I Dreamed Of This - A Life of Food, Culture, and Adventure

What Is "I Dreamed Of This"?

Blogger Nathan Allen

Well, it's a travel blog about beauty, food, culture, and adventure.  As a little boy I felt so confined by society's expectations of me.  I dreamed of a life full of adventure, wonder, and most importantly, freedom.  I was after the "good life" - One that minimized stress and maximized smiles.  I began to focus tremendous energy on my passions.  With lots of dedication and a few BIG sacrifices, this slowly enabled the life I dreamed of to take shape.

Travel - With No Return Ticket

El Nido, Philippines

So what does that life look like? For me, it's the promise of endless new horizons...seeking out and documenting the world's most fascinating cultures and stunning locations in my blog.  That, and also being able to get by in at least ten different languages. Often challenging, always rewarding.  This is my life. I don't have much money, but I assure you...through these experiences, I am a wealthy man.



Do What You Love

 

You know what?  All that cliche stuff people say...I've found that it's pretty much all true.  I wasn't the happiest child growing up.  I struggled a lot.  I have spent the last 15 years lifting myself up - working to create that "good life" - one that I can look back on and be truly happy about. I've learned a thing or two.  Yes, I focused on my passions, and good things followed.  My love of music, writing, and photography has transformed my life.  More than just building my confidence - it has turned me into a travel writer / photo blogger and fueled my adventures around the world.  Technically I "work" when I travel, but it certainly doesn't feel like it.  Using my passions to propel me through life, I'm just living it - engaged in every moment.  It doesn't even matter if you make money - sharing your passions and talent with the world can be a very rewarding experience in itself.   You probably don't even realize the positive impact you can have on people's lives. 

 

I feel so grateful for the simple, happy life I have now, but I also know that certain key realizations brought me here.  Here they are:

 

1. I Can Learn From Everything

 

"There are no mistakes, only lessons...no enemies, only teachers".  Obstacles are welcomed challenges, and I can use them to grow and improve...to help me thrive in this world.

2. I Needed to Redefine What is Actually Required to be Happy

 

Studies show that money doesn't necessarily make people happier - very often it even makes them less happy.  I sacrificed living a money-centered life for one focused on family, friends, interests, and new experiences.  I realized that these things made me happier than anything else.  Of course, I get almost all of these things from travel, and as I traveled more, I began to simplify my life by letting go of more and more possessions over time.  I found that less stuff = more simplicity, and more simplicity = more happiness.  Once you learn to be content with very little, life is a breeze!  

 

3. I Should Let Things Unfold Naturally

Sunset in El Nido, Philippines
Sunset in El Nido, Philippines

I learned to live in the moment; to let go and be completely open to what life has in store for me.  The more I learned to trust in this process, the more incredible and fortuitous my experiences seemed to become.  One moment, I'm on the beach taking a photo of a stunning sunset...the next, a Brazilian couple walks up and tells me about a mind-blowing waterfall in a neighboring country.  The following day I find myself on a bumpy bus-ride to the next great adventure!  The weather very often dictates my plans - rain can cancel some, and create others that may prove to be even better.  I learned to throw expectation out the window and embrace the magic of the moment.   A friend of mine said "you're actually interacting with the earth".  I love that.

 

Yes, I travel very far with very little money, but "I Dreamed Of This" is not here to show you how to do that - there are enough people showing you how it's possible (Check Just One Way Ticket and the Poor Traveler for more info on this).  My goal is to simply share the magic and wonder I see in the world each day - and hopefully to put a smile on your face in the process

Sagada Rice Terraces, Philippines
Sagada Rice Terraces, Philippines

 

This is my dream.  I hope you will follow along and feel inspired to take steps toward a dream of your own.  Cliche, but true...life's too short.

 

- Nathan Allen

 

Making a big life change is pretty scary, but know what's even scarier?  Regret.

Latest News 12/10 - "Off To A Viral Start"

Talk about dreams coming TRUE...on the night before my flight home I stayed up very late writing a blog piece titled "What I REALLY think of the Philippines".  Exhausted by 4AM, I hit "post" and went to bed.  The next morning I woke up to quite a surprise!

 

The blog post really took off...and that first day was just the beginning.  One of largest news networks in the Philippines (GMA) contacted me to feature the post, and Yahoo and Sun Star followed soon after. 

What I REALLY Think of the Philippines

 

- Honest Observations from a Westerner on His Way Home -

To my amazement, the article has now been viewed hundreds of thousands of times!!  My brand new blog grew some wings and left the nest pretty quickly...

 

The most incredible part has been the outpouring of support from Filipinos from around the world.  I was very happy that the response has been overwhelmingly positive!  I'm so grateful to have been able to give a bit back to the wonderful country that gave me so much

 



Jimdo I Dreamed Of This Feature
Sun Star I Dreamed Of This Feature
GMA I Dreamed Of This Feature
Yahoo I Dreamed Of This Feature



My Favorite Destinations - Dreaming Wide Awake

El Nido, Philippines blog post

El Nido, Philippines

 

If true paradise is what you're after, look no further.  El Nido is becoming touristy very quickly, but you can still head off the beaten path and find an island to call your very own if you really want to....read more

Bantayan Island, Philippines Blog Post

Bantayan Island, Philippines

 

This sleepy little island off the coast of Cebu has some of the finest white-powder beaches you'll see outside of crowded Boracay.  I didn't get to spend as much time here as I'd like, but I'll be back! Read more...


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5 Ways the Philippines Changed me Forever
Create a website

More Destinations...

This is no vacation - SE Asia has been home to me for almost 2 combined years.  I love the food in Thailand, the spirit of the people in Cambodia, the serenity of Laos, the pace and culture of Vietnam, and the stunning beauty (in many senses of the word) of the Philippines!  I bought a one way ticket and spent three months in India last year as well.  What a mind-blowing cultural experience!  In order to fully experience the wonders of the world, I had to completely embrace travel as a lifestyle.  Click here to "like" IDreamedOfThis on Facebook, and I'll keep you updated on the newest posts!  I won't let you down.

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Nathan Allen is a hyper-observant culture-junkie who recently spent a year taking photos and documenting the Philippines.  A long-term traveler, he lives by the motto "spend less, see more".  Follow him by "liking" the FB blog HERE.

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