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How to Get Over Your Excuses to Follow a Dream

This is part of a 5 blog series telling you my top five excuses…..

If you’ve ever wondered, look “could I leave my job and travel for a year?” The answer is if I can, you can. Most who know me would call me practical, predictable, even. I had many excellent reasons not to pack my bags and go.

But, I realized those considerations were only excuses. In reframing my cop-outs, I found good reason to quit my job and explore the world. You can too.

First, say all your excuses aloud. Then write them down. Next, imagine that you are 99 years old and try to convince yourself why you should stay put. You will find it difficult and for good reason. I recently went to a funeral service for a 99 year old man who earned his master’s degree at age 70. I felt his energy approve of this trip. Before I said yes to the trip,  I too had a never-ending list of excuses that I doled out to Jenni….

Excuse #1: I can’t afford a trip. I was embarrassed to tell Jenni that I had a measly $5000 in savings. Suze Orman would never approve of this extended trip. Jenni reminded me that I paid $15,000 for a car. It made me ask myself, why not sell my car and  buy a ticket around the world? Jenni challenged  us to change our mindsets and live more simply. We were going to find a way to survive together off one car, one scooter, two bikes, and a Muni pass, which is more transportation options than many others have.

Suddenly, forgoing a trip around the world to sit in traffic in my Civic seemed irrational. I started to think of how to travel on my social workers salary. Selling my car would fill my bank account to $20,000, enough to travel on a shoestring around the world. Besides, if we ran out of money, we would be creative. After all, we could always teach English.

I’d love to hear some comments…..

What dreams of yours seem out of reach and unaffordable? Have you done the math to compare the costs?



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8 Responses

  1. Dear Lisa,

    God, I am a sucker. I got all teary-eyed reading this. You and Jenni have earned my gratitude for inspiring me to live my dreams. The daily grind of going to a job that does not fulfill me has taken its toll. I am now making those moves toward a life that both sustains me spiritually and financially.

    With Pride,


    P.S. I need to come out for that visit to see you off before your global adventure.

  2. I love reading your post. I have done something similar when I quit my job at age 44 and went back and got my masters. it was a total act of self-love. I remember asking myself what is the nicest thing I could do for myself and the answer was pretty immediate and clear. “Quit! get a degree in clinical psychology!” But then the But Monsters descended, “Buy how are you going to pay for your mortgage?” “But you have been working since you were fifteen!” etc.. What got me through these constant waves of self-doubt was 1) knowing in my gut it was right 2) And believing in the Universe (a higher power) was going to help me achieve my dream. And sure enough when I felt like I did not have enough $$, 100.00 would show up out of now where in the mail or someone who hire me to do a tempt job. So if you dream it you can achieve it. You go Lisa and Jenni!

  3. To a lot of people money represents security-and for good reason. People of my parent’s generation would rather die snuggled in a money blanket of security than take a risk and act out their dreams. Sounds odd, to associate living life to the fullest with risk. Your very well edited Excuses piece keeps reminding me that life is too short and excuses are too flimsy not to fully experience the world outside of the one we have created. All our “shoulds”, working for years at unsatisfying jobs and trying to fill our savings until it’s “enough” are all self-imposed constructs. What you and Jenni are doing is rare, brave and amazing. I admire you and hope to follow in your footsteps.

  4. Lisa,

    First, I’m glad I read your email on the UCSF LGBT listserv and am now following you on OutAndAround! I am very excited to “follow” you and Jenni around the world for the next year 🙂

    Second, your exercise in saying your excuses out loud and writing them down is an invaluable one. I find that nearly all my excuses are not really mine! They are Other people’s s**t that’s still bouncing around in my head.

    Third, it’s not much, but I donated using that pretty “Donate” button on your site. Hope it helps!

    1. Thanks so much Shawn. It’s amazing how much of what we take in is not our own voice! Glad that you are following us and I hope we inspire you to travel also.

      And, every little bit helps! Thanks for your generosity.


  5. I so appreciate your practical financial approach to living your dream! I’ve been more on the ‘impractical’ side and have often thrown caution to the wind. On the other side of that leap though is generally an ‘oh shit’! Thanks for painting a bit more on this canvas of life so that I may see other supportive and not so scary ways to live the dream life! Way to go~

  6. You are truly an inspiration! Gui and I very much look forward to following your adventures around the globe… and who knows, maybe even finding the sanity to follow suit some day!

    Let us know if you ever need help from the home front.

    Mike & Gui

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