When Chasing Your Dream Ends Up Sucking

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One of the most interesting chapters in “Why Haven’t You Read This Book?” is by Courtney Derr about her adventure with her husband traveling the globe, primarily by motorcycle.

Courtney and H.J. had an itch they’d wanted to scratch for many years, but both were stuck in the 9-5 grind with jobs too good to give up.  The timing was never right.  Instead of waiting and hoping and delaying, or demanding a perfect list of justifications to go chase their traveling dream, they said, “Why not just do it now?”

So they did.

They saved up their money, quit their jobs, and set out to explore parts unknown.  Courtney’s a great writer and there’s no way to do justice to the narrative she shares in the chapter.  The ups, downs, twists, and turns are entertaining and inspiring.  But the thing that most sticks out about the chapter is this:  They didn’t enjoy probably the majority of their trip.

They ended it sooner than planned and had plenty of bad weather, motorcycle and emotional breakdowns, and all the other downsides experienced by anyone on a long road trip multiplied many times.  Rudeness, safety concerns, language barriers, food sickness, and many more travails.

This chapter was a really important one to include in the book because this is not a book about rose colored glasses and berainbowed cat poster motivation.  It’s about taking charge of your life.  One of the things that happens when you choose to “do you” instead of succumb to status quo pressure is that you reap the rewards.  One of the other things that happens is that you own the downsides too.

Despite the less than glamorous aspects of the story, Courtney and her husband do not regret their decision.  Part of self-exploration is realizing that you’re different than you assumed.  Your tastes, preferences, pain and risk tolerance may not be fully found out.  The thing is, you can’t really know yourself by reflection alone.  You’ve got to act on your desires, dreams, and hunches.

Had they not journeyed out into the wild they would have enjoyed life less back home.  They would always have a fallback to play the blame game and claim their struggles or unhappiness were because they were never able to travel like they wanted.  They would always wonder if they were missing something big.

Now they have a bunch of memories, some great, and some tough (though the tough ones begin to turn great over time too), and the clear knowledge of what the traveling experience is like and to what extent it can and cannot give them the life they desire.

You can’t trade that.

Check out the chapter, “Why Haven’t You Traveled the World” by supporting the campaign and claiming your copy of the book.

You won’t know until you try!

You can also learn more at their great website, www.wanderrlust.com