I was hefting weights at the gym yesterday when I noticed this quote on the electronic message board: Dreams don’t work if you don’t (Club Fit). While obviously aimed at fitness in this case, it got me thinking about how much effort I’d been putting into some of my other current ambitions.
Jiminy Cricket said “If you don’t have a dream, how can you have a dream come true?”, and while that is certainly the first requirement on the road to achieving what you want, unless you are an incredibly lucky person or have a fairy godmother, a dream without action will stay just a dream.
I’ve been fortunate to have several of my dreams come true over the years, but each one required effort beyond merely thinking about it: whether it was to be a published author or, on a smaller scale, to take a six week independent rail trip around Europe with my daughter.
That latter adventure was over six years ago however, and since then I’ve harbored other travel dreams, but most have gone unfulfilled up to now. The reason? Because I’d never bothered to take any of them past the dreaming stage. Or at least, I hadn’t until I saw that quote at the gym.
One of my long-held wishes is to take a train trip around the United States. I love train travel and it provides an easy way to see some of the grandeur of America in relative comfort without the hassle of having to drive long distances.
So after I got back from the gym, I went online to Amtrak and discovered routes that would provide a round trip from New York via Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Antonio, New Orleans and Atlanta, with glorious scenery in between. Total travel time on the train would be just over seven days and nights – that probably sounds like a nightmare to most people, but I'm just crazy enough to think it sounds exciting. Besides, I know that when the scenery is boring (all those miles of wheatfields etc), I can always write.
Now, apart from saving, I have to decide how often and where I’d like to get off the train, which in turn will determine the best time of year to make the trip. I don’t want to be in the south in the blistering heat of the height of summer, but neither do I want to have a snowy trip in the north, so spring or fall are looking the most promising.
It’s quite possible that I might not be able to make this trip until next year but, by taking that first small step of looking up the possible routes, I know I’m already much closer to making another dream come true.