Take the leap: the risk isn’t what you think it is

by Kim on February 12, 2012 · 14 comments

Photo by allspice1, flickr creative commons

I have a favorite quote which I have recited to myself hundreds of times over the last three years:

“There comes a time when one must risk everything or sit forever with one’s dream.”

When I decided that I wanted to leave my job and sell all my stuff to take a shot at traveling and writing full-time, I believed I was risking everything to follow the dream.  I was terrified, but the thought of sitting forever with my dream was unbearable.  I knew that I had to allow myself the opportunity to coax the truest part of who I am out from deep inside and bring her to life. 

The risks were huge.  I thought I was risking my marriage, my happiness, financial security, my career.  I thought I might lose it all.  There were no guarantees that anything would work out the way I hoped. 

As I look back over the past couple of years, from where I sit today, I see that I really have risked a lot. 

But I also see that everything that really matters was never at risk.  The things I had before that truly meant something to me I still have today.

I still have my husband who is a bigger, braver version of himself.  I still have my family who, even if they can’t completely understand why we’re doing what we’re doing, continue to love me. I still have my friends.  I still have my dogs.  I still have my health. I won’t have my career, but I have the possibility of a new career doing what I love.  I don’t have a house full of stuff, or a house for that matter, but I still have everything I need. 

In fact, not only do I still have everything that mattered to me before, but I have more than I had before.  I have faith, now, in the bigger thing that weaves us all together; where I used to see coincidence I now see connection.  I have a clear and constant channel of communication with my inner voice.  I have this blog which gives me a forum to share what I write. I have hope that my big dreams will live and flourish.  I have joy.

I had to be willing to risk it all, because my willingness was proof to the universe that I was ready to see this dream through to fruition. 

In the end, though, the unexpected magic in it all was that I didn’t have to give up anything that truly mattered.

96 days until the journey begins. 



{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmel February 12, 2012 at 4:09 pm

And what a gift it is to recognize that.

Just over 14 weeks!!


Kim February 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Such a gift 🙂

Under 100 days now!!!


Hannah February 13, 2012 at 2:39 am

I agree with Carmel – what a gift indeed. It is a beautiful thing to place your faith in your dreams and have the courage to step forth into the unknown. You are a true inspiration and I am so grateful that you share your journey so freely with us all xxx


Kim February 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Thanks Hannah. You are quite the inspiration yourself XO


Miel February 13, 2012 at 4:39 am

You journey has already begun. 🙂



Kim February 13, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Yes, it has. I feel that way, definitely.


Sarahsomewhere February 13, 2012 at 7:57 am

Here, here Kim. Sitting here at a beautiful guest house in Cambodia, I can wholly vouch for the point you make here. Doing what we have done hasn’t been easy, or stress free, but is has already been absolutely worth it. Our worries really do seem a million miles away. A week in, and we look entirely different to the people that boarded that plane. The lives we had chosen for ourselves weren’t feeding us anymore. The life we have today is, and I mean that, no matter what happens.
I am not worried about the future today. I am not fininacially insecure. I am not putting any pressure on myself to be anything other than a girl in Cambodia today.
And that, is absolutely perfect.


Kim February 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Sarah! It is such a relief to hear this. I mean, even though I know that all logic points to this being a great experience, I still worry that we won’t like it or it won’t be great… I know I just have to wait and have the experience for myself and then look back and wonder why I was worrying so much.

I hope we adjust as quickly as you and T have (I am calling him that because I can’t spell his name ;)). Reading about your experiences is getting me even more excited, if that’s possible.


Erica February 13, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Hi Kim,
Again another inspiring post. It is so exciting to read your stories, since we are just a few months behind. We have also left our doubts behind and are getting more and more confident that we will make it. I am really looking forward to being further in the process and being able to say “less than 100 days before we leave”.. Enjoy your last months being physically close to family, friends and dogs!


Kim February 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm

We just dropped under the 100 day mark! I’d been waiting for that milestone forever. We will definitely enjoy the last few months of this life before the new adventure begins… sometimes I still can’t believe we are so close.


Cherina February 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm

You are so inspiring, Kim! I love that idea of not resigning yourself to ‘sitting with your dream’. It’s amazing what can great things can happen when you take a chance on something. Agree with Miel that you are already on your new journey.


Kim February 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Thanks Cherina 🙂 I do feel like the journey has already begun.


amy September 28, 2012 at 9:06 am

Hi Kim, your blog is really inspiring and reassuring me. My bf and I are leaving for our RTW trip in March and while we’re still in the planning phases I have moments of doubt about what we’re doing and sadness for what we’re leaving behind. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s riskier to stay here and live this life that I don’t really love than it is to get up and go. Thanks for keeping me determined to fulfil my travel dreams!


Kim September 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Amy!!! I want to give you a big gigantic hug because I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL. I hate to say it, but prepare to cry more in the months before you leave than you have in years (at least that was the case for me). But I can honestly say that once you are out here you will wonder what in the world you were so sad and scared and worried about. Really. Living through the leaving part is really hard but once you’ve left the sadness leaves you. It’s worth it! XOXO and good luck in the coming months.


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