Lonely Planet’s huge forum to find a buddy
- Kayak across the English Channel – yes, it can be done and here is a company to escort you the entire way
- Adopt a child – good article with advice and guidance to get you engaged in the process of living your dream
- Ride a bicycle across the United States – get inspired by this woman riding across the US for her 70th birthday
- Take Mui Thai boxing lessons – find a Meet Up group near you, or start your own
- Walk the Camino de Santiago – our friend Sherry Ott just completed the 800km trek and shares her story to inspire you
- Sail across an ocean – with this site you can select where you want to go and search for captains who need crew for the voyage.
- Learn how to blow glass – a good introduction here along with how to get started
Stay tuned tomorrow for the final installment of the series and a big announcement. In addition, we’ll discuss how to overcome being too scared to follow your dream.