It’s been two months since I started this blog and a lot has happened. As it stands now, I’ll be leaving for South America on the 5th of November. I’ve purchased two tickets thus far. I stared with the ticket from Santiago, Chile to Hanga Roa, Easter Island which will actually take place 3 months into my trip. I scheduled that for the beginning of February so that I could be there for the Tapati Festival. However, this is done with the full knowledge that my schedule may change and my arrival in Easter Island could be pushed back. Next, I purchased my starting ticket – a one-way flight to Ecuador in the beginning of November. Right away, it felt good to be making some commitment towards my adventure.
And now, there’s a momentum that has formed that I’ve noticed is starting to take on a life of its own. Despite all my insecurities and fears, I feel like I can’t stop these plans even if I wanted to. I liken myself, somewhat, to a very manly Sandra Bullock, attempting to direct an out-of-control bus that cannot be slowed otherwise it will explode and could easily go careening off of some overpass at any moment.
This has prompted me to think a lot about how momentum gets created and then escalates and accelerates our plans. Because I’m a huge procrastinator, plans sometimes take forever to materialize for me (or at least it seems so). I’d love to be one of those people that can make a decision and instantly make progress towards their goal. But instead, I tend to be one that thinks things over, second-guessing and triple-guessing myself and doubting myself along the way, until eventually, I force myself, arms flailing off the cliff into the dark, unknown abyss.
I probably don’t give myself enough credit. I know myself, and many times I have to create a situation where I must force myself to create some momentum for the desired goal. For example, when I was in college, I decided that I wanted to learn to ride motorcycles. So, I took a motorcycle safety class so that I could get my motorcycle endorsement on my license. Taking the class wasn’t the difficult part. Instead, the difficulty came when I wanted to buy a motorcycle. I mulled over price and style, procrastinating on the purchase, until finally I purchased a motorcycle helmet that I knew I would need to ride my motorcycle. It’s back-asswards and weird……. yet, I had purchased something that helped me finally make the purchase that I ultimately wanted: a 1979 Kawasaki KZ650 road bike. It’s not for everyone, but it worked for me. It’s the same with the airplane purchases. While I was going back and forth on when I should buy my ticket to South America, I instead focused on one of my major goals for the trip, and that was to go to Easter Island. And it worked – within a week after that purchase, I had purchased my ticket to Ecuador.
Of course, this trip is too big for me, and I’ve needed a lot of help and encouragement from the people around me to help make this dream a reality. This past summer, I met a woman who turned out to be my life-coach. Serendipitously, she had traveled extensively in South America and thought my idea was a grand plan. While our initial meetings were centered around figuring out what my purpose and vocation in life should be, she also held me accountable for my dream to travel extensively in South America.
Additionally, I participate in many groups where I’m exposed to people from different countries and cultures. I attend a weekly conversation group for french speakers, the 20/30s International Happy Hour Meetup, and Internations gatherings. In everyone of these settings, I’m exposed to people from other countries and cultures, or expatriates that love to travel. Talking to these individuals, I meet a lot of people that support my goals and offer me sound advice. These people are my tribe and I’ve found understand me the best. They nudge me forward when I’m feeling insecure and unsure about the path that I’ve chosen.
And lastly, I’m fortunate enough to have family and friends that support my goals. I think most of my friends have been very supportive. My parents were initially worried about my plans for world travel, but have since started to support me wholeheartedly. I was on Skype with my mother the other day, and she informed me that my father had just purchased a South America map so that he could follow my adventures as I’m taking them. How could one possibly give up their goal knowing that their parents will be following them every step of the way?
It’s imperative, I believe, to open yourself up and share your ideas and plans with the people that support you and / or have had similar experiences as the one(s) you’re trying to accomplish. I helps to encourage you on your path and ultimately create that much needed momentum for achieving your goals.