Inside The American Dream

Living The American Dream

America is a land of dreams. Everyday, thousands arrive in its shores hoping for a better life. Each carrying in their hearts a bag full of lifelong dreams.

American Dream

Some had to go through the worst of odds to pursue them.

For others, it becomes a legacy handed down as a precious gift from one generation to the next.

American Dream

Sadly, some got so burned that they simply gave up on their dreams. A few even tragically gave up on the very dream to live.

Walking along San Francisco Bridge, we saw a sign and a wreath of flowers in remembrance of those who lost their lives when they jumped off the bridge. I was out for words, all I can do was say a prayer for those whose lives were lost.

Walking along San Francisco Bridge, we saw a sign and a wreath of flowers in memory of those who lost their lives when they jumped off this bridge. I was out for words. All I can do was say a prayer for those whose lives were lost. Everyday, somewhere in our planet, someone thinks life is no longer worth dreaming for. It’s up for the rest of us to show them that there is so much to dream for, live for. That there is always hope.

In all, everyone has a story to tell. A story mix with the good and the bad.

This man was playing his music along the pier. Beside him was a can for people to drop coins, a dollar or two. I wondered what was his story. What was his American Dream. Whatever they are, I hope he found them.

This man was playing his music along the pier. Beside him was an empty can for people to drop their coins, a dollar or two. I wondered what was his story. What was his American Dream? Whatever they are, I hope he found them.

Stories of triumph and struggles, laughter and tears, love and loss.

Stories that make us realize we are not so different after all. That we all dream and hope for the best of blessings for ourselves and the people we love.

American Dream

Some dreams reach their happy endings. Others lead to heartaches. A few may even turn into our worst nightmare we can’t wait to escape from. However they turned out of be, we should keep trying “living our own dreams.” Life is too short not to go after the very things that gives us light, purpose and meaning.

Eleven years ago, I reached the shores of America with my bag of dreams. I was ecstatic to finally be in the land of plenty and vast opportunities.

American Dream

Just like the millions of Americans today, part of my new American Dream is to simply breathe. To breathe without debt. To breathe without fear and worries. To breathe in all abandonment and freedom knowing I am back to just being me. The past thought me so many lessons I will never forget but if there’s one thing that got stuck deep, it’s this, “It’s not worth gaining the riches and fame in this world if in the end, we lose our very selves, our soul or the very people we love and cherish the most.”

Several years later, I found out that it takes a lot of hard work, trials and sacrifices to reach for my dreams. That there will be many obstacles along the way including people who will try to crush them. So many distractions, detours, mistakes and wrong choices. In end, it’s the simple need for freedom, happiness, love, faith and inner peace that makes up the basic core of my American Dream. It’s not about having lots of money, a big house or a fancy car that anytime can be taken away.

American Dream

Time is a great teacher. There will be moments in our journey when we’ll get discouraged when our dreams don’t turn out the way we hope them to be. There will be moments when we may even stop dreaming because no matter how much we try, we can’t seem to find them or make it right. The good news is, when we stop dreaming, our family and our truest friends will carry us in their dreams until we are ready to stand and make our own.

American Dream

There is something about California sunshine. Feels like Summer all the time and I can pretty much hear Pharrell Williams song “Happy” playing in my head. Oh, and I wasn’t the only jumping to its beat. Yep,”cause we’re happy!”

Joining my sister and her husband in California for my son’s Spring Break reminded me the value and importance of following my dreams.

Our visit ignited a new fire inside me. Being around family, traveling around the beautiful sights of Sonoma County and San Francisco inspired me to renew and rethink my American Dream. This time, it will be my American Dream and that of my family.

American Dream

In the next few months, I ask for your prayers that everything will fall into place. That God will guide me to find the right job, the right people to trust and build meaningful relationships, a new place to call home where I can make dreams that are good, lasting and real.

America Dream

Thank you for your visit today and for sharing your own dreams through your posts and comments.

In the next several posts, I will be sharing the many reasons why me and my family fell in love with California for the second time and why the American Dream is worth fighting for.

What are your most treasured bag of dreams? How do you wish to tell your story?

