Dream Big, Dream Often, and Hold Fast to Dreams

One of my favorite poems growing up was by the famed poem Langston Hughes-

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams dies
Life is a broken winged bird, that cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams go
Life is a barren field, frozen with snow.”

In recent weeks, much of the country has been covered with snow and fully know how gloomy, limiting and inconveniencing he weather can be.  The snow causes power outages, traffic nightmares, high utility bills and renders people powerless until the phenomena is over.  Much like severe weather events, living your life without dreaming and following your dreams has the same effect.  With a dream, you have nothing to look forward to; nothing to stimulate your imagination.  Although I have had a good, lucrative career in the IT industry, it is not my passion.  It is not the thing that I dream of doing for the rest of my life.  I am a late bloomer, but I have discovered that my ultimate dream is to have a long-term career in the travel industry.  I know that I do not want to become a flight attendant or become a travel agent per se, but I do want to do something exciting.  Perhaps work with an organization that is responsible for event planning throughout the world.  Maybe becoming a travel coordinator and helping others experience live beyond their current environment.

During my youth, I experienced my first cruise at age 8 and my first trip to europe at age 14.  There were trips to Mexico and Canada in between, but the fact that I was exposed to different cultures and languages at an early age planted a seed that has recently produced fruit.  Some people may tell me that I am too old for this pipe dream and that I need to “be real”.  But this dream of following my passion is what keeps me alive.  This dream of eventually working in the travel industry and doing something that excites me brings me so much joy.

Anyone who knows me knows how important travel is in my life.  Once a month I am going somewhere.  I love reading the travel section in the Sunday paper.  I love helping my friends and family identify great deals on travel and identify awesome places to visit.  I love attending travel shows and speaking with the experts.  Totally love meeting people from other countries and experiencing their culture.  “The Amazing Race” television show is a must see for me as I love living vicariously through the competitors.  Definitely love capturing my adventures on video and still photos.

Some people close to me have made the comment to me that I “better keep my good paying job”.  But at what cost?  While I acknowledge that my current job pays well, it does not fulfill me.  It is, in fact, a job, not a career.  I don’t know when I will break into the industry, but I am networking and reaching out to people to help make my dream a reality.  Hey, maybe someone will read my blog and provide me with a little nugget/boost to help me live my dream.  But, until that time, I will definitely hold fast to my dream because I plan to soar and ensure that the seeds in my field grow and thrive.  I encourage everyone else to do the same, regardless of what it is that you dream of accomplishing, becoming or doing.

Sweet dreams people!

First to Worst – These are a few of my favorite states

So now that I have completed my tour of all 50 states, I can rank the states from first to worst.  States were ranked based on fun factor, cultural stimulation, and friendliness of the people.  Hopefully no one takes offense to the ranking of their state, but this is solely based on my experience.  Another list will be developed when I complete my tour of the caribbean countries.

Rank   State                City
1         Louisiana          New Orleans
2         Georgia             Atlanta
3         Colorado           Denver
4         North Carolina  Tarboro
5         Texas                Houston
6         Florida               Tampa
7         Oregon              Portland
8         Alabama            Huntsville
9         Arkansas           Little Rock
10       Missouri             St. Louis
11       Arizona              Phoenix
12       Pennsylvania     Valley Forge
13       Massachusetts  Boston
14       Alaska                Anchorage
15       Mississippi         Biloxi
16       Iowa                  Des Moines
17       Idaho                 Idaho Falls
18       Maine                Kennebunkport
19       Wisconsin          Trego
20       Washington       Seattle
21       California           San Francisco
22       Nevada              Las Vegas
23       South Carolina   Myrtle Beach
24       Minnesota          Minneapolis
25       New York           Manhattan
26       New Jersey        Atlantic City
27       Wyoming            Cheyenne
28       Maryland            Kent Island
29       Virginia               Arlington
30       Connecticut        Hartford
31       Vermont              Burlington
32       Rhode Island       Providence
33       Kentucky             Louisville
34       Ohio                    Dayton
35       Kansas                Topeka
36       Nebraska             Omaha
37       Delaware             Wilmington
38       Tennessee           Nashville
39       West Virginia        Harpers Ferry
40       North Dakota        Bismark
41       South Dakota       Sioux Falls
42       New Mexico        Las Cruces
43       Utah                    Salt Lake City
44       Montana              Billings
45       Michigan             Detroit
46       Indiana                Indianapolis
47       Oklahoma           Omaha
48       New Hampshire  Nashua
49       Illinois                  Chicago
50       Hawaii                 Oahu