We are Sarah & Ryan Nolan

SoWhatsTheDream001

I’m Ryan.  My lovely wife’s name is Sarah and together we are the Nolan’s.  We’re building this site dedicated to documenting our journey towards living our dreams.  Our intention, aside from simply documenting the process for posterity, is to help anyone else out in the world that may have similar aspirations.  We’ve already determined that we WILL achieve our dreams, so one way or another you’ll be able to follow along and use our experience for your benefit.

A bit of back story…

Sarah and I have been together since 2001.  We met in high school, went to college together, drove across the country several times, bought a house, got married, and had two fantastic kids.  About three years ago we hoisted anchor and left New England for a chance to see a bit more of the country, and explore the Rocky Mountains.  I took a job just outside of Denver, and we settled into life on the doorstep of some of the most beautiful country in the world.

When we got to Colorado we experienced the perfect storm of stressful events; a brand new job, two toddlers with no support, no community, nada.  The first six months out here were rough.  We were able to make it through the difficult adjustment period by significantly altering our frame of mind, but we’ve never fully settled in.  While working day to day in suburbia we’ve always had a nagging feeling that we’re not where we’re supposed to be.  That’s where ‘Living Our Dreams’ comes into play.

Our Dream #1 – Have Less
When we left New England we systematically purged nearly everything we owned.  It was an incredibly liberating experience.  Letting go of nearly 30 years-worth of possessions which had followed us from place to place felt like we were shedding weight from our souls.  What was left in the end occupied only two 5’x8’ U-Haul boxes.  Fast forward 3 years, and we’re nearly back to where we were before.  It’s amazing how things accumulate when you’re living the typical 9 to 5 lifestyle.  Our goal now is to shed all of our unnecessary things again, only this time we need to fit what’s left into the storage space of a camper van.  Why a camper van?  So we can ‘Do More’.

Our Dream #2 – Do More
In general ‘Do More’ means we want to be mobile.  We want to see and truly experience all the amazing places in our state, our country, our continent, the world.  We want to meet new people, be immersed in their culture and share their stories.  Along the way we’ll strive to ‘Be More’…

Our Dream #3 – Be More
I’ve broken this down into some basic ideas.  They are as follows:

  1. My full time job is to be a teacher to my kids. We’re homeschooling currently.  Sarah runs her own business and can schedule accordingly, so she is leading the effort, but I would like to be the boy’s full time teacher.  Together, I believe Sarah and I can give the boys an education to be proud of.
  2. Be the best person I can be for myself, and the people I love. This breaks down to just being present.  Give people your time.  It’s the most valuable possession we have.  As for being the best person for myself?  Staying healthy and focused on my goals is key.
  3. Devote time to directly improve the world I live in. If you’re like me you’re always thinking “I’d love to help out the local charity, but I don’t have the time”.  It’s true to a certain extent, but in the end it’s all about choices, and priorities.  Giving time to the local shelters, or to help plant trees in a burn area, or help build homes for those truly in need are just a sample of the priorities I’d like to set for myself.
  4. Never stop learning and exploring. Learning new skills and gaining knowledge is a lifetime endeavor. I pick up new skills as they’re needed, but I’m hoping that in the future those skills will be much more fun.  As for exploring, the best way to do so is to drop everything, and just go.  While working on ‘Living Our Dreams’ I will intentionally seek out people, places, and things that will help me on this quest, and I’ll document it for everyone’s benefit.

Our goals may evolve along the way.  Sarah, the Boys and I Look forward to the journey ahead.  Stay tuned!