What Happens When Your Travel Dream Comes True?

Taylor Hearts Travel, TaylorHeartsTravel, Travel Lifestyle Blog, San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Dream Travel, Travel Dream

So, what happens when your dreams come true? Aren’t dreams supposed to be just that – dreams?

They’re not for living and fulfilling, or so we’re sometimes led to believe. And if somehow all of the lucky stars align, you save all your pennies and focus enough so that they do come true, is there really a ‘and they lived happily ever after’?

Can you ‘live the dream’ or does life cease and all excitement evaporate once that dream has been lived out?

What Happens When Your Travel Dream Comes True?

My Dream Trip

For those of you who regularly follow this blog (and, probably even if you’ve only ever visited once or twice) you’ll know that I have been obsessed with San Francisco. Yes, the city in California, America.

I spent hours reading blog posts and reviews about anything to do with San Fran. I’d sigh wistfully at pictures on Pinterest. I’d tear out articles from magazines and add ‘must-dos’ to scraps of paper in my handbag. It’s fair to say that I had more than a fair share of wanderlust for San Francisco. It was my dream. My big, fat travel dream.

Taylor Hearts Travel in San Francisco

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The Dream

To be honest, I don’t know why as big cities aren’t usually at the top of my list. I prefer the less well-known stops or the second cities.

For some reason though, San Francisco resonated with me so much. Just an utter of the words could bring me out in a smile.

I created a dream version of San Francisco that I was ready to hop, skip and jump over to in a heartbeat’s notice. I mean I even told strangers that I’d happily move there even though I’d never been.

San Francisco

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Dreams Come True

Last May I was ecstatic at having finally booked my flights over there for a trip in December, which coincided with a big milestone – my thirtieth birthday.

In the months leading up to it my planning, prepping and researching notched up a level as I made The Ultimate San Fran Plan.

I was determined to make the most of every single second and not miss out on a thing. I didn’t want to come home and have anyone tell me that I’d missed out on an amazing restaurant or quirky neighbourhood.

San Francisco

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The Reality

So having returned home just a few weeks ago, after a jam packed schedule it’s fair to say that it’s still sinking in. I can’t quite believe that I actually went there. I keep looking at my pic with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge as evidence that it really did happen.

San Francisco

If I’m honest, San Francisco wasn’t anything like I thought it would be. Some bits were much, much better and some bits worse. For example, I had no idea how many homeless people there would be in San Francisco.

Admittedly the walk from the subway stop to my first hotel was via the road that is famed for them, but I wasn’t prepared to see people with serious mental issues having full blown conversations with imaginary people.

At first it was entertaining to hear such funny conversations about the most random things, but very quickly it became very saddening. It also made me very grateful to be able to not only have a beautiful home to call my own, but enough fortune to then be able to travel.

Equally, San Francisco embodies the free spirited vibe that I thought it would do. It has a hippy, laid back attitude that definitely makes it stands out from other cities.

On the day of Santa Con (a day where lots of locals dress as Santa) I saw a naked man just walking down one of the busiest streets in the city with just a tiny shimmer of tinsel wrapping his, erm, package. Then there was the time I popped into a small boutique and commented on how lovely a tester pot of face cream was. Before I knew it the owner had given it to me, waving away the $30 price tag like it was no big deal.

Golden Gate Bridge

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The Future

I’ve shared lots of recommendations, reviews and tips for things to see and do in San Francisco, where to stay and lots more (you can see them here), but in terms of my travel dreams, what now?

I’d spent so long visualising the trip and fantasising about what it’d be like, that I forgot to think about life after San Francisco. I guess the same happened after my round-the-world trip.

We, or at least I spose I, put our heart and soul into our travel dreams, so much so that there’s no room to contemplate the end of the trip, or even the aftermath.

Why bother wasting time on the after when there’s time for excitement and anticipation? And who knows what will happen during the trip? Being the big dreamer that I am, I often like to think that maybe some life-changing moment will happen during the epic adventure and everything will all become clear.

However, the reality is that life isn’t as simple as that. Life itself is an adventure, or something cheesy like that. And, I’m not entirely sure what I’m looking for as I pretty much have everything I could want and get to spend it with my favourite people.

Travel dreams in San Francisco, California

Having returned home, I guess this post is a note to self (and possibly you), that life after travel dreams is just the part of an amazing journey. Onwards and upwards to lots more travel dreams. Who knows – possibly even back to San Francisco…X

What are your travel dreams? Have you been able to live out any of them? 

