Thursday, August 8, 2013

Making a Dream Come True

{Taking it all in, in Paris}

I started this blog ten months ago as a way to document my life-changing experience of traveling through Europe solo.  I didn't get the chance to do a study-abroad in college {I was busy with four marketing internships} and had hoped to take a year off between graduation and starting a full-time job to travel.  However, I received a great job-offer, and that coupled with the fact that the recession had severely affected the job market {many of my friends were either jobless or had to take low-paying, thinkless jobs since they were not able to find anything in their field} pushed me to jump into the working world right after graduation. 

Slowly but surely the travel bug began to consume me, and I became filled with regret that I didn't get the opportunity to spend time abroad as a student.  I am a firm believer that it is better to have tried and failed than to live with regret, so I decided to follow my dreams and travel through Europe alone.  

Now for those of you who don't know me, this decision was quite out of character.  I have always been very timid, and honestly didn't think I was brave enough to travel in a foreign country alone.  I remember laying in bed at night thinking, "You can't do this.  You will be miserable.  You won't meet anyone.  You will be homesick.  You will miss Ryan too much to be able to enjoy yourself."  Those nights continued, but over the next few weeks my thoughts started to change.  One night I was in bed and thought to myself "Why can't I do this?"  And that was that.  I had made up my mind, and the next day bought a round-trip flight from Cincinnati, Ohio to Paris.

My parents and Ryan were both extremely supportive and excited about my decision, however I would be lying if I didn't tell you they weren't incredibly nervous for me.  They worried that I would be lonely.  That I would be homesick.  And mostly, they worried about my safety.  I would also be lying if I said that I too wasn't concerned about my safety.  Movies like "Taken" {thank you Hollywood!} lurked in the back of my mind, and I worried about walking home late at night on unknown streets, getting lost, getting my beloved camera stolen, and worse.  To appease my fears I purchased a few safety supplies such as a personal alarm which I kept in my hand at all times while walking alone at night {I didn't have to use it, thank goodness!}  It may or may not have made me safer, but it did make me feel more confident which I think is half the battle.

The day Ryan took me to the airport I cried.  I wished that he was able to come with me.  I worried about eating dinners alone.  I worried again about my safety.  I worried that this was a huge mistake and I would be lonely and miserable.  We kissed goodbye and I was off.  Honestly, having to say goodbye to Ryan was the hardest part of the entire journey.  But from there, it was all uphill.  I couldn't believe I was about to spend two weeks in my favorite city in the world - Paris - then travel to countries I had never seen before.  A quick nine-hour plane ride later and I was in the City of Light, and well, the rest is history!  

Looking back, I know this was a huge turning point in my life.  The experience was absolutely wonderful, but even more than that, I feel like doing it has made me a stronger, more empowered, and courageous woman.  I wanted to travel, but didn't have anyone to do it with me.  So instead of pushing that dream aside and always looking back and wondering "what if...?" I made it happen.  And that itself was a life-lesson that was worth every penny I spent on the trip. 

I will leave you with a favorite quote, which has been a huge inspiration for my life.  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

Care to see more?  Detailed posts from my trip are below:

Paris: {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6} {7} {8} {9} {10} {11} {12} {13}
Switzerland: {1} {2} {3} {4}
Austria: {1} {2} {3}
England: {1} {2

PS - Follow Dreams in HD on bloglovin' here!


  1. i love hearing about your travel adventures!
    can't wait to make more in italy next month!

  2. What a great story - I'm glad you made the jump! All of life's best decisions start out with some trepidation.

  3. What a wonderfully inspiring story! I wish to make it to Europe on day. xx. McKenna (Lou) Ryan

  4. You go girl! I love that you were courageous enough to step outside of your comfort zone. It's those times that you grow the most! So inspiring. :)

    Isn’t That Charming.

  5. That's one of my favourite quotes too. What a wonderful story. Travel is a passion of mine and several years ago I lived in France for year - it certainly develops confidence and you're left with wonderful memories too. You have a lovely blog with varied posts. I'm delighted to be following along on Bloglovin'

  6. Molly {Dreams in HD}August 8, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    me too Ryan! la dolce vita!

  7. Everybody loves a good travel story. You have some beautiful memories on this blog :)


  8. Molly {Dreams in HD}August 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    thank you so much nicole!

  9. Molly {Dreams in HD}August 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    oh wow, that sounds absolutely wonderful. i would love to live in france one day. thanks for the follow :)

  10. Molly {Dreams in HD}August 8, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    thank you so much emily! looking back i still surprise myself that i actually did it, but i am so thankful that i had the courage to step outside of my comfort zone. totally agree with you on those being the times you grow the most.

  11. Molly {Dreams in HD}August 8, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    thank you so much dear!
    i hope you can make it someday too, it truly is wonderful :)

  12. Molly {Dreams in HD}August 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    so well said Quyen. i truly believe we should never let fear decide our fate!

  13. Good for you! I also love that quote by Mark Twain, and I think it is a great one to live by! Traveling is good for the soul :)

    Simply Akshara

  14. Molly {Dreams in HD}August 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    completely agree with you! thanks so much for stopping by my blog :)

  15. Thats great that you did that. I actually travelled around Europe at 22 by myself for about 14 months and volunteered at horse riding places and all that. Best experience of my life.

  16. What a fantastic and brave decision it was! Must have been an unforgettable experience! x

  17. Molly {Dreams in HD}August 9, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    it was absolutely unforgettable!

  18. Molly {Dreams in HD}August 9, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    that sounds just amazing kayleigh. where all did you travel? that will be an experience you will cherish for the rest of your life.

  19. You are amazing - so very proud of you.

  20. Oh Molly, this brought tears to eyes. I am so incredibly proud of you and so inspired by you. Travel is good for the soul. Travel always. Whether it's to a new country or just a drive down an old dirt lane you've never been on before. Go with an open heart. There's adventure around every corner

  21. I'm so excited and happy that you took this opportunity!! You have inspired me, girl!!! I'm all about taking risks and doing what you want to do because I don't want to look back and say "I wish I had done this...." You're amazing, Molly! xo

  22. thank you so, so much for the beyond sweet comment jessica! i always believe it is better to have tried and failed than to have not tried at all :)

  23. Words cannot describe how happy I am that I stumbled across your blog, and this post! For about four years I have wanted to go to Paris but being freaked out to go alone, I asked a friend to go with me. That didn't work out and I so didn't want to go alone - for loads of the reasons you mentioned above - esp. fear for my safety. Going to Paris is one of my dreams but I didn't want to go alone, so I dismissed it from my mind... Then I stumbled across this post. Thank you so much for sharing this and defying your fears, you have inspired me; through living your dreams. Now, I must live mine. Thank you so much. Love from London, Sabrina Xxx

  24. hi sabrina, i just wanted to take a quick moment to thank you for your beyond sweet comment. words cannot express how much it means to me and how happy i am that you have found the courage to visit paris on your own! i'd love to hear more about your trip...feel free to email me if you need anything at all thank you again and bon voyage!