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About Island Traveler

A devoted husband and father who tries to make a positive difference in the lives of his family and friends. A person who finds inspiration and strength on those he loves and who loved him in all aspects of his life.
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58 Responses to Inside The American Dream

  1. Delightful post, may you live your dreams!

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  2. noe says:

    Wonderful story!
    It remind me to a quotes by anonymous, that the happiest people is they who keep on dreaming. :)

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    • “The happiest people is they who keep on dreaming,” sounds true and inspiring. To dream gives us the drive to be motivated. To wake up each day all excited and feeling so alive. Thanks.

      Like

  3. celia knox says:

    It’s so beautiful to hear when someone is truly happy. I love what you said about your American dream. I’m not American, but it sounds like the idea of the “American Dream” has been changing over the past number of years. I guess it’s different for each individual. Good luck with realising your dreams :)

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    • The American Dream is universal. It is basically the dream we hope for ourselves and our family regardless of what country we live in. I guess we can call it, “Global Human Dream,” because it is within the hearts of every man, woman and child worldwide to be free, to be happy, to achieve what they always long to have. Thanks.

      Like

  4. penpusherpen says:

    Our dreams keep us going no matter what obstacles are put in our way traveller. some lose that dream and fall, and like you it makes me so, so sick at heart to think anyone takes their own life for lack of a hand reaching out to help and restore the zest for life and all it has to offer. Your own story underlines the fact that you cannot take anything for granted, you work for your dream , for if it’s handed to you on a plate, saying here enjoy, it doesn’t taste so well as that which you’ve achieved by your own force of will and work ethic. We all have so much potential in us, and yours shines through with your words above. Have a great time, great discovery, and enjoy all that you’ve gained by your own hand and that of those who have helped along the way. all best wishes to you and yours . xPenx

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    • Thanks Pen. Yes, our dreams will be more meaningful and sweeter when we worked hard for it but it’s also something that sometimes goes beyond our control. There are dreams that one day they are within our grasp, the next they are gone. I guess what matters is that we keep working for our dreams no matter how hard or how long it takes to find them. We are given a lifetime to keep trying everyday. Thank you. A toast to each and every dream we have and hope to have!

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  5. Jenni says:

    I will add you to my morning and evening blessing. May you be find what it is you seek. Thank you so much for sharing your story and hopes and dreams and I will look forward to more of your posts.

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  6. Sherri says:

    Well IT, you knew that I would be over here quicker than you can say ‘California Dreamin” :-)

    Oh I love Sonoma and San Francisco and I read this post with very mixed emotions (and very sad about the bridge :-( ) but beautiful post and photos :-) So glad to hear you had such a wonderful time with your sister and have indeed decided to move back. As you know, my eldest son and his girlfriend are over there right now and hubby and my other two children are all very keen to get back there very soon for a visit.

    Your post is powerful and very evocative for me. You are so right about the American Dream. It does take a lot of work and many things can come along and steal it from you. My American Dream turned into a nightmare. It isn’t about big houses or fancy cars, you are right. I wasn’t seeking them but I lost them all anyway although it wasn’t what mattered. What I kept was my faith, my children and my true friends. I also have my priceless memories of many, happy years spent in California as a young mum bringing up my children there – and the photographs to prove it!! Money can’t buy that.

    My prayers are with you as you and your family prepare to move back to California and you know that this reader will be cheering you on every step of the way!

    Have a beautiful weekend my friend and God bless you in all you do … Sherri…. :-)

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    • Thank you Sherri. I truly appreciate the thoughtfulness and prayers. When I made this post, I remembered and thought of the hundred of thousands of Americans who lost their homes since the housing and mortgage crisis, economic crisis that started in 2008. Even sadder is that the government bailed out mortgage companies who started the bad loans in the first place instead of the homeowners who spent every last cent of their hard earned money for a falsely promised dream. I hope that one day the government will truly look into this and help those who already lost not just their homes but their hope for part of the American dream. Till then, the trauma and pain will haunt the victims and will take some time to heal. It’s hard to trust and believe after we go through something like this. Perhaps one day. I agree, the real truth now is that the new American dream is having our faith, our family, our supportive friends and let me just add, our sanity and well being. Just like you my dream now is to live the best years of my life with my love ones. Where they are, I am home! I hope one day, we’ll cross path in California. At Union Square, by San Francisco bridge, who knows right? The world is smaller than we think. God bless and wishing you and your family all the best. Let’s raise our glass to California Dreamin’!

