Today, I’m writing this post from a coworking place in Berlin, will probably edit this article in Bulgaria and if everything works out I will finally publish it next week in Spain (Trip to Spain has been canceled). In the meantime I have held a TEDx Talk at the American University in Bulgaria about exactly that topic “The Importance Of Following Your Dreams.”

A lot of people think it is amazing that I live how I live and don´t really understand why I do what I do. Elder ones because they think “what do you know about the possibility to follow your dreams, life is hard and you need to look to get around” and younger ones who grew up in a surrounding where it was important to be successful and not to talk about dreams. What they have in common is that they think, that I´m lucky that I can live the way I do, but they don´t consider that they would be able to follow their dreams.

I was born in Mallorca in Spain and my parents got separated when I was 4 years old. It wasn´t always that funny because we were short of money and as my mom is German we moved near Salzburg when I was 14 years old. It wasn’t an easy time, I was able to speak and to read German but I wasn´t able to write it. I hated it so much and rebel as I was I got kicked out of school but I took it as an opportunity  So I went to a boarding school, finished school and then moved as far away as possible. I moved to Australia and worked in Marketing and Logistics. I had a great time in down under. I was 18 and living far away from home and trying to figure out what life is all about!8387633969_d8003f4509

With my newly earned freedom I felt like a rockstar. Worked hard and partied hard! I bought myself a nice car to explore the region with on the weekends. Regular trips to the sunshine and gold coast, byron bay, moreton island and fraser island were my weekend activities. After a few months it was time for a longer holiday. Grabbed all my belongings packed my car and made my way up the coast. Saw and experienced incredible places, met awesome locals and foreigners and got to know myself a bit better while driving alone on the more or less empty country roads of Australia. In the town of 1770, during a morning stroll a snake twined around my ankle, at the whitsundays my bed was infested by bedbugs and I was surrounded by a 10 foot tiger shark while snorkeling. And since all good things come by three in Sydney my drink got spiked, I got robbed and hit by car.

There I was, in a city that I didn’t know, all alone. To make a long story short, it was a hit and run, I was left on the street unconscious, somehow after a few minutes I recovered consciousness, limbed down the street, stopped a cab, drove to hospital and spent over a week in there.

My wrist was smashed and my whole left side numb. I was in a wheel chair for a while and because I couldn’t work anymore and my relationship ended the day I got out of hospital I returned to Europe. It took me two years to realize what happened at the end of 2008. When you are in an accident, everything goes by so fast that you have no time to think. You just act! And this time I was in constant movement, I started to study, I travelled a lot, I was busy all the time – but I did not think about my life – I just lived and it was certainly fun – but it was a way of running away, making sure that you are busy so you don´t have to think.

About two years later my last relationship ended. And that was the moment, when I sat down and wrote my ultimate bucket list of things I want to do in life. For the first time I actually thought about my dreams, I was bored and disillusioned, I was studying in the Netherlands and didn’t like it and was trying to escape the pain of a broken heart and then suddenly all the stuff from the accident struck me. My whole life played in front of my eyes like a movie. The countries and places I lived in and been to, the people I met, the accident and what a lucky guy I was, that I was still alive after that night.

So I sat down, with a pen and paper and while all my friends were out partying, I thought about my life. One thing I quickly realized is that I didn’t really have a dream of what I wanted to do. I was more or less only functioning. Back then I thought that the only thing I’m really passionate about was traveling. By the time I turned 20 I had already seen more than 30 countries, founded 3 more or less successful businesses but I wasn’t really happy.

I realized that I was following the status quo. I was doing things I had to do because they were expected from me. I didn’t want to do them. I didn’t like them. They restricted me. They restricted me in my creativity. That night my blog was born and with the blog the promise that I would go out and explore and do the things I love. And I love to travel, I love it to meet people, to explore countries.

There is nothing worse than doing a work you hate. Time doesn´t pass by and 5 minutes feel like an hour and an hour feels like a day. Who doesn’t know this feeling? I’ve done jobs that felt like this. Today I want to stop the time. It is so much fun to do all those things that I sometimes wish my days would have 48 hours and I wouldn’t need to sleep. This only happens if you are really passionate about something and love what you are doing.

Don’t get me wrong, following your dreams doesn´t mean that every minute is full of fun and happiness. It is hard doing what you want. Especially in the beginning it is hard to go your way. People think you are crazy. You inspire some and you antagonize others because you don’t fit in their way of looking at things.

