“What do you really want to do?” The question was frequent in those first few days when Tracy and I began dating, without a pot to piss in or anything of value to our names. At the time, we didn’t have a concept of creating our own reality, or of traipsing the globe on some extended, euphoric jaunt, but it was a rather a consolatory question we would ask each other to make ourselves feel better about being broke. What we didn’t realize is that we were stumbling across the most important travel tip we would ever find.
“What do you really want to do?” I would ask first, and she would invariably say “travel the world… I want to see London, Greece, Paris… I want to touch something that’s thousands of years old.” We didn’t stop to consider the believability of what we were saying at the time, we were merely day-dreaming. To consider the odds was to pierce the balloon, so to speak. I would look into the distance, visualizing what she was saying with my head filling with a thousand words and settle on only uttering something simplistic and trite. “Yeah, that sounds nice,” would be all I’d muster, and we’d go on day-dreaming.
Ten Years Of Intent
In just a few weeks, we’ll cross ten years from that first date, and those first conversations about what we “wanted to do”. It’s with much heartfelt reflection that I must say this – we’ve become who we dreamed of becoming. Yet, this post really isn’t about us. It’s about you, and how you can (and will) turn day-dreams into reality. It’s about how you’re going to touch thousand-year-old stones, meet fascinating people, and have experiences in places you don’t even know exist yet. If you’ll allow me, I’ll tell you how we turned fantasy into reality for the purposes of showing you how you’ll do it too.
I can’t say we had a plan, but in hindsight we’ve learned that the plan didn’t matter. The desire did. Plans come out of desire, and to start by planning something for which you don’t feel passionate is foolhardy and a waste of your time. Looking back, we can see how our desire to live where we live, to live how we live, and to travel where we’ve traveled has been paramount to the passions we’ve pursued, and ultimately the results we’ve obtained. To put it much more eloquently, consider what Steve Jobs said in his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford – clearly a man reflecting on how passion guided his commitment for the life he wanted.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.” – Steve Jobs
Our lives together have been woven by these karmic moments that came out of our desires, as yours will, and you won’t realize it in real-time – only in hindsight. I remember sitting on the beach in Perdido Key with Tracy saying “do you want to move to Florida?” We had just married earlier that day, and sat as we dusted off sand from the bottom of our cheap champagne bottle and gazed over the waves. The conversation was simple. “Yeah, I do… when?” We said we’d do it within a year. We moved to Florida one year and 11 days after we married, and in hindsight we can only vaguely remember doing much to end up in Jacksonville other than posting our resumes online. Beyond that, our desire took that action and ran with it.
How We Came To South Florida
Five years later, while on a business trip in South Florida, I sent her photos from my hotel room of the azure water rolling in along the Atlantic. I was moved, and wanted her there with me to see it as the emotion stirred in me the thought of another move. “We should move here, it’s gorgeous…”, the text read with a picture of the ocean from my balcony. The response was the same, “when?” We settled on the goal of moving “within one year”, and moved 350 days later. We didn’t plan it, we just set our intention, felt passionate about the idea, focused increasingly, and our actions merged with fate to get us where we wanted to be. This will happen for you, also, in any context you wish. That’s something I want to make clear – there’s nothing inherently different about our capability to create for ourselves. It’s no different than your ability to do the same. It was only some time after these things happening did we come to realize what was happening, and how we were choosing our life’s path. Every day, with every thought and every action, we pulled the Universe and our hearts’ desires a little closer to us. We weren’t special. We were only acting on a very natural, very real principle.
This idea of the Law of Attraction isn’t a new one. The wisest sages have been writing about it since humans could write, from Marcus Aurelius and Plato to Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs. They’ve all understood one principle that is so true, so consistent that the universe bows to it. It’s been said a million times from countless luminaries, but I love Ghandi’s simplicity in saying;
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
Beautiful? Yes. But, what does any of this have to do with travel?
What Travel Really Is
Travel isn’t a thing you do, but rather a representation of who you are. The desire to travel, to see more, to do more is an indelible part of the human spirit and that thing which moved men west in seeking freedom. To see more. To do more. To experience something bigger than themselves, and different from themselves. The desire to travel created the the airplane and the automobile. The desire to travel created the “Space Race”, and leads the daring to the tops of Mt. Everest, risking life and limb along the way. Those who don’t travel, or haven’t traveled, only have failed to do so because they aren’t connected to this part of themselves. However, it’s there for them as it is for everyone else, just waiting to be uncovered.
Understanding this, how does this concept of the Law of Attraction come into play, and what is it? The idea is that the entire world is made of frequencies, or energy that moves. Nothing is still. As Bob Proctor, a writer and motivational speaker has repeatedly said, all of creation is “an ocean of motion”. This motion vibrates at different speeds, called frequencies, and operates much the same as radio wavelengths. The different between FM stations at 105.9 or 103.5 is only the speed at which they vibrate. If you “tune in” to the frequency where 105.9 is located, you can connect with and listen to that station and only that station.
The same is true with thoughts. It’s the reason why negative people and positive people can’t be in the same room together. Their “frequencies” are off, and they feel the desire to leave each other’s company. It’s why the old saying “misery loves company” is so true. A miserable person is only congruent to the frequency of someone who is exactly like them. Positive attracts positive. Negative attracts negative. Your thoughts create frequencies that will attract those experiences, people, places, and events that you are in tune with, and this includes the type of life you live, the type of job you have, and the people who surround you.
