What are you waiting for?

It’s easy to have dreams. It’s even easier to find excuses not to fulfill them.

I don’t have time. I’ll do it later. It seems too difficult. I’m afraid of not succeeding. I’d like to do it, but I’m afraid of what others will think.

These fears/doubts/worries/excuses often prevent us from realizing our dreams. We let them too often control our lives. Stop for 2 minutes and think about a project you’ve been dreaming of for a long time: changing jobs, moving, expatriating, traveling, writing a book, starting your own business, etc. What is holding you back from achieving it? If it’s truly what you desire, you should accomplish a task, no matter how small, every day related to that dream. Otherwise, maybe it’s not your dream after all! Make a list of your fears and find a solution to ease them.

If we had listened to our fears, we would never have gone to California. When Robin asked me if I was interested in moving to California, my initial reaction was, “Are you crazy? There are plenty of serial killers in the United States!” (I said jockingly)!! Fortunately, our conversation didn’t end there! We made the famous “Pros and Cons” list to try to convince ourselves that we were making the right decision. And there were many cons on our list! Yet, we went anyway!

For the world tour, the list of fears is even longer:

-deciding to sell everything (furniture, house, etc.)

-facing the unexpected (yes, pandemic, I’m talking about you here!)

-not knowing the location of our next home after the journey

-children’s safety during the trip

-being mindful of our budget during the trip

-having to remain flexible regarding the itinerary, hotels/Airbnb, plane tickets, etc.

-not knowing the rules and customs in each country we will visit

-fear of theft, fear of scammers

-managing to carry all our gear in 2 backpacks for 5 people!

-fear of the various challenges we will have to overcome

-we can add: uncertainty about possible new re-confinements/quarantines, closed borders, mandatory repatriation, etc.

And yet, that didn’t stop us from making the decision to go. More than a year before leaving, we started checking off our long list of tasks to accomplish to realize our dream. And we’re happy we took the leap. It has brought us and will bring us so many beautiful life experiences that we wouldn’t have had if we had stayed in our comfortable world, our comfort zone.

But to get there, you have to take the leap. We have no choice but to make this leap even if we don’t know what’s at the bottom. It’s part of the thrill of exploring the unknown.

My first real leap

At university, I had the opportunity to take a language course other than English. If I had listened to people, I would have taken Spanish: “You have a better chance of being around people who speak Spanish.” “It will be more useful to you later.” “Everyone takes the Spanish course, you should too!” “It’s the easiest language to learn. Choose the easy route!”

But when I had the list of language courses in front of my eyes, my head and heart had chosen Japanese. Why? I don’t really know, but I was in my last year of university and I wanted, for once, to think about myself. I remember hesitating for hours, sitting in front of my computer screen wondering what others would say, wondering if I could take on the challenge.

And I jumped! I enrolled in the Japanese course. Without knowing what I was getting into. It’s been almost 13 years since I took that course, and it’s the most beautiful experience of my entire bachelor’s degree. I met a passionate teacher who passed on her love for Japan and became a dear friend of our family. Thank you, Sonia! 🙂

It was a small leap, I agree, but it had enormous impacts on my life:

Decision to take the Japanese course; New passion (Japan); My first 2 international trips; 1 expatriation to the USA; World tour project with family; Other projects: to be continued! 🙂

This is just one example among many that happened to me later on. And yes, every time I jumped, I was scared, as they say. It’s nerve-wracking not knowing what awaits us. It’s with hindsight that we can see what a “simple” jump can have as an impact on our lives. Whether it’s at a personal, family, or professional level.

You have to let go sometimes because we can’t predict what will happen. If it turns out more negative as an experience, you can adjust your aim. At least you can say you tried, and you’ll have fabulous anecdotes as a bonus!

It will never be perfect. There will always be points in the “cons” column, the list of fears will always seem too long. You just have to follow your instinct and dare to believe that you will extract the maximum positive from it. Trust me, it’s really worth taking the leap!

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