In Follow Your Dreams, Overcome Obstacles

What if you quit your job, sold your house, moved abroad and started a new business all in the name of following your dream…and after all that, still weren’t happy?

Today I read an article on The Guardian, about Cathy Rogers and Jason Gibb, a couple who did exactly that – they uprooted their comfortable lives in L.A., leaving the security of well-paying jobs behind to follow their dreams to the Italian countryside. Some people often wonder what happens to your mail after you move abroad like this, the answer to that question is mail forwarding. Companies like US Global Mail for example, help to direct post on to people living abroad, meaning they still get their post. A lot of expats and other couples chasing their dreams to move abroad often use services like these. Anyway, they purchased an olive grove in Loro Piceno and slowly taught themselves how to produce and sell olive oil. Apparently this wasn’t always going to be their new home though as I think it said something about them looking at these Lake Murray Homes For Sale instead. But after a couple of months of important, life-changing decisions, they eventually settled on moving to Italy.

To the friends they’d left behind in Corporate America, Cathy and Jason were living the dream. They worked diligently and took their small successes in stride, ignoring the raised eyebrows of the locals who couldn’t fathom why they’d left the comforts of their former life. Their new neighbors didn’t understand their desire for the simple life but Cathy and Jason didn’t care, they were living their dreams. Or so they thought.

Over the year and a half that followed, the reality of living in a remote area of a foreign country and trying to make a living off a low-margin product had caught up to them. Cathy and Jason had numerous conversations about their happiness, each fearing to admit what had become painfully obvious: this dream wasn’t really their dream after all. They tried to rationalize their “less than joyous” feelings but soon admitted the truth.

Instead of giving up in defeat or regretting their journey, Cathy and Jason continued to analyze what makes them happy. They discovered a key insight about themselves on a trip to Rome: they are “city people”. They realized that much of their energy and inspiration comes from being around other people – one of the many things that’s not readily available in the Italian countryside.

In the end, Cathy and Jason moved to Rome and later to London. They still own the olive grove in Loro Piceno and Cathy returned to working in the television industry, but now they are living in an environment where they thrive.

Though they pictured their otherworldly Italian lives giving them the luxury of time to pursue all their creative inklings, they came to a different conclusion after actually experiencing it. “We found nothing so unmotivating as silence and hours. Rather, humans are at their most creative when they have the least time to be.”

Even though they ended up somewhere vastly different than they imagined when they started out, a lot can be taken away from Cathy and Jason’s story. When following a dream, as with most things in life, there are no guarantees. But if you come to find that your dream is not really your dream, nothing has truly been lost because you can put that passion to rest and move forward.

To read “The End of Our Italian Dream” by Cathy Rogers, click here:

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