This week, I talked a lot about how fiction can help fulfill those dreams we knew were a bit far-fetched. But what about dreams we've actually achieved in the real world?
I mentioned that one of my dreams as a teenager was to to live in Africa. When I was in college, I decided that was one I was going to fulfill. I'd saved up a ton of money for a study abroad, but in the end I didn't go with a school program. I picked a volunteer organization that set me up with a host family, a project, and I bought a plane ticket and flew to Africa alone.
Not going to lie, I kind of freaked out when I got there.
But it was the best four months of my life. I spent my days teaching English to the nursery class at New Life International Orphanage and School. I'd grind my teeth in frustration when the kids chattered in their native language through the lessons, then exclaim in joy when one boy managed to actually sit his little hiney on a bench and trace the letter A. After school, I'd spend a few hours in the afternoon wandering the streets to make friends, reading at the beach, or washing my laundry by hand. I'd spend my evenings playing games with my host siblings or talking politics and herbal medicine with my host parents. I'd spend my weekends crossing bridges set hundreds of feet high in the rain forest canopy or following a trail guide to find elephants.
I fulfilled that dream, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
So, my friends, what dreams have you fulfilled? What adventures, big or small, have you had that you look back on with fondness? What dreams are you still hoping to fulfill?