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To follow your dreams takes a lot of courage. Working online in times of social media isn’t always easy; some people have taken it on themselves to criticize everything that has been created. Therefore everybody who has the courage to actually DO something and pursue their dreams should get a medal. If you fail, it’s not a bad thing. You will realize that failure is part of the success. What is bad are all the people that criticized it without having the courage of doing it themselves and only opened their mouths to criticize.

I realize how long this post is becoming… stay tuned for post numero two! Arrived in Bulgaria, it’s warm here!

In the last years I’ve been reading many books and watched some movies/series that helped me to identify and define my dreams:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

 The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Are You Ready to Succeed? Unconventional Strategies to Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life by Srikumar S. Rao

The Ultimate Anti-Career Guide: The Inner Path to Finding Your Work in the World by Rick Jarow (expensive but worth the money)

 The Secret (Extended Edition) by Rhonda Byrne

What about you, what are your dreams and when are you fulfilling your dreams? If you have some time, I’d love to hear more in the comments!

Photos by: suendercafe & Wickerfurniture

 
Sebastian Canaves

Sebastian Canaves

Publisher & Marketing Consultant at Transit Media
Sebastian is the main contributor of Off The Path. He has been writing here for more than three years. Until today he has traveled to more than 60 countries and lived in more than 7 countries around the world including Australia, The Netherlands and Thailand.
Sebastian Canaves

@offthepathcom

✈ Travel Blogger ★ Marketing Consultant ☆ Social Media Expert ★ Co-founder @TransitMediaNET & @BlogCampDE ⚑ Tweets in German and English ⚑
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Sebastian Canaves

This post is also available in: German

48 Responses

  1. Adam

    Nice to read more about your backstory Sebastian. I like the comment about wanting more time in the day to follow your passions—I often feel the same way!

    Reply
  2. Linda Larsson

    Inspiring Sebastian! It seems to me people are also very afraid of talking about their dreams because of what you said, we young people want to be successful and we are afraid of failing. But I think the moment we start to talk about what our dreams are other people are gonna push us to make them happen. So first step to make our dreams come true is to start to talk about what our dreams really are.

    Reply
    • sebastian

      Thank you so much Linda! And yes, you are right, it all starts by sharing your passion and letting people know what you want to do!

      Reply
  3. Jean Simone

    Seba, your story is very touching. I am def living my dream after a lot of struggle, denial and a broken heart too. I am in an excellent place now. Keep doing what you’re doing, you are inspiration. I take off my hat to your courage. Happy to follow your journey and happy to have you follow mine! Que Dios te bendiga en todo lo que haces, Seba. -JS-

    Reply
    • sebastian

      I’m so glad you do Jean. Everybody should have the courage to follow their dreams. The world would be such a better place if we all would!

      Reply
  4. Emily in Chile

    I think a lot of people are still only just starting to realize that there are options, and that a lot of those options aren’t really that scary. Even if you try something different like moving to another country or working while traveling, and it doesn’t work out as you’d hoped, you can always go home!

    Reply
  5. Ayngelina

    Love that you are sharing you story around the world at TEDx events, what a great way to spread such a positive message.

    Reply
  6. Karla

    What an incredible and moving story!

    It’s very unfortunate what happened to you. Life sure has a funny way of putting the strong to the test.

    Happy that things definitely improved and you should be proud of all your amazing accomplishments!

    You are an inspiration to many and you are living your dreams ;)

    Si se puede!

    Keep up the great work & happy travels ;)

    Reply
  7. Lina

    Hey Sebastian,
    I found your blog not so long ago through instagram.. This post is interesting. I still havent figured out what my passion in life is and I can totally relate to the “doing things because you have to and living life just to function”. But I’ll figure it someday, my passion.
    P.s: I’m studying German at university so its cool that you write blogs in German as well…it helps me in practicing my German in a fun way.
    Take care :)

    Reply
  8. Paul

    Damn, that’s an inspiring story Sebastian. Thanks for sharing.

    My dream?

    To wake up every morning excited for what the day holds, whether it be good or bad.

    To leave a serious positive impact on Earth through the work I do and share with others.

    And, in the end, to completely disregard mediocrity in every aspect of life, instead choosing to burn as bright as a roman candle for as long as humanly possible.

    Reply
  9. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    The older I get, the more I realize that when things don’t go your way, it just means that the universe has something better in store for you. Sounds like you’re well into that “something better” area now.

    Congrats on the TEDx talk!

    Reply
    • sebastian

      Definitely agree with you. At the end everything will be good, if it’s not good, it’s not the end!

      Thanks. The talk went really well. Can’t wait until its uploaded on youtube!

      Reply
  10. Abby

    I am finding that following my ever-changing dreams could be a career in and of itself. Am currently conjuring up my next “thing”! I love your motivational speeches!