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      • Sherri says:

        I feel everything you so beautifully express here IT. You know what is most important (and yes, I totally agree, we need to add sanity and well-being to that!) because you have been through the fire but have been refined ‘as gold’ and you are following your dream, to make good and put the past behind you and walk into your future, your new life, your restoration, healing and abundant blessings.
        Ha! The world is much smaller than we think and yes, I would say, one-day, at Union Square by the bridge in San Francisco we could be walking by at exactly the same time and there we can both smile at one another and raise a glass and say, ‘Hey, guess what? We did it! Our dream is alive and we’re living it at long last!”.
        God bless you IT and your lovely family…hugs and prayers coming your way to keep you California Dreamin’ :-) :-)

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  7. karlapr says:

    Are you going to move? I wasn’t sure in reading this if you were developing concrete plans for a life/ location change or if it was more about internal changes/ or future, yet still unformulated, plans. Either way, I wish you success going forward!

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  8. annetbell says:

    What a touching and inspiriting story. i am afraid that many of us who were born Americans have forgotten the dreams and hard work of immigrants today and the founding fathers of the past. Thanks for sharing and God bless you !

    Like

    • When I look back at the American history, of how men and women sacrificed so much for freedom, equality and a better life I am filled with admiration and gratitude for them. At the same time, I am sadden on how so many of us waste and abuse those hard earned gifts nowadays of our founding fathers and the earlier immigrants who shed blood, sweat and tears for their dreams and the generations that came after. Things happen for a reason and always, there’s a lesson to be learned. May we cherish and take care the very dreams we are enjoying now and to make sure our children and their generation will have the chance to enjoy them too. Thanks.

      Like

  9. Whatt a beautiful persective. Hold on to it – with God, there is always hope…and He can fill dreams often in ways we could never anticipate! :-)

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  10. misswhiplash says:

    There is only one life, this is for real and not just a practise .So live life to the full, dream your dreams for without dreams there is no purpose.
    my dreams are my memories, of years gone past, events, people and then there is now,. But above all there is my Faith and my God who makes my dreams come true

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    • Love these my friend, “So live life to the full, dream your dreams for without dreams there is no purpose.” It’s easy to be distracted with worldly concerns and worries. We forget to breathe and live a full, meaningful life the way God intended them to be. I am guilty for forgetting sometimes just that. Pausing for a moment, reflecting on the events in our lives, being grateful for our blessings helps redirect to what’s real and important. Thank you and God bless.

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  11. Good luck to you and your family, IT. It can be scary or intimidating, but it can also be a great adventure. Be well. Be safe.

    Like

  12. Musings says:

    It is good to dream. I hope you and your family will live your dreams together in your new welcoming home America. Blessings.

    Like

    • May we all live our dreams and that of our family. Thank you. Life is constantly changing including the physical place where we dwell. Where destiny takes us, our feet will follow.

      Like

  13. Oh how I loved this post! I mean REALLY loved this post. You’ve hit every important point on how to achieve happiness.
    As I was reading, I was reminded how you always seem to know what is important and what is just distraction. So few people actually “get” the diffference, and I’m glad you, my friend, are one of them!
    May all your dreams come true!

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    • Thanks for uplifting my spirit. The many experiences I had, especially the bad ones opened my eyes to the realities early. It also showed me who will be there with me when things get tough. We can’t really avoid distractions. They are there everyday. It helps to simplify our lives and focusing on what matters like faith, family, friendship and inner peace.

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  14. All the best to you, and I do hope that everything falls into place for you.

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  15. Dreams can become reality. Keep focusing on your goals and the very best wishes to you and your family on your journey.

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  16. Yes, very few people live the dream by having things just magically happen — it does take hard work and patience, but I am certain good things wait for you. I look forward to hearing about the new adventures and reflections that come from your reinspired dream.

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    • Thanks Kat. When I was younger, I may have generalized my dreams and its outcome as all good and happy. I forgot to include the obstacles including the people that I may meet along the way or the wrong decisions that I may make. Events in the past helped me pursue my dreams with different approach and perspective. And yes, as long as there is hope and the will to persevere, no dream is too impossible to reach.

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  17. Paraphrasing Paulo Coleho, when we really want something, all of the universe will conspire to help us get it. I pray that God will put the right people and the right situations in your path to help you achieve your dreams. Like you, myself and many of my relatives and friends came to America in pursuit of the American Dream. I understand the struggles. I do know that nothing beats perseverance and an attitude of gratitude. I know that you already know about these two values. Best wishes to you and your family, my friend.

