Several months ago, I reviewed six books to read before you go walkabout. Kim Dinan’s guide to pursuing your dreams, Life on Fire, was one of the most influential titles on the list.
Now, as the year draws to a close, I speak with Kim about travel writing, celebrating holidays abroad, and how she’ll keep her own life on fire in 2014.
You recently wrote a book about living out your dreams. Would you say you’re living out yours, right now?
When I first started out on this journey three years ago, I dreamed of traveling and writing for a living. I had no idea how I would make that happen, but I knew that, despite everything, I had to try.
I guess you could say that I’ve reached my original dream. But I also have so many other dreams that I’m working towards. I have more books to write, more places to see. I want to create things that inspire people, that’s my ultimate dream now.
What’s the most difficult part of writing a book?
The writing part! Just kidding. Actually, the hardest part for me is the editing. Once I get the ideas and thoughts down, it’s sometimes torture to try to shape them so that they flow and make sense. It’s just a struggle to see the book with a birds-eye view when you’re smack dab in the middle of it.
What’s the easiest part of writing a book?
I love sitting down to a blank page and just saying, “go” and letting anything and everything come out unedited. I feel on fire when I do this. And when I get to a point where I’ve put something down on paper that I know is real and true and important, I literally feel it pulsing through my body, like I’ve had a little shock.
What advice or suggestions do you have for people who feel ‘stuck’ in their current location at home?
Sit down, write your dream location or goal down on paper, and then figure out what you can do right now to start working towards that goal. There are always tiny steps we can take, even if it starts as just simply divorcing the image you have of yourself in your head. Changing our attitudes and expanding what we believe we’re capable of is the first step in all of it.
What advice or suggestions would you give to someone who wants to travel long-term, but hasn’t quite left home yet?
Keep working at it. Save your money, stop buy crap you don’t need, put everything in order so that as soon as everything lines up right you can hit the road. It took me almost three years of planning and saving everything before I was able to leave to travel. It’s a lot of hard work but it is absolutely worth it.
Where will you celebrate the holidays? What traditions will you bring to Christmas in a foreign place?
The only thing that has remained the same for us on Christmas while traveling is that my husband’s mom somehow finds a way to MAIL us a package of homemade Christmas cookies. Last year we got them in Germany and this year we’ll have them in Vietnam. It’s so nice to have a little bite of the holidays on Christmas, especially because it is hard to be away from home at this time of year.
How do you plan to follow the advice in your book in 2014?
Well, the book is essentially my life motto at this point. Dream big, work hard, and be creative and organized. Above all else, pay attention to the magic of the universe and, when it pulls some strings for you, be grateful.
I know what I want to write, what new projects I want to take on with the blog, and the steps I need to take to get there. I know things won’t go as I plan, but I also know that I can be flexible and work around whatever obstacles land in my path.
Are there any big plans/adventures/destinations you’re looking forward to?
...my husband and I will be touring around SE Asia. We’ve thrown our hat into the ring for a lot of different things in 2014, but we don’t know what will stick and what won’t. So right now the future is a beautiful mystery, and that’s okay.
Check out Kim’s e-book, Life on Fire: A Step-By-Step Guide To Living Your Dreams, and follow her future Southeast Asian travels at So Many Places.
All images courtesy of Kim Dinan.