    Reply
    • sebastian

      Life is all about development abby. And this also means that dreams change. I’m glad that you are following your dreams and conjuring up your next thing!

      Reply
  11. Hasmik

    Thank you for the post. I am exactly at that same point – doing something different from what I did for the last 10 years, changing my life and learning to accept everything that comes with it.
    “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” Rumi

    Reply
  12. Jarmo

    Well said! It’s very easy to just live your life and loose sight of your dreams, just go on from one day to the next one. It requires a concious effort to go after your dreams! And well done with the TEDx talk!

    Reply
  13. Lauren @ china rose

    Great post sebastian,
    This is really inspiration post. I love to see dreams. Dreams are my source to live, Well I am a blogger. I have few dreams in life but my biggest dream is doing Job with Google. Yes I want to work with Google. It’s my Dream Job.

    Reply
    • sebastian

      Thanks Lauren! I wish you all the best in achieving your dream to work for Google! Have you set yourself a deadline by what time you want to work for them?

      Reply
  14. Nienke

    *slow thunderous applause* Thanks Sebastian for writing it down so beautifully. I can totally see myself in your story -even to the books you read, haha. I’m at that point now where I am faced -again- by having to find a new job and finding the balance between what I love to do and what pays my rent…. But I guess I’ll rely on the past as it has always worked out for me so far :) You’ll be at TBU, right? Would be cool to chat with you!

    Reply
  15. Melisa

    Thanks you for the post. I am exactly at that same point – doing something different from what I did for the last 10 years, changing my life and learning to accept everything that comes with it.

    Reply
  16. Brittany @ Paws for Beer

    Inspiring post. I have recently started a travel blog in hopes to change things up in my life, but mostly because I feel stuck in my current job. Everyday I count down the minutes until the end of the day and as I leave I say to myself “one day closer to retirement”. It is no way to live. It’s time to follow my dreams :-)

    Reply
  17. Bell | Wanderlust Marriage

    Great post and thank you for sharing. Can totally relate, I’ve been abroad for over 8 years now… people think we’re crazy or lucky :) But to do it, we’ve forgone fancy cars and houses and still live like students a lot of the time, despite being a wee bit past that… but who cares right? I wouldn’t change the experiences we’ve had for anything! Well done for following your dreams and I’m so glad you survived that hit and run :)

    Reply
  18. Natasha

    Wonderful post, thanks for sharing your story!
    I think every person who chooses to go after his unconventional dream is very brave, that is not to say that the others who do not or cannot do this are any less. But it takes a certain kind of crazy to actually choose what you want over what everyone says you want or need.
    I hope I can be the first kind of brave, I am working on it (baby steps actually). Luckily for me, there is lots of inspiration around!
    Cheers,
    Natasha

    Reply
  19. Ann-Katrin

    Thanks for posting, even though my “wakeup call” wasn’t as dramatic as yours; Yes, I am living my dream, I gave up my job and other things that used to be important but aren’t anymore, to live it. Maybe if I had had something as dramatic as you did happening to me I would have done it sooner – but better late than never.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  20. Julia-Mena

    Hi Sebastian
    As you do think it is important to follow your dreams, I think it is more important to never give up! I was often told that I can’t do something and that it is impossible to do something but till this point of my life (I’m only 21) I’ve been accepted to the universities of my choice, I’ve travelled to my favourite countries, I’ve lived my life the way I wanted it to! Everytime someone tells me I can’t I prove them wrong and I will hopefully prove them wrong in the future. I want myself to never give up and always stand up one more time as I fell down.

    Reply
  21. Jenny Stark

    We are enjoying reading your posts.
    Jon & I are 2 school teachers who retired early to travel the world.
    We have been traveling for nearly 2 years now and it has been fabulous.
    We rent out our apartment on the beach in AUS to help fund our trip.
    It is almost magical how we have met so many amazing people who have helped us follow our dreams.
    Every country we have been to, even Egypt has been safe & the people wonderful.
    http://www.teachorbeach.com

    Reply
  22. francaangloitalian

    You’re perfectly right Sebastian, there isn’t enough time in the day to do everything I’d love to, I wish too I could just do what I love the most and nothing else :) I’m working on it :)

    Reply
  23. renucas

    Nice to read this! I’m happy to be following my dream. To some extent, I HAVE created the kind of life that I wished to live. I travel, I take pictures, I experience new things, I write about my experiences, I inspire people, I do exactly what I love doing. I know I have to go a looooooooooong way, but I am on my way!

    Reply

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