A short inspirational story about a personal challenge.

October 21, 2013. 8 PM

The doors slid open, and she stepped outside. Everything looked unfamiliar except the lights from the tall lanterns illuminating the main exit of the International Airport. This light is always the same, bright, warm, and welcoming. 

Half an hour ago, the plane where she was one of the hundreds of passengers landed in Cancun, Mexico. Everyone clapped their hands and hurried to leave the plane. 

She spent eleven hours in the sky, flying from one continent to another. The Atlantic Ocean somewhere below and the blue sky on the top maintained a picturesque equilibrium she needed to think about her life. A cozy seat near the window with a beautiful view of fluffy white clouds made it easier to relax. She needed this peaceful time.

clouds imagination creativity

A short inspirational story continues…

She had only a one-way ticket when she checked in for her flight to Madrid. All the others she used while traveling around Spain on her own with one suitcase and a backpack. 

A 31-year-old woman was exploring new places, walking and taking photos, having short-engaging conversions in a language she barely understood, and embracing as much of the new culture as possible. She was learning to enjoy a moment and kept moving forward. 

An evening before the flight, she was sitting in a small bar near the prodigious Cibeles fountain in the heart of Madrid. It took six years to build it, and the first brave step was for the architect to envision this monumental masterpiece. Then one step at a time, one stone after another, and centuries later, it is still a great reminder of its creator’s efforts.

Cibeles fountain, Madrid – 18th century neoclassical fountain depicting the goddess Cybele on a chariot pulled by 2 lions.

She took one more sip of wine and wrote in her travel diary: “I feel this is a pivotal point in my life, and I must admit I am afraid… I have no job; I am a thousand miles away from my family and friends, and I don’t know anyone there. What am I going to do if my plan doesn’t work? What if I run out of money? How am I going to learn a language? I don’t know…now… I will figure it out when I am there. One thing I know for sure is that I am not going back.”

Her best friend, helping her pack, said: “You are brave! I hope you realize it! 

She answered: “Am I? I just know I want it! After all the drama I had in my life in the last two years, I feel a peaceful need for a big change. And it’s now or never!”

Seven months before that, she made her first international solo one-day trip to Helsinki, Finland. And later that month bought her first one-way ticket, which became the starting point of her big trip. 

One word at a time, one ticket at a time, one step at a time. Tiny, graceful changes multiplied by hundreds of days per year will always give the result. But you start with one. Just one.

P.S. This inspirational story is based on real-life events that happened in 2013 with the author of this story and founder of “Fine Art Lifestyle.” 

When I landed in Cancun, Mexico, I had one backpack with a camera, a laptop, and one suitcase, where I stored all my life’s belongings. I knew little Spanish and had only 3000 dollars in my bank account. 

I stayed in Cancun for nine years, built a successful photography business, learned Spanish, and was published in The New York Times.

One of the things I learned on that journey is that we are all brave! 

That’s a power we all possess since we are born, but to turn it on, we need to act, and sometimes it means stepping into the unknown and learning new things. 

In 2022 I bought another one-way ticket because every adventure needs a sequel.

Thank you for reading! 

Packing my suitcase for a big trip. October 3, 2013
A stunning view on Barcelona, October 7, 2013
travel to cancun inspirational story
In Cancun, downtown, November 2, 2013
dream big new york inspiration
Visiting New York for the first time, March 2022

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