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It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

But sometimes your dreams don’t turn out as planned, and that’s okay.

The question I invite you to ponder on is - are you staying open to what your experience has to offer or do you feel immobilised by staying stuck on an idea of how things should be?

I dreamt of living abroad before I turn 30. That I did. I dreamt of leading my own project. That I did. Did it play out the way I had imagined? That definitely didn’t.

Moving to France was an absolute privilege (that I had worked very hard for) and it has been an adventure that brought me a lot of perspective and growth. I would like to share the lessons I learnt as I set out to live my dreams. One – A picture doesn’t quite paint a thousand words

Everybody romanticised the idea of moving abroad that nobody talked about the reality of the process. 15s of Instastory is insufficient to narrate the whole picture which makes reality so underrated. We let ourselves get caught up with the shallowness of the digital world that we hide our truest and deepest feelings in the real world. Is it just me or do we all feel this need to pretend that we have it all together to avoid judgement from others?

Indeed, sometimes there are no words to describe life. Except that it’s hard. Life is not but full of challenges. So lets be kind to ourselves and others as we walk this journey of life together.

Two - This is what dreams are made of

Hard-work, loneliness, doubts, confusion, rebuilding from scratch again and again and again. Oh, and the horror of administrative processes, finding your tribe/support system and in some cases language barrier. There were so many nights I found myself ugly-crying in my room, wondering if I had made the right choice. The answer? I have to keep believing in myself, work hard and surrender to the outcome.

The truth is moving abroad on your own is fucking hard. In spite of this fact, I strongly encourage you to do it. If it has always been a dream of yours – do it. Nothing can go wrong from listening to your heart. Except for the unexpected failures and detours but we don’t call it a leap of faith for nothing, am I right? The way I see it (and it’s cliché) – you either win or your learn, which brings me to my next point.

Three - You’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for

Living abroad was a dream that I’ve had since I was a kid. Growing up as an underprivileged kid, the idea of even traveling abroad was close to impossible. Then as a young adult, it was the lack of self-belief and limited thinking that held me back from fulfilling the dream. I had begun to lose hope… then life had an interesting way to remind me – I met a soul who reignited the spark within me and I am eternally thankful for that phase of my life.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

If someone had told me 5-10 years ago that I would be living in Toulouse in 2022, I wouldn’t have believed it. Yet here I am, an independent woman living in France by herself. I found the strength and courage to get through every step of the process: 1. Paperwork 2. Work opportunities 3. Support system 4. Adjustment to the new life in a foreign land.

It isn’t easy, especially the time in between taking those first steps and reaching the moment when my desire becomes my reality. The most challenging times is in those middle moments. It's mundane, it's long and it's a slog. But it's necessary - it's those spaces in between where I built my resilience, patience and really get to know myself.

Four – To be ok with what is

Uncertainty paralyses me. I’m unable to plan ahead as I am still waiting for an answer for my visa application – it has brought me much anxieties and worries. At this point, I don’t know what life has in store for me. I can only pray and surrender to what is. What I do know is this:

It was never about moving and living abroad. It is the journey. It is the lessons I learnt along the way that led me to arrive here.

As long as I continue to live in alignment with my purpose and intentions, it does not matter where life takes me. I am staying open to what this experience has to offer me.

"It's awesome to have goals and dreams. But what's more important is focusing on the person you become on a consistent basis to create those dreams. And also, being so proud and at peace of who you've become even if the dreams don't come true. There's been a lot of things I've chased after where the dreams didn't come true but the life was a dream come true - who I get to meet, what I got to experience, what I overcame, the lessons I learnt, the memories I created." - Lewis Howes

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