Staying Motivated in the Pursuit of Epic Dreams

"I asked myself, can you do this? I answered, I will try. So I'm curious if I can. If I make it, I'll know I can. I've crossed a boundary." - Laura Dekker, sailor

I recently took a leap of faith. I made public my plans to turn a dream of RTW travel into a reality. I felt the energy shift immediately: The new get-specific phase is distinctly different from the wishing-and-hoping phase. Even though long-term travel is basically all I think about, I'm a realist who knows it will be difficult to successfully maintain my stressful full-time career, save enough money to travel for at least one year, and have sufficient energy reserves to dedicate to planning and to this website. Not even 24 hours after my post went live, it's like long-term traveler Matt Kepnes (aka Nomadic Matt) read my mind. He published an article on his site about staying motivated to travel. Okay, Universe, I'm paying attention. In summary, Matt's seven ways to keep motivation high:

Hold yourself accountable. Research places to go. Devote time. Read travel blogs. Read books. Learn a language. Take a break. 

To his list, I would add a tactic similar to blogs and books: Movies. Specifically travel documentaries. The films can be about places you want to visit, experiences you want to have, or simply about inspiring people who make you realize you want it all so bad you can barely breathe. I recently watched two travel docs on Netflix that I highly recommend.

180° South is about a group of climbers and surfers who have a goal to conquer specific mountains in Patagonia. The journey to Patagonia (by sailboat) is as epic as the time spent adventuring with the founders of Conservacion Patagonica once they arrive. The moment that resonated to my core: "If I don't get on that boat, I know exactly what I'm going home to. If I do, my future is unwritten." The film is beautifully made, the narration is thought provoking, and the men are wicked hot. If beards and adventure and pristine landscapes and travel are your thing, enjoy. You're welcome.

The second film is Maidentrip. Laura Dekker was all of 13 years old when she began her plans to circumnavigate the globe in a sailboat. Solo. No follow boat. No support team. Simply put, "I want to travel the world. I want to see all the places, not always the same stupid thing. In Holland you get money, a car, a house, kids, and then you die. I don't want any of it." Many may consider her a rebellious teenager, and there are obviously elements of that spirit, but I consider her a highly self-actualized human being. I cannot tell you how inspired I am by Laura. She filmed the entire trip, which took 519 days and covered 27,000 nautical miles, and turned it into a documentary feature.

I can't say it more perfectly than 16 year old Laura did at the end of the film: "I wanted the storms. I wanted the calm. I wanted to feel loneliness. I wanted to know what it felt like to be the sea. Now I know. It was an end of the dream I had as a kid and it's the beginning of my life as a sailor."

Laura Dekker remains the youngest person ever to solo circumnavigate the globe in a sailboat.

Another line from 180° South that struck a cord: The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning, you didn't think to ask.

Love, motivation, and staying open to magic,

A word on clarity, declarations, and the power of your voice (part one)

RTW Adventure. Yes, I said it.