Dreams are free

by Kim on February 20, 2011 · 32 comments

Dreams are free


One thing that I didn’t know before I started my blog is how much information a blogger or website owner can retrieve about people that visit their site.  Don’t worry, I don’t know anything creepy about you, but I do know how my visitors happen upon my blog.  Plenty of people come over from twitter and facebook and from referrals on other blogs, but most come over from google. 

Now, I can see what my readers type into their google search to find my blog.  I get a lot of hits from people googling phrases like “RTW budget” or “travel around the world” or “hiking in Oregon.”  It’s fun and interesting to see what people are looking for.  The other day I was taking a look at my google analytics stats and I noticed that someone found my blog by googling this phrase:

“I want to follow my dream but I have no money”

And, ohmygod, my heart just broke a little. 

Because, you see, I know exactly how that feels.  I have so been there.  In fact, most of my life I’ve had big dreams, huge dreams, that I never thought would come true because I had no money.  Or rather, I had just enough money, but never more than that.  In those days, I thought that money made things possible.  I thought that, without it, I would be destined to live forever in the world I was born in to, the world of paycheck-to-paycheck.  The world of watching other people take chances because they had something to fall back on, while I played it safe because I couldn’t afford a safety net. 

Here’s what I want to say to the person that googled those words.

You are already on your way.  Because, if you have a dream that consumes you, a dream that keeps you up at night, a dream that sets you searching on the Internet for ways to make it come true, you’ve already got the thing that most people would kill to have.  And it isn’t money.  It’s a drive, a desire, to chase something bigger than what you are.  You have a dream.  You carry it inside you.  Without it, all the money in the world matters not one bit. 

There are two quotes from very wise people that I say to myself when the idea of following my dreams feels too overwhelming and I am stumbling around feeling ill-equipped and lacking even the basic tools to achieve it. 

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it come true. – Richard Bach

And then I remember that even though I don’t know how I’m going to get there, and even though I fear I don’t have enough money or talent or whatever, I have to trust that I was given my dream for a reason and at the same time given the tools to make it come true.   

I have to show up and take a step towards my dream, whatever kind of step I can manage.  Some days, the step is so small that no one else on earth knows I’m taking it.  Some days all I can do is keep the fire burning by saying my dream when I wake up in the  morning and before I go to bed at night.  Some days it’s writing one single page in my journal.  Some days it’s a google search. 

And after years of believing that money would give me the security I needed to follow my dream, I finally realized that dreams and money don’t have much in common.  In fact, money is the siren song that leads so many people away from their true calling.  It doesn’t take money to follow your dreams.  But I truly, honestly believe that if you follow your dreams, the money will find you, eventually.  Maybe not a ton of money, probably not a ton of money, but it will be enough. 

Here’s my advice to that google searcher:  If you want to follow your dreams but you have no money, pursue the parts of your dreams that don’t require any money.  Practice. Research.  Plan.  Study.  Give everything you can give to your dream.  You don’t have to see the whole staircase, remember?  Just take the first step. 



{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Gillian @OneGiantStep February 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Um…wow. Kim, you are going places my friend. (Can I call you friend now…even though we have yet to share a beer?) Dream big, live big, and take those Giant Steps one small one at a time. Cheers!


Kim February 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Gillian, thank you. And yes, please call me a friend (as I will call you). I’m so looking forward to the day we share a beer. Your encouragement through all of this means so much. 🙂


Amy February 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Kim, I really like this post. I had never heard those quotes before but I think they are spot on. I hope the google searcher finds inspiration in this post, because I know I did.


Kim February 20, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Hi Amy, thanks. I hope so too.


FearfulGirl February 20, 2011 at 10:31 pm

How sweet that you wrote a post to your poor dream searcher. And your advice is spot on.

Now, can you please address an equally wise post to all the people that end up on my site (daily) by searching for “I see your nipples” or “nipples in public”? This search term has led dozens and dozens of people to an article of mine that mentions a wardrobe malfunction and I’m very creeped out, but too attached to the traffic influx to consider deleting the post 🙂


Kim February 20, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Haha, hilarious! That’s one way to drive up traffic, I might try that one out myself!!


Mike Lenzen February 21, 2011 at 8:55 am

I enjoyed this post. My view of the world has been shifting since I started planning my own RTW trip, and I agree with you completely.

Having the goal was half the battle. Since I started working towards it, things have slowly fallen into place, and there is no doubt now that I will be setting off sometime this summer.


Kim February 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

Hi Mike. Completely agree with what you are saying. Once you really commit to your dream the universe sort of expands to help make it possible. It seems so unlikely (especially at the beginning) but it’s true.


