On getting started

by Kim on July 1, 2012 · 57 comments

There is a line in a Bob Dylan song that captures the way I feel about the past few years of my life:

I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

I’m the oldest child, a worrier, used to caretaking. I graduated college young, married young, and started my career when my peers were nowhere near settling down. When many of my friends went through a mini-crisis about turning 30 my only thought was finally.  I felt I’d been there a long time already.

Order and responsibility make me feel comfortable so I never was unhappy about my natural role. But I had a carefree and creative side that was often stifled by the sense of responsibility I felt to follow all of the rules.

Before Brian and I started this trip I worried about a million things. I worried that I would worry so much about spending our savings that I wouldn’t enjoy myself. I worried that I would lose my shit when things didn’t go as expected. I worried I would regret leaving my career, that I would hate living out of a backpack, that I would be grumpy and mean and feel out of control.  It’s the reason I wrote my 10 commandments.

But I have been surprising myself.  When our car died in Asheville I didn’t lose my cool. I called Brian and he identified the problem and I called AAA.  I did only what I could do. I was surprised that I shrugged my shoulders and said well, I guess it’s just part of the adventure. I realized that, no matter how often things go awry, I’m accomplishing what I set out to do.

I am proud that I stoked that little spark of truth that asked for more into a flame. More life, more adventure, more time doing what I love. I am proud that I recognized that this part of me needed attention and that I followed through on giving it.

Brian and I play this little game where one of us asks what day is it? and the other will say Monday or Thursday or whatever day it really is and then we giggle like children do when they have done something mischievous. Every day feels like a little blessing now.

The process of getting here was scary and stressful and sad and I wondered thousands of times if we were making the wrong decision. I wondered if we would regret it. I worried I’d lost my mind completely.

But here is what I want you to know. I want to grab you by the shoulders and shake you, look you in the eyes and tell you this: If there is something that you feel deep in your bones that you need to do please do it.  Overcoming everything: the fear, the stress, and the worry is your opportunity to prove to yourself and the universe that you really want what you know in your heart you want. All of the turmoil, and there will be turmoil, is worth it when you step into the life you know you were meant to live.

I know that Brian and I have months and even years of living this dream ahead of us. I know there will be bad days and major failures.  But this is what I have learned: Starting is the hardest part. And the starting doesn’t begin when you step on the plane for a faraway land or open that door to the business you’ve dreamed of opening.

The starting starts on the day when you wake up and refuse to live another minute of a life that doesn’t make you all the way happy. The starting starts when you drag that little tingle of a dream out of the dusty corners of your soul, shake it off and say “Thank you for staying with me all of these years. It’s your turn now.”

You will get started in your own time, and before you get started there will be so much anxiety and fear that you will believe that you can’t possibly do it.  You can.  And when you do, I’m speaking from experience here, you will have not a single regret.

Me, happy and hiking in Yellowstone National Park.

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{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda July 1, 2012 at 11:13 am

!!!!!!!!!!!!! Y E S !!!!!!!!! Kim! Wonderful, beautiful, inspiring, amazing!!! So proud of you and so moved. Travel wide you gorgeous thing, travel wide!!!!!

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Kim July 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm

XOXOX Thanks lady. Love you.

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Tracy July 1, 2012 at 11:20 am

Love this post! Janet and I loved playing the ‘What day is it?’ game when we were on our road trip, it’s hard to explain exactly why that game is so much fun until you get a chance to play yourself. So glad you two are learning to really slow down and enjoy every moment

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Kim July 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Is it not the best game of all time??? Give Portland a big hug from me.

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Erica July 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

THANK YOU!!! You give us the courage to start too! We are still in the stage of being worried, but reading this gives us the push to just continue on our path. We’ll be all right…

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Kim July 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Erica, I am so glad… I swear that all the worry and stress is worth it in the end. DO IT!

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wendy July 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

For me, this is by far the best post you have written. thank you for being my friend, for inspiring me and thousands of people to be better, live our dreams and not be afraid. You are truly an inspiration and a blessing to us all.

One day i will follow in your foot steps.

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Kim July 1, 2012 at 5:27 pm

XOXOXOX. I love you and miss you!!!! I know you will do everything you set out to do.

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Hannah July 1, 2012 at 1:26 pm

“Thank you for staying with me all of these years. It’s your turn now.” LOVE this! It is your turn now Kim, to go out there and set the world on fire. I’m excited to watch each step that you and Brian take out there into this new life that has been waiting for you all this time. I can tell the stars are smiling :)

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Kim July 1, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Thank you Hannah :) I’m so excited to follow your life too.

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Shelley Watson July 1, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Great post! We are setting out on a RTW trip in August and also chose to start with a road trip through the U.S. and Canada. I am writing my post about our journey today and plan to post it soon! This whole process is so exciting and scary at the same time. Your words explained exactly how I am feeling today. Can’t wait to keep following your adventure.