Once you’ve created the frequency, you must act. The positive person and negative person may not agree energetically, but without the act of moving away from each other, they remain in each other’s presence. The driving force of the action is the energy and the vibration you create around yourself. People who sit around wishing all day will never do anything. Those who visualize while running aggressively toward that vision can’t help but succeed. When we visualized and day-dreamed of eating along the Adriatic in Venice, we were creating the feeling of being there. We didn’t wish or want to be there, we visualized it. The smells. The tastes. How our feet would hurt after walking. We talked about what clothes we were going to wear as if we were planning for a trip on which we were about to embark, but in reality wasn’t booked, and we had no money to reserve!
It is a fact that your mind cannot distinguish what is actually happening from what is being imagined, which is why you will feel the physical responses to fear if you simply imagine a fearful scenario. Look at a video of someone sky-diving. That physical reaction in the pit of your stomach is your mind thinking you just jumped from the plane, which is why we have to guard our thoughts so closely. What we were doing in our visualization was creating the harmonious vibration between ourselves and the experience of travel. We created the harmony between ourselves and the lives we wanted, and the Universe responded by introducing the reality of that experience into our lives. Consider how Muhammad Ali phrased it;
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Creating The Life Of Travel You Want
The key to creating a life of travel by using the Law of Attraction is this – understanding the difference between visualizing and wanting. The Universe, for reasons far more complicated than I could explain or understand, only ever says “yes”. If you visualize “I’m in Rome”, think it, imagine it, and work for it, the Universe says “Yes, you’re in Rome”. Then, you will be. If you visualize Rome while saying “I want to go to Rome”, the Universe will say “yes, you do want to go to Rome.” You will continue wanting but not actually going. Your intention cannot be in wanting what you don’t have, or in focusing on how you can’t travel because you don’t have the money. The Universe will simply respond with “yes”, and you’ll continue wanting, and continue finding ways to not travel. Visualize traveling, visualize seeing the places you’ve always wanted to see. Believe you’re there in your visualizations as though it is reality. Imagine coming back and telling your friends about what a great time you had, and be very specific in these visualizations.
Being specific about what you visual is paramount, and acts like a magnifying glass. You can take the light from the sun on a warm day, and without focus it can burn nothing. Introduce a magnifying glass to harness and concentrate that energy, and you have created a laser strong enough to manipulate matter and burn objects. So is the same with your visualization. Focus. Be specific. When you visualize going where you want to go, day-dream the drive to the airport. Feel the keys in your hand as you lock the car. Smell the airport. Feel the drop in your stomach as the plane takes off. Imagine finding a cab to get you to the hotel, and the taste of the first meal. Is that coriander or cumin? You tell me. Either way it’s delicious, isn’t it? Feel all of it, and hold it in your mind very specifically. Once you do, the power of your intentions will open up doors to act. From there, simply act.
Fortune Favors The Bold
It was a few years after those first nights of day-dreaming when reality happened for us. By this point in our relationship, we were married and settled in Jacksonville, but still visualizing seeing the world. We felt closer to that dream, but it still wasn’t a reality until a series of events opened the door in a way we had never imagined. After receiving a new job offer, I received a starting bonus that, after taxes, was exactly $6 more than two round trip tickets from Orlando to London over Thanksgiving break. Only three nights would we be abroad, and we thought of dozens of reasons not to go. The expense. The weather in Europe. The tight time-window and restriction of only have a few vacation days to spare. Might the more prudent decision to have been to save the money for a rainy day? Of course. Yet, this was the moment we had created, and now that moment was testing us to see if we were committed to following through. Life does this, and I can’t pretend to be smart enough to tell you why, but it seems that just before all transformative moments there is a decision point where you can choose to turn back. You can choose to stay on the ordinary path, or you can walk into the new you.
After this experience changed us, there was no longer any question. Above nice clothes or fancy cars, above cool watches or expensive nights out on the town, there would come first travel. Come first, it did, as we quickly found a way to book a second overseas trip, then a third, and here we are only four years later with more than 20 countries to our credit, unimaginable memories, a thriving travel blog that is growing in popularity daily, and our work being shared by people in all corners of the world. We’re not surprised by any of it, only grateful. We envisioned it happening long ago, and always envisioned being grateful and trying to help other people live better lives.
You will have this transformative opportunity as a result of visualizing and creating the life of travel you want, but there will be a moment, no matter how badly you want it, where you doubt your decision to change your life. That’s your last hurdle, and where the old you, the one who didn’t create and was full of fear and excuses, disappears. Perhaps this is what it means to work out your own salvation with “fear and trembling”? There were many moments like this for me, and for us. I had a massive fear of flying to overcome. We had no money, no prospects for money, and no real opportunity we could touch in our immediate sphere of influence that told us it would be any different, ever.
What we had was conviction. Maybe you feel that convicted about travel, or about something else in your life, and perhaps this can be a lesson about how you can take control over your life, too. You don’t have to wait for something good to happen if you’re convicted about it happening, visualize it coming into being and then act when called upon. Once you do, it begins to fall like dominoes. Five years from now you’ll be on your third or fourth continent, reliving all the memories you have with family or friends. More importantly, however, you’ll be visualizing the rest of your life and empowered with the choice to be who you want to be, live how you want to live, and travel how you want to travel.
It’s no one’s choice but yours, and you’re the only one in control.