Small goals can lead to big dreams

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Time: September 10, 2018 

Nada Al-Tuwaijri

I have always had this fantasy about traveling the world and trying every traditional dish of each country and then writing a book about it. Sounds like “Eat, Pray, Love” doesn’t it? I think this passion toward various cultures was something I developed as a child, and when I say a child, I mean 15 years old.
From a realistic point of view, my dream sounds expensive, doesn’t it? It requires a minimum of six months of traveling, jumping from one plane to another, and spending a lot of money on accommodation, transportation and so forth, so my better bet is to postpone the idea and pursue it whenever I decide to retire (which will probably be at the age of 40).
To me, this sounds like a rational, traditional, realistic way of thinking. But, wait a second, I thought we were over that as a generation and our attitude toward “it’s impossible” shifted to “it’s actually very possible but should be done smartly.” Therefore, the right way to approach your “big” goals is to start “small” — how contradictory does that sound? Without forgetting, of course, the one golden rule that I just invented (or probably heard somewhere): “There is no such thing as too soon, too late or I don’t have time for that.”
Today, I have a dream. My dream is to travel the world and experience food, but how can I achieve that within my circumstances? It’s a question I asked myself when I figured that I cannot take a six-month holiday to travel the world, yet I still had the urge to fulfill at least a percentage of it. So, the question now is what did I do instead? How did I become the next Christopher Columbus?
I took a “wise” decision to experience at least two new countries every year with a hungry mind and a curious soul by mainly investing my time in understanding various cultures and, more specifically, their habits in eating, which I can assure you has put me in some very difficult situations, especially with spices and foamy dishes. The bottom line is that I found myself enriched after every trip — I learned something new every time, which automatically reflected on my bigger dream/vision/goal. Plus, I always have a story to tell in awkward situations.
Now that I have told you about my dream, I want you to start with yours. No matter what it is, the way to approach it is to start small and grow big, be patient in an impatient era, find ways to fulfill this dream on a daily basis and, one day, you will find yourself in it. Remember, your dreams are much closer than you think.

Nada Al-Tuwaijri is the communications managing director at the Misk Art Institute.

This article was first published in Arab News

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