Writing my first book took four years. Four years of trial and error, self-discovery, and conquering the terrifyingly real fear of putting myself out there for the world to see. And being judged for it. I always say it’s the equivalent of giving a speech butt naked in front of a crowded room. Emotionally naked. Vulnerable. And there’s nothing more satisfying than accomplishing, overcoming, triumphing, and holding my own creation … a book … my book … in my hands.
Tangible fruition of a dream.
Little did I know big dream one (writing a book, or three) would spontaneously birth big dream two (traveling the world).
– Kim Holden
“While I was in Granada, I had a lot of time to myself. Sure, I spent time with my wonderful roommates and family and went to classes, but I’d say there were a solid 4 hours a day that I had to myself. Considering that the past 6 weeks of my life had been filled to brim with going places, meeting new people and trying new foods, my life felt a little emptier than before. This is where La Gran Vía came into play.”
“So often I feel consumed with obsessing over all the things I want or need, or the things I need to change. Of course that motivation and constant drive leads me to great things, but I think in this moment, on that church pew, with Kevin’s shadow projected across the white walls, I learned to find peace and happiness along the way; to be totally happy with where I am in the moment while still understanding and being ok with all the things I am working towards. I felt comfortable in my loneliness, in my skin, and in my position in the world.”
– Sari Delmar
“I tried to mimic what people did. You know the whole: graduate, have a well-paying job, have a home with Ikea furniture, think about marriage and kids – you name it. Until I travelled to Tuscany. Little did I know when we drove through the cypress hills of San Gimignano, that my life was about to change radically.”
“Hey, don’t you live in LA?”
Each time, a little reminder; each time a little stab. As I explained my situation time and time again, a second question joined the mix.
“Hey, when are you moving to England?”
These two questions rang in my ears day and night, reminding me that my life didn’t seem to be moving forward in any way. Instead, it sat just kind of stalled here in Toronto, a city I’d given 10 years of my life to and was no longer in love with.
“Two weeks before my adventure and I’m relentlessly on the verge of tears. I tell myself that I’m okay, that she’s been gone for a while now. But then, why is there still so much pain?
I lost my mother just over a year ago, and trying to pick up the pieces has been a lot harder than I expected. I was a fool for thinking there was some formulaic way to cope with loss.”
– Helena Lindala-Haumont