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    • Thank you so much for the generous well wishes, thoughts and prayers. Perseverance and the right, positive atttitude will indeed help us achieve our goals and dreams. Combine that with a very loving, supportive family and unwavering faith, we can almost achieve anything.
      Thank you as well for sharing an inspiring part of your journey in America and that of your family. When I read stories like yours and all who followed their dreams, I know that I’m walking with great, amazing men and women. That we were and are never alone in our journey towards the many dreams we hope to find.

      Like

  18. fgassette says:

    WONDERFUL POST FULL OF INSIGHT. Continue to dream and pass it on.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    Like

  19. Tina Schell says:

    Best of luck to you and your family. Thank you for reminding us how blessed we are, especially as seen through the eyes of one who was not born here and works hard to make it his home.

    Like

    • Thanks Tina. I didn’t fully realize what I was giving up 11 years ago in pursuit for my dreams. Coming to America was one thing. Living in America and calling it home with all my heart is another. It’s hard to forget a country were you dreamed for 31 years with the most loving of family. A part of me stayed and will always long for the rest of my family that stayed behind. I guess growing up I always thought that I will be sharing my dreams with my siblings and parents. I forgot that one day, I will grow up and things will change.

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  20. 2e0mca says:

    The American Dream… That can be very much a ‘Grass is Greener’ story for some. People come in hope and it may work out with a better life. For others it solves nothing and you are left wondering whether the dream has died for them – as you asked with your photo of the musician on the pier. A thought provoking take on Inside – may all your dreams come true :-)

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    • There were so many like the musician at the Pier entertaining the crowd. Each left a country of birth in search for their dreams. Each with a story of triumph and struggle. San Francisco is one huge melting pot of many cultures but no matter how varied the language and ethinicity are, everyone spoke the universal language of hope and the ability to dream. It is very enriching and inspiring to hear the stories and dreams of friends and family I met there. Stories that make me feel I am never alone, was never alone in my American Dream. Thank you and all the best to you and your family.

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  21. Very inspiring and really made me think of my hopes and dreams.

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  22. haha…so while you were on the West Coast, we were on the East Coast in two very different cities that represent the American Dream. Thank you for the inspiring photos reminding us of our many blessings.

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    • Isn’t that amazing? Yes, these are indeed two of the biggest cities that became the gateway for many migrants all over the world and has been a home for so many. Visiting these places, hearing the many stories of family , friends and even strangers open my eyes to the many things that I had forgotten or had taken for granted. Thanks.

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  23. ChgoJohn says:

    The only dreams that are free are the ones that come to us in our sleep. The dreams we have for ourselves and our loved ones can only be attained through hard work. I wish you and your family every success when you make your move to California. With them at your side, I’m sure you’ll do very well.

    Like

    • Thanks John. Hardwork is indeed a part of achieving our dream. So are courage, faith and perseverance. Making this post made me realize not to give up on my dreams. Just because one or two didn’t work bog time doesn’t mean the rest won’t.

      Like

  24. naomimgruer says:

    What a meaningful post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos.

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  25. You definitely have all of my best wishes and good thoughts. I love this post. It serves as a reminder for the things so many of us take for granted, others will work hard for just a stab at.

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    • Thanks Renee. Eleven years in America and I felt I’m back to step one which could be a good thing. Remembering how it was in the beginning, all excited, eager with a bit of fear and anxiety to what awaits for me and my family in a foreign land I never thought I will be walking on one day is invigorating. New adventures to everything with a bonus of rebuilding old, familiar relationships. Looking forward to my new adventures soon.

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  26. I sense that you are in the midst of “important” decisions. Godspeed in your quest to live your “American” dream.

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    • That is true. My wife and I had been thinking about it for the past two years. It’s another major relocation and adjustment but being with my sister and relatives even for a short time made me realize what was lacking here in Texas. The only thing holding me back so far is my work because it’s the best one I had so far but when question comes regarding choosing career and choosing family, we know that family is irreplaceable. My American Dream exist because of them and I know so many out there continues to dream because they have a family that inspires them 100%. Thanks.

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  27. Reblogged this on Ace Friends News 2014 and commented:
    #AceFriendsNews says another great post for Friends News :)
    #thismansjourney

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  28. restlessjo says:

    You know I’m wishing you all the luck in the world with this :) God bless!

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