DREAM BIG. start small. (guest post)

This is a great New Year’s post (but it speaks to lifestyle as well) that Aunt Sassy (my daughter) published on her site for solo travelers on January 1st:

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DREAM BIG.  start small.

I can’t count the numbers of times others, upon learning that I am travelling alone or camping alone or going to the movies alone, incredulously say “I would love to do that, but I just can’t!” And “just can’t” has a different meaning for everyone but usually it is some variation of being scared or anxious or overwhelmed or intimidated or….you get the picture. Here’s the thing: if you have actually said some variation of wanting to do that someday but being too scared to do it then you are actually worlds ahead of those who have never even considered doing anything as “crazy as this.” If you are one of those who has never ever in your life considered challenging yourself in this way and are totally happy the way your current level of adventure is in your life, then so be it and awesome for you (and why are you reading this blog?) BUT if you are so blessed/cursed with this desire to go out and explore the world, then you are already at the “but HOW do I actually do it” phase. This phase is where I am a Viking. So I got your back. Here’s the dealio. Ya gotta DREAM BIG! But start small.
First, spend some time daydreaming about those huge things you wanna do and where you wanna do them. This is not the time to be practical or reasonable, this is the let your inner child run wild. For instance, I want to sip wine (and eat pasta) in a café in Italy after a day of gazing at art and architecture. I wanna gulp beer in a Bavarian tavern after touring the Neuschwanstein Castle. I want to blissfully wander around Quebec City some long winter weekend. I want to sweat in a bazaar in Istanbul. I wanna savor Scotch after a day of angling in Scotland. I want to sip pina coladas on tropical beaches (at least once a year). And, above all, Iceland. All of it. Etc. And so on, and more. These are my dreams. (And someday, many of them will be my stories). Take some time to dream big. Write those big dreams down. Tell them to someone. Speak your fantasy into a wish. Turning those wishes into goals comes later.
So, now you are dreaming big….. but, did you get overwhelmed at all by thinking about actually doing those? Did you catch yourself saying “aw, but I can’t actually DO these things.” This is where the starting small comes in. When it comes to action, small steps are the key to later taking big leaps. The truth is I already have a lot of my big dreams done, many of them were easier to do with other people….I’ve wandered art museums and sipped wine in Paris in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, I’ve toured London several times, I spent a month in Hong Kong, a summer in Morocco, and sipped many a pina colada on many a tropical beach. But I can’t do all of those remaining wishes of mine right now…not only do I not have the time and money yet, but I also don’t have the research done yet. And some of those are really intimidating if I don’t know what I’m doing yet. It doesn’t matter how much I travel, I am still very intimidated about travelling to unknown places (especially where I don’t know the language) alone. I’ve done it and I will continue to do, but it is still scary. And the longer times in between trips, the more anxious I get before the next big one. So I often have to start small again.
Starting small means starting where YOU are NOW. And it’s different for everyone so it isn’t gonna be starting at the same place someone else starts (so stop comparing). What are you currently comfortable with and is there a way you can push just a teeny tiny bit past that? Are you okay with flying somewhere alone for business, but get overwhelmed with going on a vacation by yourself? Are you ok with driving a few hours away but not quite ready for a big road trip by yourself? Are you okay with running into Starbucks and waiting in line for your Pumpkin Spice Latte alone but not ready to go to a nice dinner by your lonesome? Figure out small step things you can do. For instance, on your next business trip, maybe stay 2 days longer and do some sightseeing alone. Or perhaps choose a place you are okay driving, but book a night in a hotel and go out for dinner while there to make it more of a roadtrip. Next time you are in the Starbucks line, get your coffee “for here” and get used to sitting alone quietly reading a book while caffeinating. This is your chance to push yourself just a little more and have some fun with it. Once you start small where you are NOW, you will have found yourself just a little further along. And then, you start small from where you are then. Before you know it, small steps turn into quite the epic journey.
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This is me exploring our nation’s capitol by night when my work sent me there for a conference by day. Starting small. But I’d been dreaming big about visiting DC for decades.

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Here’s the link to Stacy’s site ( You will also find a lot of women’s self-confidence content there).  Consider Following her at:

 http://fatauntsassy.com

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