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Kim July 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Shelley, congrats on your big adventure! I have been loving traveling through the US. I wish we were doing Canada too. There is so much to see!

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Lindsey July 1, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Yes, Yes, YES!! Thank you Kim for such a GREAT post! The decision to start, or even admitting you want to start in the first place, can be one of the hardest things in life. BUT the starting itself and then the living is amazing. This was such a beautiful, inspiring and deeply true thing to read.

“You will get started in your own time, and before you get started there will be so much anxiety and fear that you will believe that you can’t possibly do it. You can. And when you do, I’m speaking from experience here, you will have not a single regret.”

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Kim July 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Lindsey, thank you!!! I love hearing from people that know the feeling of fear and charge ahead anyway.

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Lindsey July 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm

You’re welcome :)

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Lauren July 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Beautiful post, Kim! I can totally hear in my head you and B giggling like little kids and it makes me smile. Love to both of you.

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Love to you too, Lauren. XO

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Christina Marie July 2, 2012 at 4:13 am

This is so motivational! I’ve dreaming of a life of spontaneity and travel for as long as I can remember. It was just recently, through blogs like yours, that I realized this lifestyle was a hundred possible, if I really wanted it.
I don’t know for sure when, but I’m definitely going to make it happen for my self. I’m and college now and would like to graduate first (I’m only one year away!) but after that, who knows? There’s a world of possibility!
Thanks for sharing your story!

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm

There really is a world of possibility. I think it is so important to KNOW, really know, how much is possible. You will figure it out and it will be beautiful. Good luck!

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Sarah Somewhere July 2, 2012 at 6:29 am

Woohoo! Amazing, inspirational post Kim. Can I write a post called “What She Said”? I whole heartedly agree that the first step is the most difficult, putting my application in for my redundancy was the defining moment for me – so scary, but such a simple step that it scares me I might have missed it. I swam with sea turtles AGAIN today. I can’t believe I doubted this!!! But, like you, I did and it’s made this journey all the more rewarding. Happy travels guys, following you every step, as always :)

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Haha. I want to write a few posts called “what she said” and point them towards you! OXOXOX. Love you lady.

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Ali July 2, 2012 at 6:43 am

I love this post! I needed a reminder today to just get started, and you’re right, it is hard. But if I’m ever going to have the life I really want, I need to just start moving forward no matter how scary it is. I’m so happy for you and Brian that you turned your dream into a reality!

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Thank you Ali. I think you and Andy have done the same, no? XO

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Waegook Tom July 2, 2012 at 7:16 am

Love this post, Kim! Starting IS the hardest part, and we should always follow our gut, especially on those things that we don’t know WHY we have to do it, but we just DO.

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Yes. It is so important to go forward even when you can’t explain WHY. If you know you need to do it, DO IT!

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Ayngelina July 2, 2012 at 11:32 am

I had never heard that quote but I so agree, I do feel much younger than I did before.

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Ah, yes. It is a blessing.

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Cheryl Dinan July 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Kim and Brian, I am so happy that you are having the BEST time on your adventure!!! We are always thinking of you two and keeping you both in our hearts! Stay safe and stay in touch. Love you always, Mom

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Mom, we are. It makes me so happy that you commented on the blog. Love you always too. XO.

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Darcy @SustainableFamilyFinances July 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm

You’re truly glowing Kim!

I’m so happy to your life adventure begin…happy almost Independence Day…you’re living it :-)

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:49 pm

IT IS WONDERFUL!!!! Thinking of you often Darcy.

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Jen July 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Kim, I just found your blog today, read through a few posts, and will definitely be back. Good luck in your travels, and I look forward to reading more!

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Jen, I’m so glad you found the blog! Thank you for reading!!

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Kim @kimolsonphoto July 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

Hi Kim,

I agree wholeheartedly with your post and I like to remind myself of a couple of things as I go along in this life.

1) What’s the worse thing that can happen? (Usually it’s not so terrible.)

2) Will I regret more *not* doing it? Most times it’s better to give it a try and, as you say, just get started.

I think it’s so sad the people think the best times of their lives are in college and after retirement. There’s a whole lot of living in between that should never be neglected.

Thanks for sharing! :)

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:52 pm

YES! I love everything you said. I had a few years where I thought the best time was during college. I’m so glad I was able to realign my life and prove that that isn’t the case at all.

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Fran July 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Love your writing! Keep it up — and I hope our paths cross in South America :)

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Yes, that would be wonderful! We will be there in August!

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Lisa July 5, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I’m so happy for you. You look so very happy! I just accepted a two year contract in Hungary. I leave in three weeks. Your note about all the stress and ups and downs is much appreciated today.

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Kim July 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Thanks Lisa, CONGRATS on the contract in Hungary. Three weeks will be here before you know it. Cheers to a wonderful adventure.

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Manda July 6, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Ekk.. this post rings home to me so much.
I cant wait for my adventure to start!!

