What are dreams made of? They’re made of disappointment, dejection, stupidity, patience, hope, and courage. And yet, we never seem to learn, and continue to dream. Sometimes with our eyes shut and sometimes — wide open.

Two weeks back, we visited Mongolia: the land of the blue sky. Here’s a first look of what a 10-day trip to central Mongolia looks like and what goes through your mind — at each stage of living a dream.

1. Wishing with all your heart.

Believing in the elements is important when you’re in the hands of the elements.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho


2. Waiting patiently for the door of opportunity to open.

The view from a monastery tucked in the mountains.

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
― A.A. Milne


3. Never looking back at the world you left behind.

The mountains are so close and yet, so far.

“I dream. Sometimes I think that’s the only right thing to do.”
― Haruki Murakami


4. Pinching yourself to ensure you’re not asleep.

Gems like these were scattered across the rolling hills.

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.”
― Walt Disney Company


5. Realising that you probably didn’t think of every aspect of the trip.

Being in the middle of nowhere can turn out to be quite scary.

“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.”
― Tom Hiddleston


6. Letting fear win round one.

Getting lost in a forest with wolves is not my kind of adventure.

“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.”
― Neil Gaiman


7. Letting nature win round two.

If I jumped high enough, would I be able to touch the clouds?

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
― John Muir


8. Learning to follow roads that won’t exist tomorrow

In the desert, no line is permanent.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
― Gautama Buddha


9. Realising that TV will never look the same again.

The next generation of technology can only be found in nature.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
― Arthur C. Clarke


10. Dreading the eventual return to civilisation.

Clouds above, clouds below.

“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.”
― Wendell Berry

Posted by:twobrownfeet

Writer-Photographer Duo. Now in Seoul.

53 replies on “Ten Stages of Living a Dream

  1. What a post, Cheryl. And what stunning captures by Basil. This is probably one of your best posts I reckon. Truthful and very much to the point, tugging upon our inner consciousness. I really like number 9 – that TV will never be the same again 😀 Nothing like experiencing something than being present in reality and the moment, soaking it all in with all of your senses. This post could easily feature in some kind of travel publication to inspire us to travel 🙂

    1. Thanks a bunch, Mabel! 🙂 You’ve been so generous with your praise and I don’t know what to say. 🙂 I’m glad it inspires you to travel! Mongolia was a dream destination for me and I’ve been craving to visit it for more than a year. I still can’t believe we visited it. It’s like a dream. Writing wasn’t so difficult after that. 🙂 Have a great week ahead! Hugs.

  2. I love this posts. I vaguely remember that I ever did a post like this. I am inspired to make again.
    Btw, I copied and saved your words about dream at first paragraph, Cheryl. I feel like you made that for me, and also sometimes formed out of despair.
    “What are dreams made of? They’re made of disappointment, dejection, stupidity, patience, hope, and courage. And yet, we never seem to learn, and continue to dream. Sometimes with our eyes shut and sometimes — wide open.”

    1. Thanks, Yuna! 🙂 Your comment made my day! I’m quite fond of posts like these. I like to inspire other travellers, especially the timid ones (like me), to get out and see the world. I’ve never been brave and yet, when I travel — I feel like another person!
      How have you been?

      1. I have been well. 🙂
        My pleasure. Nice to know that something could make someone’s day. I am honored. 🙂 ❤
        Hahaha, I don't think any traveller, a timid type since it takes brave and courage to travel. 🙂

  3. You finally made it there!!!! I can’t wait to hear more of your thoughts about it and what you did. I see the steppe, the (Gobi?) desert, and Ulaanbaatar … but I’m interested in hearing if it met your lofty expectations. You went almost exactly a year after I did, and it’s been on my mind this past August. I miss those wild expanses and the strangeness of it all.

    1. Woooohoooooo!!!!! I know! I still cannot believe it! All that wishing and wanting worked! I wanted to tell you so much, but it didn’t feel right with what’s happening. I hope things are better now or chugging back to normalcy. 😦 We couldn’t make it to the Gobi (that’s the mini Gobi in the pic) and our guide said most of central Mongolia lies in the mountainous region, although I felt I saw the steppe too. lol…We saw 4 national parks, wild horses, the milky way, pooped in a long drop toilet, and stayed with a nomadic family. It’s a big fat YES! I think Mongolia amazed me and I was totally in awe of this fantastic country. A year! Wow. Who would’ve thought we’d go this year! I did think of you and your posts on our trip! 🙂

    1. I agree! It was also the toughest part of the trip. 😦 Thank you for you for stopping by. I’ve enjoyed every aerial capture of yours. Those views are some of the best I’ve ever seen!

  4. some stunning shots…especially the first three. Certainly, an offbeat travel experience! I’m sure nomadic life looks good for some time(days)…

    1. Thanks, Arvind. These were clicked by me. 🙂 We haven’t got to sorting the camera pics yet. We stayed for 3 days with a nomadic family. Honestly, life isn’t easy and I wouldn’t want to be a nomad, braving the elements. The view was unparalleled! 🙂

      1. Frankly, I would love to get lost in such world! without mobile…without agenda! That’s what I really loved about trekking in the Himalayas. we do have such spots in hills near Jaipur…where mobile network doesn’t work. But unless you are out for few days and disconnected..it doesn’t work!

    1. Mongolia is truly unique, although I did find it to have a very similar topography (in certain parts) to Iceland and Jeju Island (South Korea) — both formed from volcanic activity. I wouldn’t say the land is barren, except for the desert. Yes, it’s vast and empty, but lush and green. It’s one of the few countries where livestock rule. 🙂 I’d suggest Mongolia to anyone. It isn’t an easy trip, but I’m sure you’d love the challenge! 🙂

  5. Beautiful images as usual ❤ I love that you implemented travel with life's toils and trouble. So inspirational, I wish to have photography skills like yours!

  6. Love this post Cheryl, absolutely love it. You captured all the elements of going after our dreams with inspiring quotes and spectacular pictures. What a gift you have my friend. xo 🙂

    1. Thanks, Miriam! Means a lot coming from you. I absolutely love your posts and writing! I’d been dreaming about Mongolia for more than a year. And there were so many times we nearly cancelled it. I got a bad bout of travel anxiety before the trip itself! Sigh! i’m so glad we made it! xoxo

      1. I’m glad you made it too. Turning dreams into reality, that’s what you did Cheryl and I’m so proud of you. Sometimes those doubts creep in and try and throw us off course but you did it, and what an experience you had. What’s your next dream? xo 🙂

      2. Thank you, Miriam! Your support means a lot!
        Ahh.. I have so many dreams! 🙂 The African Continent and the Middle East have been on our bucket list for years. Those dreams will have to wait. 😦
        I have a rough idea about our next trip (in Asia). But it’s dependant on so many factors…Most of our longer travels are slotted for next year. No definitive plans yet. As an expat, I’ve learned to take life as it comes. We are doing shorter trips around Korea though and it’s equally fascinating. 🙂

      3. Sounds wonderful. It’s great to have those long term goals and even better to have those shorter ones that keep us motivated and enjoying life now. Love it. Dream on my friend 💫✨ xo

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