Dare to Commit – a Travel Writer’s Journey


How many dreams should you commit to in a lifetime? One? An infinite amount? Somewhere in between?

While I fully anticipate committing to one man for my lifetime, and have one family, professional commitments have become more fluid with time.

Instead of the pensions of our forefathers, we are mostly left to fend for ourselves saving for retirement as few of us will be able to count on company pensions and social security as more than a meal a month in retirement.

So, when your original dream doesn’t work out quite the way you expected, how do you choose the next dream and make the commitment to see it through

Most of us can tell you what NOT to do. Don’t buy every bright, shiny object in your path, thinking you’ll get rich quick and never have to work again.

Find a way to settle yourself into some piece of calm and think. Perhaps you’ll ask yourself these questions:

How do I want to live?

How do I want my days to look?

Who do I want to be?

What do I want my children to see, based on my actions and not my words, is truly important to me?

Figure those things out, and you’ll be able to answer the question:

What do I really want to do?

As you go through this process, you’ll find you make a more profound commitment to the dream.

Say you want to be a travel writer. You pay for the courses, maybe even get started, then life gets in the way. You put it aside, you’re a little committed, but not all in, and know that it’s there for you if you want to get back to it, someday.

That day may not come for a few years when you realize you’re not burnt out from your day job as you hear from so many of your colleagues, but you really are beaten down. The travel writing courses will cross your plate just as another opportunity serendipitously comes your way. For us, it was my daughter’s gap year between college and grad school.

The commitment to travel writing came from the enjoyment of both travel and writing. The commitment to do it now came from traveling across multiple (new) continents and countries, experiencing the highs of the Auckland Sky Tower to the lows of the reefs of Bonaire, Dutch Antilles (deeper than the Great Barrier Reef).

Being able to make a living as a travel writer takes the commitment to productivity.

As American businessman Paul J. Meyer said, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”

Here’s to you: Choose wisely the thing worthy of your commitment. Don’t be afraid to abandon a spirit-sucking job for something worthy of your talents, time and life.


Accepted to med school at 15, Gail continued her love of creative writing in journals capturing her US and world travels. As she prepares for retirement from medicine in the next decade, her love of both writing and of travel have led to the next career, in travel writing and photography. During her daughter's "gap year," they travelled to Oceania, South America, North America and Europe with a commitment to go to Asia and the Antarctic during the next available committed time off school and work.