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Kim July 7, 2012 at 10:05 am

Congrats! Trust me, I totally understand how hard it is to wait!

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Rhonda July 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Love the pic of you hiking, you look radiant. We are SO thrilled to have gotten to know you before you embarked on this amazing journey and can’t wait to continue to follow along on your journey.
As for us, we’re still in plotting & planning mode but must tell you we just had the best week camping on Lopez & Orcas islands… amazing amazing amazing!
Keep in touch.
Cheers,
Rhonda & Jim

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Kim July 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I was sweaty- but I’ll take radiant! ;)

I’m so glad you loved the islands! I was just telling Brian today I wish we had more time in the states. I could spend a month or more traveling around the San Juans! Glad you guys are well.

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Andrea July 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

What a wonderful post! Maybe I’ll write my 10 commandments…. great idea! Fear and worry is such a waste of time. I’m also an oldest child and fit into that same category of worriers as you. Since returning from my 6 months of traveling Europe, I find that I worry less, the things I thought were important (owning a home, stuff!) aren’t as important as experiences. I get little niggling worries now, but I’m better able to push them aside.
Great blog! I’m looking forward to further exploring it.

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Kim July 15, 2012 at 8:44 am

Yes! You should totally write your ten commandments. They’re really helped me. Especially the one about not complaining when I am uncomfortable because everyone else probably is too- that one I really struggle with.

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Augustine July 17, 2012 at 3:52 am

I am inspired about your post. I have come to believe that God did not give us the spirit fear. He has given us the power to overcome every fear. Whatever we intend to do in life, we just need to be courageous and make a good choice and pursue it. Once we start, the grace is there to back us up.
Thank you so much for such encouraging post.

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Kim July 17, 2012 at 9:19 am

Hi Augustine. I think that this is so right on: “once we start, the grace is there to back us up.” Beautifully said.

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Jenni August 29, 2012 at 2:29 am

That almost made me cry – if I wasn’t at work I probably would have! It was the picture of you in Yellowstone that did it – my partner and I watched the most stunning BBC documentary about Yellowstone 4 years ago and ever since we’ve dreamed of going there, but as we live in the UK we thought it might not happen due to the cost. Then 5 months ago we discovered that maybe we could go and not just to Yellowstone but travel the world. We’re in the process of selling everything we own and working on our website and figuring out what jobs we can do to finance ourselves while we’re on the move. I keep getting moments where I think ‘there’s no way we can actually do this’, but that little dream you described so well keeps popping back up and making me believe again as we both know that it’s going to happen, there’s no choice now it’s found it’s voice! Thank you for helping me to keep believing, reading other peoples adventures keeps it real. I hope you’re having the time of your lives, can’t wait to do the same.
Jenni x

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Deborah September 21, 2012 at 11:20 am

Sitting at my office job browsing random travel blogs I’ve discovered through just searching google, and came across yours today. This post almost made me cry as well. So inspiring and everything you speak is the truth.

Before reading this post I’d actually just pulled another quote from one of your other posts – “One life. Just one. Why aren’t we all running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?” I love this so much.

Reading this post has made my heart race a little as I know how much I want to travel but it’s the getting started that scares me.

Thank you so much for your blog.

Deb
Vancouver, BC

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Kim September 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Deborah, I am so SO glad you found my blog. I write it for people just like you (who are just like me). I have learned to pay attention to things that make my heart race because, so much of the time, it is because I am hearing a truth that resonates with me. I wish you so much luck. Starting is hard and scary but, I can say with 100% honestly, completely worth it.

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Montecristo Travels (Sonja) October 4, 2012 at 8:12 am

Thank you … we are planning to sail around the med in 2015. The countdown is on. I am almost 40 my hubby 51. We travel with a small service dog. We will do this. I am terrified and excited. I know it will be amazing. We already travel a great deal but this is long term travel. It’s different. For now the “fear” is strong. but I can’t wait for that 1st of May 2015 … when for 6 months … we will be doing what we love. LIVING. Reading your blog is really helpful. Thank you for putting it out there for others to find.

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Kim October 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Oh, I absolutely know the feeling of being terrified and excited. Everything leading up to taking off on this adventure was TERRIFYING. I was honestly terrified, would lie in bed at night awake with anxiety. But this is the best thing I have ever done. I have not a single regret. The fear is worth it, I promise.

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Trish Moratto May 31, 2013 at 6:13 am

Geez, I feel like we are so alike. I can relate on the feeling prematurely old part. Love to follow another couple doing the same thing. :) Keep writing I love reading your style. It makes me want to be more personal in my blog posts. I’m not good at that. I usually just write fact based things that are way less interesting and fun than your style.
Trish Moratto recently posted..Buddhist New Year: A Splashy Introduction to Songkran

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Kim May 31, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Thanks Trish. Now I feel younger than my age! Funny how life will do that to you :)

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