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.
We 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.
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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April 22, 2013 @ 3:25 PM
I think your board looks great! Putting pen to paper or in this case having a visual representation of your goal can be a big turning point 🙂
I’m looking forward to the days without any plans on our honeymoon. After a couple of days of relaxation, our minds will be ready to start brainstorming again for our future too 🙂
April 23, 2013 @ 3:07 PM
Thanks Heather! You definitely need some relaxation after all the wedding and honeymoon planning, and I’m sure there was added stress with the extra things like visas and whatnot. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you both!
April 22, 2013 @ 10:17 PM
This is such a great idea!
April 23, 2013 @ 3:07 PM
I can’t take credit for the original idea, but thanks!
Nicole @ suitcase Stories
April 22, 2013 @ 11:41 PM
I had a vision board for my dream life – And it came true! I am now living the life, the exact life, that I had on my vision board. I didnt understand the power of visualization until I made my dreams come true 🙂
April 23, 2013 @ 3:08 PM
That’s awesome Nicole! I’m so glad to hear how well it worked for you, and so happy you’re living your dream life now!
April 23, 2013 @ 1:31 AM
I love this idea! Definitely the more you see it the more you’ll be inspired! Good luck on your beyond vacation everything! Hopefully we’ll cross paths again!
April 23, 2013 @ 3:09 PM
Thanks Val! I’m sure we will cross paths again one of these days, I just have no idea when or where!
April 23, 2013 @ 4:12 PM
That’s a great idea and I wish we would have done something like that months back. Now I feel like we’re too close to our departure date (Sept) to make something, but I definitely would like to sit down with my husband and get an idea of what our ideal life will look like, so we don’t lose sight of it when we’re on the road. When we first started really planning for this trip back in late 2010, I bought us a big map of the world for Christmas and we hung it in our bedroom. It’s a nightly reminder of why we’re doing this and we like to lay in bed some nights and weekend mornings and dream about our travels. It’s been a good reminder for us.
April 24, 2013 @ 10:33 AM
It sounds like the map has worked really well as your dream board! It’s definitely a good idea to talk to each other about what your goals are and what you want to make sure you’re on the same page, plus it helps clarify things for yourself too. September will be here before you know it! So exciting!
April 23, 2013 @ 5:06 PM
This looks like great fun! I love putting together things that organize the thoughts and desires going on inside my head. Wishing you both lots of happiness on your new travel journey!
April 24, 2013 @ 10:35 AM
It was definitely helpful to make the dream board and figure out what we want our lives to look like. Thanks Andrea!
April 23, 2013 @ 7:22 PM
Great idea and definitely inspiring to keep it in view so that you never forget. I like the fact that you are thinking about different experiences and feelings you want to have, as well as just the physical places to visit.
April 24, 2013 @ 10:36 AM
Thanks Julia! I think it started as a purely travel thing but then as we started cutting out pictures, we realized how much more we wanted and could represent with those pictures. Definitely helpful!
April 24, 2013 @ 3:52 PM
i’ve actually been thinking about making a mind map for my two years or so to come. Haven’t got around to it yet.
I should, really.
A mind map and after that, maybe, a dream board:)
April 25, 2013 @ 10:12 AM
Mind map, dream board, any sort of visual for your future plans and goals is a great idea. It felt a little cheesy to do, but it’s amazing how much it actually helped to have it as a reminder of what we were working towards.
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November 10, 2014 @ 7:51 AM
[…] :: Create a dream board […]
November 10, 2014 @ 10:42 PM
i set up a large bulletin board with note cards as headers
as i add dreams i can move them around by month or goal
as i accomplish an item (a card) i can remove the card or amend it.
better than notes on the frige
November 11, 2014 @ 3:20 PM
Lee, I love that idea! Great way to have your goals and dreams in front of you as a reminder while still being able to amend things as you go. Love it!