When it comes down to it, there is nothing between you and your dreams but thin air and opportunity. And more times than not, it’s about working up the guts to go and just doing it.
As a child, I never thought it possible to have the opportunity to travel the world in search of adventure in exotic faraway lands. As with most kids in small town America, I grew up believing my life was about getting a job, paying a mortgage, and living a “normal” life that eventually led to a quiet retirement and old age.
Later in life, it seemed magical to be peering through the dense jungle foliage to take in the sheer grandeur of the Leshan Giant Buddha carved into the red sandstone cliff face overlooking the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu, and Qingyi rivers. I realized dreams really can come true if you want them bad enough.
In an attempt to calm the tumultuous murky brown waters swirling below for the boatsmen obliged to ply these rivers, local Buddhist monks dug, sculpted, and shaped the cliff face into this towering 71 meter (233 ft.) figure of Buddha. I’m not sure whether their efforts succeeded in pacifying the troubled waters at this river junction, but it created an intriguing place to explore.
Spending the day scrambling over the sandstone rocks and up the narrow hewn steps transported me back to a time where monks clad in dark red and orange robes chipped relentlessly away at the cliff’s face over the muddy waters below. Even wading through the throngs of people, it was easy to picture life those earlier times. For those Buddhist monks, it was an incredible undertaking. For me, it was an awesome journey to appreciate the fruits of their labor.
It was a pleasure to explore this Tang Dynasty era sandstone carving, which stands as the tallest pre-modern statue in the world. It was an adventure made possible because I had not only the desire to go but was willing to get on my bike and go to see it. Glancing at images of this ancient wonder on the pages of a glossy magazine is one thing. Exploring this enormous statue in person is quite another.
Believe in yourself and follow your dreams. They will lead you to incredible places. Be your own hero. You will amaze yourself if you are willing to commit to your dreams and go for it.
Follow your dreams, you’ll be amazed at the places you’ll go. If you really want it, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. What are you waiting for? Get out there. Adventure awaits.