Friday, 28 June 2013

To the West Coast I Go Baby!

I never imagined Kansas too look as it does, rich greens and blues stretching out to the horizon. The Wizard of Oz definitely did not prepare me for how beautiful this landscape is. I do suppose the parts of the movie filmed in Kansas were black and white... anyway. :) Here I am, very far from home, and only a few days into this cross-continent trip. 3,400 kms and counting!

Long, beautiful interstate.

In previous posts, I have mentioned that 2013 is the year of my bucket-list. I have been adding to it for several years and checked things off here and there. I had never actually made a conscience decision to complete certain numbers on the list, it more so naturally just, happened.

I like to think of my bucket-list as pages of affirmations. The fact that they are physically written down, circumstances and opportunities in my life have lead me to events such as standing on the Cliff's of Moher (#56), skydiving (#32), seeing Fleetwood Mac in concert (#21), and smoking a Cuban cigar in Havana (#112), among many others. How else would all this awesome stuff happen? By my own choices and free will? No way! Haha Kidding...I believe that free will and circumstance play equal roles in the moments of my life.

I am not suggesting that writing a goal down on a piece of paper will enable us to sit back and watch our dreams unfold. However,  I do truly believe that by externally expressing your hopes and dreams, the universe will do it's best to give what is needed to actualize these dreams. After this first step, it is up to us to use what has been presented, or ignore its existence.The choice is ours.

Being passive and unwilling to take your life into your own hands will not get you out of bed in the morning, nonetheless standing on The Great Wall of China. I have no basis on this statement other than what I learned from my first year physics professor as he excitedly explained the law of attraction, and by actually seeing this phenomenon in action myself.

Recently, I have been practicing the art of wholeheartedly believing in my dreams and have been visualizing what I want out of life. Needless to say, my proof is in everything that I have been blessed with in the last couple of years. Simply put: I refused to shed even a touch of doubt on my dreams, and I have been able to accomplish so many of them.

Driving through Kansas, just having left Tim and Deb at their Bed and Breakfast in the small town of Chapman, Kansas, I am left thinking about how amazing it is that we are actually here. Driving down the I70, my little Mazda 3 stuffed with every possession we own, heading to brand new territory, and knowing there is so much waiting for us. My mom, Lynne and I said goodbye to Tim and Deb in the Beijing International Airport just over a year ago, having not known them before our China trip, we never figured we would see them afterwards. Yet, just last night I arrived at their place in rural Kansas. I hugged these two amazing people hello, just as I had hugged them goodbye 13 months ago. These moments remind me of how small the world is, but also, just how precious some connections are, and how anything is possible if you are willing to take a leap and realize your dreams.

The lovely Deb and Tim.

"Have an epic road trip across the US and Canada" is on my bucket list, and at number 17, was something that I had wanted for a long time. Nearly 7 years later,  here I am, crammed into "the little Mazda that could", driving through places I only imagined I would be, experiencing things I only hoped I would. It makes me feel so grateful that I am actually doing this, and a bit overwhelmed as well.

After all, living in moments that you have visualized for so long and built up to be these "I would give anything to" moments is a very emotional experience.

Being so overwhelmed by this moment, my emotions are definitely reflecting in this post. My writing is a bit all over the place, I apologize. I promise, I do have a point, just bare with me and I will get you there.

Originally, I wanted this post to articulate the beauty I am seeing and the feelings I am having in this moment. However, my writing has lead me into a completely new direction, as it usually does. See people, writing is very therapeutic :)

So, here is the point, the direction or theme if you will: How to live in the moment, how to stop life from pass by to quickly.

The main reason why people do not follow through with their dreams is because of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of a bit of hard work or planning, and also, fear of what to do when you get to that place you have wanted for so long. You find yourself asking: What if I am disappointed? What if it is not as good as I imagined? What if I cannot fully appreciate it? As crazy as all this sounds, they are real fears, and I have had every single one of them. To get out of this negative thought process, I think about the one question that scares me the most: "What if I don't try and miss my opportunity?"

I cannot imagine how I would be able to deal with having missed out on something I really wanted to. All of the other above-mentioned fears I can deal with. If I am disappointed, well I move onto the next adventure with higher hopes. However, I do not know if I would be able to move past knowing that I missed something truly amazing. Call it "fear of missing out" or "third world problems", but it's personal and it's how I want to live my life.  I want to experience as much "awesomeness" in the limited time I have in this world.

Perhaps, the solution to accomplishing your dreams is to realize that there will be no bigger regret than the one that comes with not trying. So what you spend all your money or take time away from your busy life and it doesn't workout? You can always go back to making more money and dive into a steady routine life again.The typical North American routine way of life will always be an option, will seeing your favorite band play their last tour?

So what, if there are expectations for you to "settle down"? Who cares? Did you set those expectations for yourself or did society? Will buying a house make you happy or will spending two months at a yoga retreat in India make you happy? Do what makes you happy and do it will all your love and efforts. At the end of the day, we make our own happiness, and no one else can tell that will be. Bills, mortgages and jobs will always be there, but will your knees to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
or your heart to free-fall from 30,000 feet?

One year ago, free falling 11,000 feet above New Brunswick.

Life is meant to be lived, so live it! Do not feel guilty or irresponsible for even one second if you are happy. On the other hand, if having a house and staying in one spot makes you happy and you are doing it, then you are living life. If living out of a backpack and seeking the next adventure makes you happy and you are doing it, then you are living life. Whatever makes you vibe, whatever makes your heart smile, do it, and don't feel bad, do not ignore it, follow your heart, follow your happiness, and live the life you are creating for yourself.

Charming town of Chapman, Kansas.
That is it for now. I will post more travel focused writing next time. Kansas gave me a lot more inspiration that I ever imagined it would.Funny what life gives you sometimes, just do not be afraid to run with it.

Enjoy your day and be happy :)


Windmill Bed and Breakfast, Chapman, Kansas.

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