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Comments (16)

  • […] What Happens When Your Travel Dream Comes True? […]

  • Grown Up Gap Year 6 years ago Reply

    Such a great post Taylor and I felt exactly the same when I returned from my 30b430 trip. It was such a huge adventure and had occupied my thoughts for so long (as well as the actual travel time of nine months) that I hadn’t really thought about what would happen when I got home. I found it hard at first but I think, like you, I just realised I had to be thankful for the amazing experience and focus on the next adventure – and thanks to this great travel community we’re part of – I’m never short of ideas!

    Taylor Hearts Travel 6 years ago Reply

    Not that I want others to feel confused, but it’s always so reassuring to hear that other people feel or have felt the same way at some point. It must have been even harder after such a long trip, though I bet the amazing adventures and experiences far outweighed any momentary feelings of ‘what next?’ You’re so right about being thankful and grateful. V true re blogging too – it can be a blessing…and a curse as far as my bank balance is concerned!

  • Jayne 6 years ago Reply

    This is a beautiful post. I’ve often wondered the same thing – what happens after you achieve what you dreamed of, and how does it feel if it wasn’t everything you imagined? I guess it’s human nature to build new dreams and move on to the next big adventure. But like you say, it’s important to enjoy the process too.

    Taylor Hearts Travel 6 years ago Reply

    Thanks so much, Jayne. It’s always reassuring to hear that someone else has felt the same way. I’ll let you know if and when I find the answers! X

  • […] of it was spent in San Francisco living out one of my biggest travel dreams. I recently mused over what happens when your travel dream comes true, so if you have any answers or thoughts please do let me know. I’ve started to share my tips, […]

  • Emily 6 years ago Reply

    I love this post! I traveled to Dubai, UAE last Christmas and LOVED it! Now I have the traveling itch! I want to travel everywhere!
    I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Hope you get the chance to fill it out and then display the award on your blog! Here’s the link for more information! http://coloradoblonde.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-versatile-blogger-award.html

    Taylor Hearts Travel 6 years ago Reply

    Thanks so much, Emily! Wow, Dubai at Christmas must be a completely different experience (at least in comparison to a colder destination like my home in England). I know that travel itch all too well! Where’s next on your list?

    Wow, thanks re the Versatile Blogger Award. So kind of you! :) xx

  • Natasha 6 years ago Reply

    So pleased you got to SF and enjoyed it – it lovely when something you have dreamed about comes true. My dream was the Maldives and it was just as I had dreamed it. Now you just have to dream about somewhere else !

    Taylor Hearts Travel 6 years ago Reply

    Thanks, Natasha. It really was a dream come true and to some extent it still feels like it was just a dream. I can’t believe I get to say that another one of my travel wishes came true. I feel very grateful. Now the exciting bit of choosing where next begins…

    Oh wow, I bet it was beautiful! I’ve never been, but every picture I see looks absolutely gorgeous.

  • Stéphanie 6 years ago Reply

    I really like the sense of serenity and maturity and reflection that exudes from this post. It’s true that we often chase dreams through travels and yet, as you say, the real journey is the one we do within ourselves : getting to know oneself and being happy with us. If we find that, then we’ll be happy wherever we are, be it travelling or staying at home.

    You made me very philosophical today ! But it’s fitting as it’s the end of the year and the time of reflection.

    Thanks for this lovely post.

    Taylor Hearts Travel 6 years ago Reply

    That means a lot – thanks so much. I wasn’t sure whether to publish the post and if I was ‘right’ to think those things, so it’s nice to hear your comments. I love your philosophical thoughts and way of thinking, especially as you say, it’s time for reflection. Maybe I’ll work it all out one day :)

  • I’m so happy that you enjoyed it and your dream came true – so often, we hype things up in our minds and it doesn’t live up to what we imagined and even though it had its ups and downs, it sounds like you had the trip of a lifetime overall and I can’t wait to read all about it! PS, it’s one of my favourite cities as well – it’s totally a place I could see myself living :)

    Taylor Hearts Travel 6 years ago Reply

    Thanks so much, lovely :) You’re so right. I have a tendency to romanticise and daydream, so I’m definitely guilty of that at times. It’s still all sinking in and processing at the moment, but I definitely still love it. Maybe we’ll both live there one day…!

  • Alana - Paper Planes 6 years ago Reply

    After three years of traveling and living abroad I keep thinking I’ll get a clearer idea of where I want to be and what I want to be doing….but I still don’t ;)

    Taylor Hearts Travel 6 years ago Reply

    Glad to know it’s not just me :) Is there ever an age or point in life when it becomes clearer?!

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