Finding courage…

We all have dreams, but finding the courage to make them a reality is another story.

Last year I traveled to the gorgeous Perhentian Islands off the east coast of Malaysia.  I’m usually quite particular in choosing my travel destinations. I’m usually very organised, I spend time researching the destination, reading blogs and preparing my ‘must do’ list.  Not in great detail, just the key things I want to see or do whilst I’m there but still leaving room for the unexpected opportunities that arise when you travel.

This time it was different. My friend Jen was living on the islands for the summer and I was in desperate need for a holiday. I’d got caught up in the rat race of life in the corporate world and had lost my way in life a little. So when Jen suggested I come visit her little piece of paradise to just ‘hang out’, I jumped at the chance. I knew nothing about this place, I’d never even heard of it before. I didn’t do any research or planning or even pack with any thought, I simply got on a plane and went to meet my friend.

I have an amazing life. I live in a fabulous apartment in a beautiful city, I have a job that some people only dream about and I’m surrounded by wonderful family and friends.  Yet I still feel so lost, so incomplete and miserable.  I feel so ungrateful for feeling these things as I am lucky to have this life. But it doesn’t matter what you have in life it means nothing if you’re not happy.

What I discovered in the Perhentian’s was the strength and courage to follow my dreams.

Since I was a child I wanted to be a photo-journalist. My dream was to work for National Geographic and photograph and report on gorillas in the wild.

Following my high school work experience at a newspaper I was offered a journalism cadetship, but I turned it down to finish school. Big mistake. I was young, naive and like most teenager’s just craved social acceptance. Consequently, I was easily led astray and ended up dropping out before doing my HSC. Since then, I just believed that this dream was beyond my reach.

I had some deep conversations with some fabulous friends whilst in Malaysia who gave me some great advice and the strength, courage and support to follow this dream.

What do I have to lose? We only have one life and you make it what you want. Sure I’m nervous. A little bit of that fear of social acceptance still sits in the back of my mind and sure, I may not make it as a professional, but does that really matter? As long as it makes me happy and I have fun trying.

So here I am, taking the first steps to following my dream…