Dream It, Do It

Do you ever read something and think “How’d you get inside my head like that? How’d you beat me to writing that?! Curse you O Magazine!”? Because I do that, like, twice a month. I happened up this article in the most recent issue of O and thought it was too good to keep to myself. By Katie Arnold-Ratliff

Maybe you want to live abroad, write a memoir or bike across the country – or maybe you’re still getting in touch with your inner thrill seeker. Here’s some advice to help expand your horizons if you fantasize about…

Living An Expat Life
Small Step: Rent a flat in London. Visit net-lettings.co.uk to browse the rental listings.

Giant Leap: Relocate to Cairo. It’s welcoming to non-natives and boasts stunning architecture, an opera house and an international film festival. For emergencies take along Cairo: The Practical Guide by Claire E. Francy.

Competing In A Triathlon

Small Step: Try a short distance event – some require just ten minutes of swimming, 30 minutes of biking and 20 minutes of running. Trifind.com lists local races.
Giant Leap: Tackle an Ironman (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, 26.2-mile run)) and compete for a qualifying slot at in the World Championship (ironman.com)

Hiking The Appalachian Trail

Small Step: Go on a daylong trek: The Mid-Atlantic and Virginias segments are least strenuous.
Giant Leap: Take on the thru-hike (all 2,178 miles) from Georgia to Maine – giving yourself at least six months to make the journey. Find a description of each leg of the hike at appalachiantrail.org.

Owning a Business

Small Step: Open a franchise. Find a company you like – whether Baja Fresh or Gymboree – and visit its web site to learn criteria and find applications.
Giant Leap: Create your own business model. Get info on loans from the Small Business Administration web site (sba.gov).

Writing Your Story

Small Step: Start a blog – go to wordpress.com and you’ll have your page up pronto.
Giant Leap: Write a memoir. New York City’s Gotham Writer’s Workshop offers online classes on personal history writing for $395 (writingclasses.com); Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones can also help you get started.

Joining An Archaeological Dig
Small Step: Go on a guided tour of sites across the Southwest to explore artifacts among ancient cliff dwellings and historic trading posts (crowcanyon.org)
Giant Leap: Excavate a Roman necropolis – or dive for shipwrecks – in Menorca, Spain (ecomuseodecavalleria.com)

Traveling Cross-Country
Small Step: Roadtripusa.com details four coast-to-coast car routes, like the Oregon Trail and the Loneliest Road.
Giant Leap: Make the trip by bike using the TransAmerica trail. Find advice on what to pack and how to get in shape, and buy maps of the route – from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia – at adventurecycling.org.

Being a Great Hostess

Small Step: Throw a cheese-tasting event – you’ll feed your friends and test-drive fancy fromage without turning on the stove. Be sure to pick up The Cheese Tasting Party Kit.
Giant Leap: Host a dinner of endive-pear salad and chicken piccata with help from the Barefoot Contessa. Watch clips of Ina Gerten making these recipes on foodnetwork.com

Going on Safari

Small Step: Spot brown bears at Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska, but marine life, volcanoes and glaciers (realadventures.com)
Giant Leap: Take and unguided safari in Namibia in Tou Safaris’ 4×4 vehicles. Stay on the route, or live dangerously and go off-road for a better view of the wildlife (tou-safaris.com)

What small steps and big leaps are you taking towards your goals?
I’m corresponding with a school in Nepal, an editor in Mumbai and checking out destinations in Malaysia! What about you?



All that you are gearing up to do sounds so exciting. I really want to hanker down on myself and get started on writing! I have so many stories brewing in my head but it is so hard to find a) a starting point and b) the courage to actually write without doubting myself.


Hannah Katy

Bef with an F

I've gotten my headshots taken, signed up with a casting website & formatted my resume! Now I have to decide on a picture, memorize a monologue & start submitting all of it!

AAAAAAUGH, life is happening!

Elle Sees

This is so cool! You know how everyone talks of going to Paris, driving Route 66, or seeing every state? Well, one day I decided to quit talking and start doing. And I've been to all 50 states and 18 countries. And there's still many more places I want to go!

Emy Jo

Small step: paying off MASSIVE bills one at a time
Giant leap: doing it all in one year by living like paupers so we can start a family with peaceful brains


These are great! I think first off, start writing something every day!
And budget like crazy so I can get a leg up on paying off my mortgage etc.

Also, figure out what else I want to do…what my other big dreams are so I can think about how to achieve them.


I've applied for a visa to study Japanese in Japan later this year. I'm not sure yet if that's a big step or a small one!


It seems that all my greatest adventures begin with a "dream it, do it" mantra.

A few years ago I was invited to Southern France, three months later I had an expedited passport, a plane ticket, and no boundaries.

At the end of July I'll be on a cycling tour in Nova Scotia. Two weeks ago my friend and I had the idea, and we're already booked (tour, flight, hotels, etc.) for the trip!


Great post, thank you for sharing!

I am going to live in London for 6 weeks this summer. I am going to attend a summer school. (small step)

I have also started a blog. (small step)

My ultimate dream is to relocate to NYC, but I'm afraid visa requrements etc will get in my way. That's why one of my steps is to start my own business, so I can work from there without needing a work permit.

Also, I'm planning to rent a place and stay the allowed three months next spring. (huge small step! )


I sarah. I read that you are planning to come to malaysia? Awesome! I am a malaysian. If you really are coming here, is there a chance we can meet up? that wil be real great! =D


I just got my Ugandan visa in the mail today! On July 5th I'm traveling through Uganda to Tanzania where I'll be staying in a rural village for research. I'm so excited!

Plus, O Magazine is amazing.


What a fantastic photo! I'm going to post it on my blog and link back to you 🙂 Also, I love O, too!


So exciting to see "relocate to Cairo" here! Moving to Egypt alone was the scariest, craziest thing I've ever done; but it has been the most rewarding, joyful experience of my life! It's about time it gets some press, haha.


What a great post! And sometimes we just have to make that next step. As there are some big dreams on my list, I think I have to post about them. Maybe finding the courage to take the next step in accomplishing them.

Thanks a lot for charing!


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