—”What If Spirit”— that is how I named my journey around the world…
I left home 4 months ago already, and I am currently in Bangkok, Thailand.
Apart from having a great time around the world, I am also on a quest to find out more about the future of Education. In each country I visit, I interview teachers, headmasters, entrepreneurs, corporates to have their views. So far, I spent 2 months in the Nordics, one month in India, one week in Singapore and I am currently in Bangkok.
I have struggled to share my experience so far…mainly because of a lot of fears.
But I feel like it could help others achieve their dream too, no matter what is the dream so I decided to push myself a little bit harder and just give it a go.
1. Visualise your dream
In my room, I placed a huge map of New Zealand that I would see every single morning when I woke up and every night before going to sleep.
Around the map, there were photos of experiences I really like to live such as running, trekking, doing sports (any kind of sport), taking pictures, going out with my friends, etc.
I really believe that visualising your dream makes it far easier to reach it!
2. Define your fears
That is one of the best and effective tip ever. How does it work? Instead of thinking about your dream, you think about “what could happen to me? what would be the worst thing that could happen to me” and then you break it down.”
Funny enough, it starts with “What If…”
1- DEFINE — what are the worst things that could happen to you?
For me, it was (for instance): I get sick / I don’t have any money to achieve it / I can’t find any client when I am back to France / Traveling alone as a woman is risky…
2- PREVENT — What could I do to prevent each of these bullets from happening, or, at the very least, decrease the likelihood even a little bit?
I get sick => Make sure I do all vaccines I possibly can, take tons of medicines, respect the rule: “Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it”
I don’t have any money to achieve it => Save as much as I can, go find some sponsors, travel cheaper, plan ahead (this will be another post ^^)
Security issue travelling by my own => Let my family know where I am going, travel with some friends, respect some basic security rules (this will be another post ^^), read before going
I can’t find any client when I am back to France => Change my business,
I get sick => I got sick in India (for 4 days, only after 1 day). You don’t want the details… but then between my travel buddy and myself, we had all the medicines we need. And then it is a philosophical posture, I know I can become really sick, but that is ok for me (I can’t prevent everything from happening otherwise I would stay home)
I don’t have any money to achieve it =>I can always go back home to my parent’s place, I could work somewhere to earn some money,
Security issue travelling by my own =>Well, here there is nothing I can do…
I can’t find any client when I am back to France =>Change the country, apply for a job (i don’t think so but), find a more basic job
SEE, at the end of your table, you realise that it is okay
3- What would the “old you say” if you don’t?
Whenever I have to take a “big” decision in my life, I always picture myself on my dying bed, whenever I will look back at my life. Will I be proud of the risks I took? Of the challenges I overtake? Have I lived the life I really wanted? Is it my own life or someone’s else life?
And I have found that the benefits of taking those risks are always higher than my fears…
4- Chose a day (any day!)
Walt Disney once said: “the difference between a dream and a project is a date” I really like this quote.
When I want to achieve my goals, I set up a meeting. Literally. I set up a Calendar invite with myself, in this world tour case, I chose a day: the 14th of August “Go to Copenhague” and I just booked a flight ticket.
It was maybe 8 months ahead. Why not on the 17th? or the 1st of September? It does not really matter the when, as far as you do have a date and an action.
5- Plan what you can — backwards planning
I used “backward planning” I guess it can be useful for those who find it hard to get started.
How does it work?
Once you have identified your goal (here “go on a world tour”) you now have to identify the sequences to achieve it. I like to use Trello to get my stuff organised in columns.
6- Tell the world… so you can’t escape!
I told my parents and family first, and then my client (maybe 6 months before leaving). I found it really convenient to let people know, because in a way, you can’t let them down, and by doing so, you don’t let you down either.
Every now and then, people would ask you “how is the planning going”? and then it reminds you “oh s***, I haven’t work that much lately on my own plan…” and then you go back on working.
7- Be creative to find the funds
The way I saw it. The question is not “how much money do you need to go on a world tour” but “what do you need the money for”. Basically, you need the money for the insurance, the flight ticket, the accommodation, the food, some sightseeing, etc. I got some financial sponsors (I will write an entire post about how to find the funds later on) but I also thought about “how can I make it cheaper”) by using my network to find locals to host me, by cooking instead of buying food…
8- Celebrate with your friends
I truly believe that having friends to share your doubts, questions, fears, hope is key. You will need them whenever it gets tough, you will want to share with them when you experience an amazing moment. Friends are also here to remind you to be happy and to go after your dreams, and some will also end up travelling with you!
9- Have fun with the settings
Going on a world tour also mean that you must change your mindset completely. You will have to let it go on a lot of things and accept you can’t control everything. I had a lot of fun thinking myself as if I were MacGyver (am I that old to have that serie as a reference?), so I packed things that you would only need when travelling, for instance, the mosquito net that I need to fix somehow with a rubber tape. I really enjoyed preparing my world tour, setting up my “world tour” google map, picturing all those nice places I would go, even going to Pasteur to have my vaccines was quite fun…
10- Remember: you are only one flight away from home
At the end of the day, and that is going back to the “define/prevent/repair” framework, at the end of the end, I know I can always go back home if I wanted. So what to worry?