When I was 15, someone recommended me to babysit the Tyler children. Once I stepped into their house 30+ years ago, my life changed forever. The mom, Edie was the coolest person ever! She had four kids, was happily married, was a successful real estate investor, had fabulous travel stories, and paid twice as much as my other babysitting jobs!
Dreaming of Travel and Adventure
After spending many weekends at their house, she encouraged me to travel to Europe and see all the sites. Edie would then tell me her own travel stories, and I started dreaming saying to myself, “I’m going to go to Europe someday!” Growing up in a small town in Kentucky, I had only been to a few states traveling on Spring Break or going to Air Force Officer’s Clubs with my mom and step-dad. Back in those days, high schoolers and college students didn’t jet around the world like they do now. Setting a goal to go to Europe was lofty for sure.
After graduating from college, I planned to go backpacking in Europe, but a job offer I couldn’t pass up came knocking on my door. I was torn between my professional ambition and my wanderlust of traveling the world; I wanted the best of both worlds. Ultimately, I took the position in Washington, DC working for Senator Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill, however, only with the condition that I would work through his next campaign and then leave to chase my dream.
I remember in the final interview with the Senator firmly telling him that I planned to resign on election day and set off to travel for a year. He couldn’t help but smile at my resoluteness and hired me on the spot. It was an incredible run working with Senator McConnell, and we formed a unique friendship that continues to this day. Like his desire to serve my great state of Kentucky, he respected my desire to leave the mainland and experience life in other parts of the world.
Working to Make My Dreams Come True
To make ends meet and save for my big trip, I worked two and three jobs focusing on the goal: I was going to Europe in April of 1991. With my eye on the prize, I worked tirelessly with a smile on my face knowing Europe was going to be a dream come true!
As I stepped onto the plane that spring destined for London, tears filled my eyes…this small town girl realized if you want something bad enough and are willing to do whatever it takes, you can do whatever you set your mind to.
It’s never too early to reach for the stars, and I hope you have an Edie in your life to encourage you to follow your dreams.
What Are Your Dreams?
What are your dreams? Comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.