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It is said it takes a lot of courage to pursue your dreams, which is why most choose to stay in a complacent comfort zone of mediocrity. Sure, big dreams take courage, no doubt, but there’s one other extremely critical element that can make or break your attempts of following your heart. When I decided to take the bold step of leaving my home, loved ones and career all behind me in order to travel the world, my ability (or lack thereof) to do so was determined by one thing: the backers and the lackers. The backers are the people who support you and love you in such a way that the obstacles your dreams will put in front of you are simply hurdles to overcome; not excuses as to why it can’t be done.

Thankfully for me, and why my dream is just days away from becoming a reality, is the people I have backing me, whom I feel need my acknowledgement because without them, I would not be doing this.

The Backers

First and foremost, my parents. Right now it is March 2015, and in order to save and plan for this around the world adventure, I moved home in September 2013. I have no doubt in the past 19 months I’ve been living at home, I’ve tested their patience, pissed them off, and made them wish just a few times that at 29/30 years of age, their daughter was still out living on her own. But never once did they say that; rather, they tolerated and even supported me during my mood swings, my coming and goings, and my need for space. They genuinely believe this trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity and support me 100%. Being able to live for almost two years rent free is something not a lot of people have access to, so I’m already forever indebted to my parents for this reason alone (not to mention the plethora of other reasons!)

Secondly, my sister and brother-in-law deserve a special shout out. Meg has *always* been the one person who I will send her a crazy idea I wouldn’t tell anyone else and her reply would start with “okay, this is how you can make it happen…”.  As they’re both well travelled, they really understand where I’m coming fom and have nothing but support and advice for me. Not to mention this website was created by my bro-in-law (shout out to www.ianclarke.ca!) This RTW would not be a reality without them.

And of course, my friends. Now this may be somewhat of a given, as my friends are so used to my crazy ideas, but they have genuinely been supportive and encouraged me on my planning journey to make sure it went from an idea to reality. There was potential for them to be lackers for sure. In 2010 I moved to England with the intent of staying there for a full year, maybe even longer. But as it turned out, I enjoy traveling moreso than permanently relocating, so I came home sooner than planned. It could have been so easy for anyone to throw that in my face, and not one single person has. Rather, they’ve been sending me links of “how to travel safely as a female”, “the top 10 things any traveller should do in India” etc. They’re excited for my journey, some living vicariously throw me, others taking the opportunity to meet up with me along the way. My friend Ashley is meeting me in Tanzania for our African safari, Andrea is meeting me in Egypt for my Middle East experience. And Preeya of course, who will be joining me for the entire adventure. Every single one of my friends has been kick ass. They (whoever ‘they’ is) say to surround yourself with positive people who support you, and I have without a doubt learned that I have surrounded myself with only the best people!

The Lackers (and backers who made it irrelevant!)

Honestly, I’ve been extremely blessed in that I haven’t come across many lackers. Only two work colleagues of mine have been naysayers, whom I don’t even believe are doing so because they’re ill intended. They are both people I have the utmost admiration and respect for; I think it comes down to the fact that they simply don’t understand. Or think I’m throwing my life away, or something to that affect. Which to be honest is fine, as there’s a lot of people who don’t understand or identify with what it is I’m doing; most just don’t care because it doesn’t impact them, whereas this did impact them. But with the doubters there always comes the supporters. Other colleagues who came to me privately to voice their support, to say they wish they’d had the courage to do this when they were younger, to say they think it’s incredible, and to remind me that if anyone who treats me poorly it is a reflection only of who they are and has nothing to do with me. These colleagues of mine I will be forever grateful for. They made what had been an extremely difficult decision for me a positive experience, and there is no way to repay that kind of kindness.

What’s My Point?

Other than being all ‘GO FAMILY, GO FRIENDS, GO WORK!’ in this post, there is a point I really want to drive home: be supportive. You have people in your life right now who are pursuing big dreams, big goals, big ideas. They need your moral support more than you know. You never know who they have surrounding them, doubting them, telling them “yeah but you’re probably going to fail.” You never know the difference having that one person in their life saying “go for it – I believe you can do it!” will make to them.

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