Sometimes it is difficult to make your dream a reality, and sometimes the reality is not exactly what you dreamed it would be. If you are lucky the reality is even better than what you dreamed. Since I can remember my biggest dream has always been to travel and to see the whole world. I couldn’t wait to make this a reality and jumped at the first chance I got to travel abroad. Since then I haven’t really stopped.

I have taken a short break from travelling and have been living in Cape Town, South-Africa for 4 years now. But the travel bug has awoken from hibernation and it is time to pack my bags and go on another big adventure again. Personally I see travelling not only as visiting a new place but also as living there and immersing myself into the new culture! So this meant that I had to sit down and choose a new country in which I would like to live for a year or two. Not the easiest thing to do.

“Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly”.  ― Langston Hughes

This is how I decided where to go next:

1. Make a list of the countries with interesting cultures, countries that are not at all similar to where I grew up. For me these countries have to be different in culture, language and even beliefs. I know that countries like these pose a challenge and culture shock but that is what makes travelling exciting!!

2. Choose a continent, as the list of countries to go to would otherwise be never-ending. I have decided in Asia, as I love travelling in Asia and would love to go back.

3. Research the culture of each country on my list and eliminate the countries I feel I wouldn’t want to live in for a year or two. Countries that might be quite similar to ones I have lived in before or that are not very accommodating towards woman travelling alone. I previously lived and worked in Vietnam, Japan and South-Korea so they were not even on my list to start with.

4. Next, I looked at the travel prospects. which places within each country would I like to explore and how easy is it to travel to other countries from there.

5. I then researched job opportunities in each country on my list and created a short-list. I ended up with China, Hong-Kong, and Taiwan on my short list.

6. When planning on living in a country for a while, knowing the living cost could be a big deciding factor. Seeing as the living cost in Hong-Kong is extremely high it got scrapped from my list.

7. I was still deciding between China and Taiwan when an earthquake hit Taiwan. So that made up my mind for me. China it will be!!

The secret to change is one step at a time.” —Mark Twain

This is how I am making this travel dream a reality:

1. Focus. I have written down this dream to keep it fresh in my mind.

2. Getting organized and coming up with a strategic plan. I have made a checklist of what I will need to do in the coming days or weeks to realize my dream. Rather than just dreaming about it and hoping one day it comes to pass, create a plan that you could use to actually see it become reality. With a check list I can see what I have done and keep track of when I need to do certain things.

3. They always say that if you want something to become a reality, that you should tell people about it. I have now told my family and closest friends so that I will have a support system while I am trying to reach my dream. I do think it is sometimes harder to make a dream a reality on your own. By sharing my goals and dreams It helps me to stay encouraged and excited.

4. Apply for jobs!! To make my own life easier for me I have decided to find a job through an agency this time round. There are many job agencies out there so I had to do some research and found one that I really liked and connected with.

5 Believe in yourself and your abilities completely, that you will get that job you want!! In the simple but powerful words of Peter Pan: “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”

6. Make a decision and then stick to it. There are so many different kinds of jobs out there and when you start getting offers it is quite difficult to decide which one to accept. And once you have accepted an offer it is normal to doubt yourself. But that doubt just dampen the excitement of getting a new job, so once you have decided, trust in your decision and don’t look back.

7. Getting excited and enjoying the moment!! I can not wait to move to China and to start another big adventure in Asia.

Again I am making lists. Now of things I need to do to get my work visa, things to do before moving abroad, things I need to buy like plane tickets and so much more….But I am trying to not let the stress dampen my excitement.

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

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist