My Portugal dream

Have you ever had a DREAM, but let it slip away? Did you ever want to do something, but you didn't get around to it, because you listened to all the "buts" and "ifs"? Well, you know what? Screw it, just do it next time! What is the worst that can happen?

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney

PortugalFifteen years ago, when I was living in Belgium, I always missed "something". I was a perfectly happy person, but something was missing. Something just didn't fit. I looked around and thought: "Is Belgium the country where I want to spend the rest of my life? Is this as good as it gets? Do I have the balls to leave my comfort zone, leave my family and friends and go to a country with surf and sunshine?" I In Belgium we have an expression "Last year the summer fell on a Wednesday afternoon". Unfortunately this can be true. I knew that I HAD TO GO because else this idea would haunt me for the rest of my days.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt

CoxosA week after graduation my parents bought me a one way ticket to Lisbon. Sounds a bit funny doesn't it? My family supported my dream since day one and knew that I had to go on this adventure. I had never been to Lisbon, but I decided that it was the place where I was going to build a future. I wanted to live in a country with SUN and excellent SURF, but still be CLOSE to my family and friends in Belgium. Portugal united all these conditions and I had already I fell in love with Portugal in 1999 during a surf trip in the Costa Alentjana, one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.  Relaxed and friendly people, pumping surf and days filled with sun and good vibes. What else could I wish for?

So how did I organise everything before I left? I didn't! One week after graduation I organised an unforgettable (although some parts are hard to remember) "good-bye party"! I lost more time organising the party than preparing my big move! That's how easy it is to make a dream come true. Most people thought I was slightly crazy when in 2000 I said goodbye to all my friends on that memorable party. I heard a lot of opinions, "ifs" and "buts", but in the end you just have to get on a plane and go. It's that simple. My friends in Belgium even had a bet on how long it would take before I would come back!

September 20th 2000

This day is one of the most memorable days in my life. Around 10 am I was standing with my family and a whole bunch of friends at the airport in Brussels with a one way ticket to Lisbon, a seriously overweight suitcase and a surfboard. I wasn't scared or worried, but I was definitely unprepared. It was simple. I was going to go with the flow and see what happens. When I was saying goodbye to my friends and family the tears starting appearing and that's when it hit me. That was the first time I realised that this wasn't a vacation. I picked up my luggage, with tears in my eyes, turned around and started walking towards the unknown. 

On the plane I started getting a panic attack. WHAT AM I DOING? Where am I going to sleep? What am I going to do when I arrive in Lisbon? I was starting to go crazy! And that was the beginning of a 15 year old story.

Arrifana

What a trip these last 15 years have been. GO FOR YOUR DREAMS. Make things happen and enjoy! Fight for your dreams and don't listen to the "ifs" and "buts", because mostly they come from negative people who are jealous and don't have the courage to chase their own dreams!

I just wanted to end with a picture of me helping one of my best friends who moved to Bali for 2 years with his family! Another person who is enjoying life the fullest and went for his dream. They also heard a lot of buts and ifs, but you know what...THEY ARE LIVING IN BALI! :)

Friends

I hope this blog might give somebody out there the push they need to go after their dreams. Because If I would have listened to all the "ifs and buts" I would still be living in Belgium, would never have created Goachi and wouldn't be enjoying life this much!

 "Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today." James Dean

 

Please leave a comment below with your thoughts and feedback! Cheers, Haroun

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Haroun Cherif
Haroun Cherif

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