For most of us life is not a fairytale. Unless you are born into a rich family then you will probably have to work very hard to make your dreams a reality and then sometimes even with as much effort and energy as you can muster it is still not possible. 

Although, being born into fame and celebrity or landing your dream job that leads to these things and the many trappings that entails, does not still lead to a dream life. Caroline Flack was found dead two days ago at her home in London, an apparent suicide. She was 40 years old, with a successful career that a lot of people would kill for and attractive to boot. Yet she was still unhappy inside and fighting demons a lot of people will be lucky enough to never have to face.

I am an avid reader, but life isn’t like books, whereby we already know by the end of chapter one that the poor heroine of the book is going to meet a devilishly handsome, successful, loyal and single man to sweep her off her feet! The book I am currently reading is turning out like this, predictable and not like real life at all. I actually eye rolled out loud, if that is possible! Statistically speaking we are unlikely to meet Prince Charming, and a lot more likely to meet Prince Cheat, Liar and Drug Dealer!

But I digress. This is about following your dreams. If you are on this page then travelling probably fulfils a lot of your dreams, or some of them at least. I want to see as much of the world as I can. I have some “dream” places such as New Zealand, Australia and The Galapagos Islands. To be fair the list could go on and on. I also dream that one day I can take just one flight in first class. Well, this is about dreaming!

Travel Puffin wants to see Hobbiton

My other dream is to become a pilot. This dream began a long time ago at 13 years of age. I became fascinated with all things to do with aviation and started a scrap book of anything to do with flying and my dream to be in the cockpit. The first page of my scrapbook had the newspaper cutting of the awful Lockerbie incident in 1988. Other pages included replies I had received from the CAA and the RAF, answering my various questions. I learnt I could never fly for the RAF because I had a history of asthma. I was all over PPRuNe – a forum for flyers (and still am). I even bought one of the CAA CAP manuals for pilot training, a heavy old thing and not light on technical detail, but I treasured it. 

Travel Puffin above the clouds

But, it was not to be. Flying is expensive to get into and even though some parents sell their houses to pay for their child’s training, that was never going to happen (and yes, that is a bit above and beyond). As I write now, it costs in the region of all your brain cells and €100,000 to get a Commercial Pilot’s Licence, then there is more training on top of that and no guarantee of a job at the end of it either. Unless you were born into money, have incredibly and stupidly supportive parents or were lucky enough to have been around when the full sponsorship schemes were in existence, it is a really hard career to get into.

Gosh, I know I have a tendency to rabbit on when I get going (not so backwards at coming forwards now!) so let’s fast forward to the current day, 2020. If you have read anything else on this website you may know that my dad died in September 2019, which knocked me sideways. That has made me even more determined to follow my dreams, and after seeing an Easyjet documentary where one of the cadets was 44 years old my passion was reignited because there was still a small glimmer of hope. You have to pay for these schemes now but at least you are pretty much guaranteed a job at the end of it.

Knowing my chances of getting onto one of these schemes is fairly slim (plus the minor issue of not having €100,000 lying around) I decided I would at least go for my Private Pilot’s Licence. I made this decision early in 2020 and I aim to have my licence by the end of the year. That will cost me around €11,000 which I don’t have, but I am working towards earning it, somehow! I am determined to make it happen. If by chance, life conspires against me and it does not happen, I will be able to look back and know that at least I tried. 

As a mother this is an important life lesson for my daughters – do not ever give up on your dreams or let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve something. It is never too late to change your life. If something is that important to you then you must do anything (legal) within your power to make it a reality.

Pooleys Flying Training

So on Valentine’s Day this year I collected from the post office a gift to myself – the first manual to begin the theory training. Now the hard work begins, trying to train my menopausal brain to act like it is 15 years old again: to digest new information, to understand it and to retain it! It won’t be easy but isn’t there a saying that says “nothing worth having comes easy”? 

Maybe one day I will be flying myself to a new destination, how awesome would that be? Can you believe I am actually getting tearful writing this! 

Dreams shouldn’t just be for the rich or the lucky few. If you have a dream, no matter how unobtainable you think it may be, DO NOT GIVE UP!  Hopefully I can come back to this article at the end of the year with a picture of my new licence. Fingers and toes crossed!

I’d love to hear about your dreams and if you have managed to make them come true.

Follow Your Dreams - Travel Puffin
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