Kristin M February 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

Thank you so much for this, Kim. 🙂 It’s so motivating. I have to agree with Mike above: ever since I started really working towards my own goal, things have worked out far better than I could have expected, especially recently.


Kim February 21, 2011 at 10:05 am

Hi Kristin! It’s pretty cool, huh? Even when I hit bumps in the road (we are hitting one now, because selling our house is not looking possible) I know that things will work out, or that maybe what I am perceiving to be a bump really is a blessing in disguise. When you are on the right track I really don’t believe anything can stop you.


Roxanne February 21, 2011 at 10:49 am

I am one of the people who came here via Twitter and I am so glad that it brought me to you. What a moving, heartening post. I think we have all been “there” and you have articulated how to pursue dreams in a way that resonates deeply. Thank you.


Kim February 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hi Roxanne, thank you. I’m so glad that twitter brought you over here. We have surely all been there, and I think there’s some comfort in that as well.


inka February 21, 2011 at 11:25 am

I hope your dream searcher reads your post and starts taking this very first step. Very uplifting post.


Kim February 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Thanks Inka. I hope so too!


Brooke vs. the World February 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Beautiful and so true. I know so many people that want to do so many things, but money immediately makes them put the idea aside. They’d be surprised how much actually falls into place when pursuing it bit by bit.


Kim February 21, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Hi Brooke, yep, so often money seems to be the barrier but in truth there is so much work that can be done towards the dream that doesn’t require money. Things fall in to place when we put our heart into it.


Akila February 22, 2011 at 9:16 am

This is a great, great post and so very true. Dreams are free.

Here’s what I’d like to know, though: what should I say to the people that come to our site searching “I want a hobbit baby”? ‘Cause that’s a dream of its own kind.


Kim February 22, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Hahaha! A hobbit baby?? Man, I guess the first step in that case might be to find yourself a willing hobbit?


Odysseus February 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Wow, this is so beautiful, Kim. I honestly started to tear up a little when I read it. I’ve also had to go through money problems — not enough to make me actually poor, just enough to put my dreams on hold — but since I was really dedicated to my dreams of world travel, I handled it by getting a job abroad. Best decision in my life. And by this Sept., I should have saved enough to go on my rtw — which has been my dream for almost 6 years (though I only started actively pursuing it about 4 years ago).

Here’s the heart of my own story: http://odysseusdrifts.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-i-got-here.html


Kim February 24, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Hi Odysseus. I absolutely loved reading your story. I am so inspired by your hard work and dedication to pursuing your dreams (and now you are so close!). Thanks for sending that link to me. I’m glad Baci is doing well now. It seems as thought things worked out as they were supposed to.


margot April 15, 2011 at 3:16 am

99% of the time, money is just an excuse that people use instead of the real reasons they aren’t working toward their dreams or doing things toward their dreams. It’s ALWAYS possible to travel. There are dozens of ways to make it possible. I’ve traveled for less than $500 per month in some countries, and anyone can earn that at a second job in the US. I’ve traveled by renting out my apartment to someone who needed summer housing and was willing to pay a premium, and the extra money I made combined with what I would have spent anyway being in the US funded 5 weeks of travel in Costa Rica. Just what many Americans who think they are “poor” spend on restaurants or clothing or other luxuries could fund travel if that’s what they really prioritized.


Kim April 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

Margot, I know that you are right about this, but there are a whole other group of people out there that really can’t make $500 extra dollars a month. Those people don’t eat out and don’t blow money on unnecessary things. I know because I was one of them and there is no way I could have had the money to travel unless I traveled on credit, which I didn’t want to do. SO, this post is for them. BUT, when I was that poor I had no idea the different opportunities there were around the world, from getting a working visa in another country to teaching, etc. At some point, when I know more myself, I hope to write a post on that. Travel is more accessible than people think, for sure.


Lisa February 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Kim, you are so right, the strength of the dream insures those steps, big and small. Patience and small steps create new paths to fulfill the dream.


Kim February 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Hi Lisa, exactly. I wrote this post over a year ago and I have to say that my resolve in this is even stronger now. I started this dream when I had no money and no idea how to get where I wanted to go. Slowly, the steps unfolded in front of me. Now, I am almost on my way. It’s amazing.


Val @ThisWayToParadise March 17, 2013 at 12:58 am

Great message, Kim! So many people give up from the start. Determination is needed much more than any amount of money!


Kim March 17, 2013 at 1:44 am

Thanks Val. It’s so true. I found that when I really committed myself to my dream the universe almost stumbled over itself trying to line up the bricks on my path.


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