Have you ever imagined yourself “living the dream?” What would that look like for you?

Or better yet, have you ever caught yourself actually saying (or thinking) “I am living the dream!”

I have.

It came out of nowhere.

Most of us work hard enough just to support ourselves or our families. We’re financially challenged and we’re busy. Actually living the dream is a real stretch. Even imagining it may be a bit of a stretch.

Yet virtually all of us have times we can indulge in those pursuits that rejuvenate our spirits, and allow us, temporarily, at least, to escape the stresses of life and just enjoy the moment. And feel like we’ve reached our “happy place.”

We humans are so different one from another, so we find our happy places quite differently. A friend of mine recently said to me “I’m back at my happy place, an airport.” (I’m sure the airport was symbolic for the adventure she was about to depart on.)

Is your happy place a break from routine? Do you find it in your vacation, for example? Or is it in the thrill of achievement? Or is your happy place more about a relationship—with a human or perhaps a pet? A place of total comfort, where stresses melt away, you find your own little experience of bliss.

What defines our happy places? Is it our genes? Is it our past experiences that have shaped us? Is it our imaginations, informed by the movies we’ve watched and reading we’ve done? Is it reports from friends that have shaped our dreams?

I don’t pretend to have those answers. But most of us, I think, have an imagined, or real, happy place, a place where we can live our dreams. Many of us think we’ll never achieve that, because there are too many obstacles, like time or money.

Perhaps we need to dispense with the notion that “living the dream” is a permanent state of bliss. Perhaps we can live the dream for brief moments.

A lot of people find joy in travels and adventures. So it is with me. We were barely out of the airport when I remarked to my travelling companion, “This feels so good to once again step into a third-world setting” (my first since the start of the pandemic). She agreed. We are both travellers.I wish I could do a whole lot more travel–adventure travel, to be precise–but time and money are both obstacles to such a lifestyle. And besides, helping people get into homes also gives me great joy. (In the past three weeks, I’ve had the thrill of helping two more couples achieve that dream, one finishing the program after more than three years and becoming homeowners, the other moving into a condo to begin a two-year program leading to their home ownership dream.)

While the aura of the third world encounter was, perhaps in a most general sense, my happy place, just as the airport represented that for my friend, that was not the moment I was referring to at the beginning of this post.

It was a follow-up trip to Playa del Carmen for dental work that had begun on the aforementioned trip five months earlier. This time I’d tacked on a short, five-day adventure in Chiapas (Southern Mexico) to precede the appointments.

I was in the car with my private guide. Yesterday we’d seen some amazing scenery near Tuxtla Gutiérrez, then I’d spent the afternoon and evening exploring San Cristobal de la Casa, a colonial town and the tourist centre of the region. This morning my guide had taken me to a couple of native, self-governing villages, where I’d learned all about, and witnessed, the Mayan culture in action. Now we were travelling through the indigenous-governed territory, overlooking some spectacular mountain scenery, on our way to the impressive Palenque ruins. The weather was perfect, the guide an expert, the decisions all mine, and the life I’d left at home two days earlier, a distant memory.

It just came out: “I’m living the dream.”

It was only a brief moment in time, but at that moment, I felt like I’d found my place of bliss. I will never forget that moment, or the feeling that went with it.

What’s your dream?

My suggestion? Nurture it, and you may find yourself living it, even if just for a moment.

At least, that’s how I see it . . .