About dreams

I am a dreamer. Are you?

Whether we are talking about dreams or desires, basically they are conceived by our mind. Some of them are more realistic, others are more fictional and we may think they won’t become reality any time sooner. Still, we would like to accomplish them. So what do we do? What actions do we take? How motivated are we to go all the way up to the point where we see our dreams coming true?

Probably I am the only one in the world who dreamed of visiting Hawaii 😀 . Blue crystal color water, fine sand, emerald green nature, pristine beaches coming all together with a positive chill vibe from the Hawaiian people. Definitely a dream.

I never imagined that I will visit Hawaii at the age of 20. This place is so far from home and it’s so expensive, I didn’t even consider it until I figured out a way to make it happen. Going to the USA for a summer with the work&travel program is quite easy. Yes, you have several costs at the beginning but if you don’t have all the money you need, you can take a credit. What you definitely need though, is courage and determination to cross the Atlantic Ocean and spend four months away from home, in a foreign country. Work hard, spend money with care, enjoy every day and make savings for trips. That’s my advice.

Last year, when I went for the first time to the US, I visited most of the big cities on both coasts, which was pretty impressive. But this year, my trip was more special. I aimed for the beautiful islands of Hawaii, situated in the middle of Pacific Ocean. I planned the trip together with two dear friends, Diana and Adelina, without whom I wouldn’t have had the fun that I did. We tried traditional food, we hiked the mountains and tropical forests, we relaxed at the beaches, we drove across both islands that we visited, Oahu and Maui, we did snorkeling and we participated at a traditional Hawaiian party. Every day felt like paradise.

Maybe you’ve heard this question before: When was the last time you did something for the first time? Well, for me it was snorkeling in October 2018, in Hawaii. A truly amazing experience, exploring the beauty of life under the water. I didn’t have high expectations, I was just curious to see little fish chillin’ in the water. It took me several minutes to take the courage of swimming away from the boat as I am scared of deep water. But when I finally did and I also took a look under the water, maaaaaan I was impressed. I literally couldn’t help myself not to smile, even though I took some water in. I had to focus not to let myself to the emotions and stop smiling so that I can stay longer under the water. The view was breathtaking. There were many little colorful fish, corals and turtles. And the water was so clear. For a second I felt like a marine expert doing research on fish behavior. 😀

About the Hawaiian party, it is actually called a Luau party. We had dinner on a fancy hotel’s patio and we also enjoyed a show with hula dancers, fire dancing and acrobats. At that party, I really felt that I was in Hawaii. I realized that I made it to the other side of the globe, at ~12500 km away from my home(Oradea, Romania), on an island, in the middle of the ocean, at 20 years old, on my own money. I would have never imagined that this will happen. I enjoyed every minute of my trip.

My point is that dreams are good and you should keep dreaming. But also make them become reality. For this, you have to take action, you must do something towards it. Sometimes they may come when you least expect them, other times you may have to work really hard to get to them. Whichever way it is, do not give up. Stay on your track and do whatever you can to achieve your dreams. I wish your dreams come true, just as mine did.

Stay positive! Love life! 😉

Iulia Tuduce

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An Unexpected Work&Travel Summer in USA

I have changed. I have evolved. I see things differently.

This summer through the work & travel program I went to the US for the second consecutive year. Last year I went to Rehoboth Beach, DE, but I wasn’t moved by the place and I was 80% sure that I wasn’t going back. Things got a little twisted and I signed up again for the program, but this time aiming for California as my desired destination. I heard only good things about Santa Cruz, California thus I decided to go for this state and town. After several emails and an interview, I got the job! Full of excitement, I was ready to spend my summer by the ocean, in California, in Santa Cruz.

I didn’t leave home with expectations, I was just curious about California, to realize at the end of the summer that I’ve spent 4 amazing, unforgettable, life changing months.

My job was at an amusement park, one of the best amusement parks in the world, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. I was part of the Games&Arcades department. Specifically, I was supposed to stay at the games (Top Glo, Pitch In, Long Shot, Water Race, Splash – just to name a few) be nice to guests, have fun, celebrate with them the wins and make them play more, have a great time. It was a lovely job. Most of my colleagues were Americans, but there were also people from Poland, Macedonia, Malaysia, Jamaica. It was the perfect environment to interact with people from various cultures who share similar interests. Most of us were students, but there were also teenagers.

The housing that I was offered was very cute and cozy. It was right across from the Boardwalk and I could even see the ocean through the window of the main room. I shared this apartment with two friendly girls, Laia from Spain and Tina from Montenegro. Three European cultures in one apartment, for an entire summer. I loved every day of it. I spoke English every day, all day for 4 months, exactly what I would expect from spending a long time in a foreign country. It was interesting to see how well we got along, spent great moments together and made beautiful memories.

Going alone to Santa Cruz made me more open and willing to meet new people. I would easily start conversations with people and others as well would easily approach me. I met very interesting people with life stories that amazed me, like a man who owned a big business in Taiwan that processes bamboo. He had also adopted a kid from Romania, my home country. He recounted how one day when he was in Bucharest, Romania he had coffee with Nicolas Cage. I also met people who worked in Silicon Valley at Apple, NASA or Google. One day I was approached by a man who has a YouTube channel with whom I still keep in touch. If you’ve seen live videos with me on Facebook this summer, this is the guy. His name is Damon Cart and the YouTube channel is NLP Gym. It was wonderful to be featured in his videos and I’ve learnt a lot of things from him about personal development, YouTube, and what it takes to run an online business.

Santa Cruz is a wonderful town. When I chose to spend my summer there, little did I know about this place. It is nicknamed “Surf City”. In 1885 three Hawaiian princes who were attending university in California brought surfing to North America for the first time right in Santa Cruz. It quickly spread throughout the West Coast of the United States and to the rest of the world. A famous movie inspired by a true story, starring Gerard Butler, was filmed there: Chasing Mavericks. On top of that, Santa Cruz is the home to Jack O’Neill who invented the wet-suit for surfers. Indeed, there are plenty of beaches where you can surf. On any clear day you will find surfers in the ocean right off of the coast enjoying their sport.

The entire summer was an amazing experience I could not have imagined, full of unforgettable moments that I am grateful to have lived and that will stay with me forever. But all of these were possible because I was open to experiencing whatever came my way. I was curious and eager and I accepted challenges.

If I have any words of encouragement, it is to see the world with an open mind, an open heart, and an openness to experiencing new things. Be courageous. Seize opportunities, enjoy the little things, and devour your surroundings with your senses.

 

Santa Cruz – California
Summer 2018