The Beyond Vacation Dream Board

What is your dream? One of the first things Andy and I did when we started working on our Beyond Vacation lifestyle was to put together a dream board to have a visual representation of our goals. We got the idea from Married With Luggage, but I thought it would be helpful to share with you what we did and how it motivated us. I’m writing about this from a travel perspective, but this concept is certainly beneficial no matter what your dream is.

Find some magazines and start cutting

We knew our life vision involved large amounts of travel. That’s what Beyond Vacation is all about. It’s a balance between our home in Freiburg, Germany and traveling to other parts of the world. It’s about experiences and slow travel and work that facilitates our lives but doesn’t overwhelm life. With all of this in mind, we dug through racks of magazines and bought two that were heavy on travel photos, plus a decent sized poster board.

Beyond Vacation dream boardWe spent a couple of evenings flipping through the magazines, and even a travel company catalog we found. Absolutely any picture that appealed to us was fair game. Pictures, phrases, destinations, food, maps, anything that spoke to us. Don’t worry about how much room you have on your board, start big even if you have a lot of similar photos.

Once we had a big pile of pictures and phrases, we went through them and talked about why we picked them. Some had obvious meanings, like pictures of Istanbul because we loved the city and want to spend more time there. Some were more broad, like a sea turtle I cut out because I enjoy snorkeling. I also cut out a picture of Chichen Itza because I want to go there, but to me it represents any number of ruins I’d like to see in Central America.

We also had pictures that weren’t so heavily travel related. Andy found a picture he liked of someone relaxing in a cafe, which we see as enjoying life and reduced stress. There’s a picture of some monks, which while definitely travel-related, also conveys kindness and helping others. We even have a small section with a bunch of question marks, to leave room for the unknown. Get creative, and remember the reasons behind the pictures don’t have to be so literal as long as you find meaning in them.

Make it visible

After we arranged and glued all of our pictures onto the poster board, we found a place to hang it where we’d easily see it every single day. For us that was above the TV because even though we don’t watch TV every day, we often sit on the couch while working on our laptops, so the dream board is across from us on the wall.

It’s important to have it right in your face every day. Working towards a big goal can get frustrating, and moments of discouragement are bound to pop up. We hit roadblocks the whole way while working towards our Beyond Vacation lifestyle, and there were definitely times we thought it just wouldn’t work. But having that board to look at was a big reminder of what we were doing and why. It kept us going when we felt like giving up.

Beyond Vacation dream board

Do you have a dream?

When you figure out what that dream is, start working towards it. Making a dream board really helped us focus on what we wanted, and it helped get us motivated to map out a plan to achieve our dream. It was more important than we originally thought to have this visual representation of our dream staring at us every day. We want more travel in our lives, we want to enjoy life more, and we don’t want work to be such a dominating part of our lives. Having the dream board was a huge reminder of the Beyond Vacation lifestyle we were working towards and why it was so important to keep pushing even when it looked like we’d never get there.

So what goals are you working towards? What do you want your life to look like?

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