Two years ago…

I set off on my trip of lifetime – my dream to travel for a year, experiencing diverse cultures, meeting interesting people, and seeing amazing scenery!   The stars aligned, I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to live my dream to solo backpack round the world – or at least parts of it – and I did it!

Two years ago today I set off from Manchester to Bangkok, sitting next to Lester who was an IT architect for enormous roller coasters, and we chatted for four hours of the 11 hour journey!  I also read a book and watched a film between meals!  Believe it or not, in each of those three situations the same phrase came up at the end!

What was it?

“Nothing is impossible!   Anything is possible!” 

Lester said it about creating the technology that makes someone’s roller coaster ride into reality!

A sci-fi film about space travel and the future – well, we all know that comes true with technology today!

And the book about creating a life you want to live, about coaching benefits and personal development!

It was uncanny!  A little unnerving – but a message I just couldn’t ignore!   So, I decided to take that on board for my trip – and beyond – and see what would happen for the coming 12 months!

Well, it was amazing, wonderful, fantastic, awe-some and awe-inspiring, humbling, exciting, thrilling, a little scary, and at time a little boring would you believe!

But I did it, and I will never regret it!   I had sold my house to make a life changing move – and that is when I had ‘the moment’ to choose – jump left to live my dream now the time had arrived (and I know in my heart this was the moment I’d waited for and knew, one day, would come for me!), or jump right to sensibility, conforming and carrying on like before!

So, I jumped!  I ‘jumped left’ into my dream!   I decided I couldn’t – I wouldn’t look back and second-guess myself!  It was a now or never moment – so many people around me ill, or dying, my daughter losing her young friends, terrorism and accidents – you just never know when it’s your time, so I knew I had to take this moment as my time to live a dream!

I’d watched others do it – my brother in law diving on a Spanish galleon and envied him that dream in reality!  Watched explorers on TV and saw films of animals, waters of every colour and mountains so high they were in the clouds more than out!  And I believed, as I’ve said before, that the colours of the world on TV and pictures were photo-shopped – but now, I know they’re not!  Those vibrant colours, the warm rains, the jungle villages and the huge rivers of the world are real and out there!  I know that people are struggling and still smiling against all odds!

There are horrors in the world, in the past and the present, that people survived and we learn from those the lessons of love and compassion, of helping and sharing, and I did that as much as I could whilst I was away and whilst back home too!

I found myself, I let go of all convention and I built myself back up to what I wanted to become.  I am still a work in progress on that front – or at least professionally, in my business!  But inside, personally – mind, body and soul – I know who I am and I have changed.  Or, as the quotes often say, I haven’t changed but have just become my Self.

I am calmer, more pensive, accepting and tolerant of others; I am humbled by what and who I’ve seen and their stories told in prison sites from the past, or current memories of horrible times they experienced.  Children sleeping on the streets and vulnerable; disabilities not catered for with food or money, or transport in some countries like they are in the UK.

I found the grass isn’t always greener – but in New Zealand just as green as ours in Saddleworth where I live, just on a grander scale!  I realised that it rains everywhere – a lot – even in the Amazon jungle where I ended up wearing an orange, plastic ‘pac-a-mac’ (if you’re from the north and over 30 you will know what one is!), not the sort of stylish poncho my companions found on opening their packs!

And I now know that the rain in tropical places is  heavier and doesn’t change the humidity but adds to it!  Yet, I still don’t like the North English weather around the Pennines now I’m back!  There is stunning beauty and abject poverty, there is struggle and strife and luxurious opportunity out there.

I didn’t know it would add to my dream but I once wished I could escape to the ‘highest mountain in Peru’ to sit a while and relax!  And yet, it did – and I found myself on Machuu Pichu’s peaks, emotional to have arrived at what was years of a hope, 2-3 years of visioning my dream and a few weeks of planning my adventure!  I visited the Amazon I wanted to see from being a child, and saw glaciated landscapes I studied in school at 17!

I saw animals I didn’t know existed or those I’d only seen on pictures or in a zoo behind a wall!   I met two young relatives born in Australia that I had never met till then, and hated to leave them behind again when I moved on!

I lived my dream and I have memories to cherish, experiences of life I couldn’t have planned and new friends on Facebook in many countries, and took opportunities as and when they fell before me!

So you see – “nothing is impossible, and anything IS possible” …you just have to believe you can!