It was October 2017, and the sense of getting older and not fulfilling my dreams had been tugging at my soul. I started to look towards 2018, made a vision board and wrote down some early new years resolutions. The vision board had the typical stuff- weight loss, more active, more social, less introverted, try new things, etc.
But then I decided to dig deeper- what were the things that I really wanted to do but kept them to myself. And it dawned on me I wanted to travel! Ever since I remember, I wanted to travel the world and write stories of everyday heroes. So I put some random countries on my vision board and stuck it to my wall with double-sided tape. It was nothing fancy just white poster board with words written all over it. Yes, I did get the cool gold and silver sharpies to write with.
I decided to put it in front of me where I could see it all the time. I started to talk to myself about my dreams, imagining myself in the different corners of the world. Once I began to believe in my goal, the magic started to happen.
I got the opportunity in early January to go to the island of Chios, Greece to work with refugees. I stayed there for three weeks, and just the sheer beauty of the island made my heart melted, I couldn’t believe I was actually doing what I had dreamt of. I met many heroes and got to interview them. 
Once I was back, I decided no more travel in the near future because of many reasons- financial, kids, work, etc. But the universe was working overtime for me, it was a dream I had created.
And then out of the blue, I got a call from someone in Swaziland. Going back a bit, I was connected to the royal family through a friend, who runs a non-profit there. They wanted someone to write a book about the royal family. We had been in talks for months, but the phone call that came in the first week of April was a bit surprising. I was told that on April 20,  there was going to be a massive celebration in Swaziland, as it was the Kings 50th birthday along with Swaziland 50 year independence from the British. They asked if I could come here and experience the spirit of Swaziland and write about it. The event was a week away, and I had no clue how to pull it off. So I sat my kids down and told them about this great opportunity. Their reply,
“Mom this is what you always wanted- travel and write, just go!”
So I figured out my finances, told my work that I was going away for a week and head to Swaziland. Going to Swaziland was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The hospitality of the people, the colorful clothes, and the breathtaking views- made my heart happy. I left on Monday and came back the next, and this involved four days traveling and four days there.
I got back and again thought to myself- no more traveling. How can I spend my life traveling and writing? Logically that made no sense and I need a permanent job and not live in dreamland, the critic in me came out.
As summer started to approach, the travel bug in my soul began to get annoying. It kept telling me that I needed to go somewhere and travel some more. My son was going to Europe with his class which gave me the opportunity to go on a mother/ daughter trip!! Ding ding now I had a fantastic reason to travel. So I figured out my finances and talked to my workplace, and everything fell into place. I let my daughter choose where she wanted to go, and she chose- Rome, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Today, as my vision board stares down at me, I realize that in the past six months I have been to Greece, Swaziland, South Africa , London, Rome, Pakistan, and Turkey. All those countries were on my vision board, names I had randomly written on it.
And as I itch to go somewhere else my bank account is screaming no, but I will find a way, and the universe will help me!


  • Tami Shaikh

    MFA Creative Writing and MA in Educational Leadership

    Mom, storyteller, author, writing mentor and a student of life, who has contributed to the Huffington Post, Mind & Body Network and many other sites.