Make It Happen

In Just For Fun, Life Is Short, News & Stuff, Travel by David48 Comments

My mother was an officer in the Royal Air Force, a nurse who trained at Florence Nightingale’s St. Thomas’s Hospital in London. She met my father in Cyprus. She’s where I get at least 50% of my wanderlust. This weekend we were wandering around Coal Harbour, in Vancouver, when I made an off-the-cuff comment about jumping on a float plane. Mom said she’d never done that, but always wanted to. 30 minutes later we were in the air, and while seeing Vancouver and this beautiful coast from the air was amazing, it was nothing compared to seeing the joy on her face when she climbed into the co-pilot’s seat. Afterwards she told me she never thought she’d get to fly in a float plane. How many of the adventures do we dream of that can be so easily had, and yet so easily put off?  $100 each and we’ve memories together we’ll never forget. How much fun was it watching my mother grin like the Cheshire cat while taking photographs for an hour? I can’t even tell you.

Imagine this: you write a list of 20 things you’ve always wanted to do. Each year you save the money to do it, and you make it happen. 20 dreams in 20 years. Beats looking back and wishing, doesn’t it? 🙂 What’s on the list?


  1. So, we are fixing to go to Switzerland, would it be worth it in your opinion to pay $250 per person times 5 people to have a 17 min helicopter flight over the Swiss alps in Laturbrunnen?

  2. What’s on my list for next year is a trip to Italy with an amazing photographer named David. Just hope it works out. Great blog post and I totally agree, it’s the things that you do with others in life that are remembered.

  3. What a thought-provoking post! Mine is to travel to the US- been saying that for years but never done anything about it. Time to start saving for that trip!

  4. Great post, David! I come to this blog for inspiration, and you certainly didn’t disappoint with this. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Way to grab the bull by the horns! When these opportunities present themselves it’s much to easy to make excuses like “It’s too expensive” or “It’s too difficult.” I can think of two opportunities I passed up that I will regret forever. The first was a chance to work as a Scuba Instructor in the Solomon Islands when I was 25 (I chose to take a full-time job instead thinking I could always travel later – wrong order dude!). The second was a chance to take my daughter up in an open cockpit bi-plane on a gorgeous July afternoon. It cost $50 each and money was tight. She probably would have remembered it forever… What’s that saying, “the saddest words are what might have been?”

  6. Last year I decided to wanted to be a nomadic photographer. Then I did it.

    Grasping the concept and making the decision was the hardest part. Actually doing it was easy. All you have to do is travel around and photograph stuff, it’s not that hard.

    Making money at it is a different story, but making money wasn’t the dream. I think it’s important to focus on the dream and not the excuses that prevent you from actually doing it.

    I love the Dalai Lama quote that Craig posted, thanks for that.

  7. Fabulous! What a great experience for you both. I just dug out “Photographically Speaking” again for a read since getting my dslr. Yeah, yeah, I’m late to the game. Had to tell you how much FUN I had this morning making my husband recreate the pouring the tea shot you have in the 20 shots in the back. I wanted to see if I could get the settings right and blur the pot. We used my blue plastic neti pot. I was laughing so hard I could barely shoot and keep saying, “Now look down, look at the pot, pay attention!” My shot against your shot, well, it made my day. Thanks for inspiring me. I’m in manual mode. Whoo hooo. It’s frigging hard, a steep learning curve, but rocking good fun. Merci.

  8. Go Mom! For me right now I’m consentrating on just one: I recently quit my career job and am in the process of buying a Big Ass van (Mercedes Sprinter) and having it converted into our traveling wee home/studio. How long we’ll live and travel in it depends on how it goes. Onward…

  9. David – this is a nice manifesto against ‘been there, seen that, done that’. what’s done is done – life happens now.

  10. Pingback: Make It Happen « National-Express2011

  11. Good on you bub! Fantastic, there’s nothing like making your parents or one or the other really happy- nicely done!

  12. word. live life with as few regrets as possible. and with loads of “well, why not?”‘s and “because i can”‘s stacked up behind me.

  13. Visiting Vancouver attending a workshop by you….. David DuChemin…. This has been on my list for sometime now….now a reality…I’ll see you in Aug and my number one is done….:)

  14. flying over lake eyre when it has water in it was high on my list and i did this last month and it was very special (won’t tell you how many photos i took :-)). going on one of your wonderful photography trips is right up on that list and i will do it within the next few years – promise!!

  15. it is wonderful that you took your mom for such a ride! vancouver is one of my favorite cities, maybe next time i get there i will fly over the city in a float plane! until then i will work towards another dream.

  16. Good for you, esp. doing it with your mom! That’s what’s called “making memories.” It’s a good idea to have an “I always wanted to” list and revisit it now and then. This year I finally made it to Asia, which had been on my lifetime list. Just today at lunch I was talking about the Scotch tasting tour I’ve always wanted to take in Scotland. Just have to find a designated driver…

  17. I decided to do that when I was 22 so that when I got to 40 I wouldn’t be boring/bored. The best thing to happen was the building up of the habit of doing something new at least once a year. It worked and now (at 57) I don’t think twice about doing things I really want to try.

    Great advice!

  18. Thanks for sharing your Mother’s flight & joy.

    I’d love to travel again as I did in my twenties – anywhere remote & at the ends of the earth would do – the Himalayas would be my first choice. But living on a Disability Pension and with limited health I get to live my other dreams every single week.

    Buying a DSLR, taking up photography and shooting Nature photos was high on my “Bucket List” and early retirement due to chronic ill health made it possible, but I DO wish I could afford a photography course and a longer telephoto lens.

    Oh well, maybe in my next life. In the meantime……….I follow wonderful professional photographers on the internet and live through their travels and adventures.

    Thanks for blogging and sharing your life with the rest of us stay-at-home amateurs.

  19. Author

    Fantastic quote, Craig, Thank you for that. By the way, packing the film you sent for the trip to Mongolia. Can’t wait! Thanks again. 🙂

  20. Hey David,

    Great post! When asked what surprised him most about humanity, the Dalai Lama answered…

    “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.”

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Keep living in the present and the future!!


  21. I might start with a list of 10… who knows… after 10 years I might be able to realistically add … journey to the moon… to my list…

  22. Author

    Barry, no I was just enjoying the ride and taking the photographs. But pilot? Add that to my list! 🙂

  23. Doing what you love while seeing such joy in someone you love at the same time….. doesn’t get any better than that. Thanks for the share, David.

  24. Thanks for sharing your story with us – wonderful when you can make other people happy, often with the simplest things!

  25. Here’s how I “made it happen” – I just graduated from the one year Professional Certificate in Photography Program at Maine Media College in Rockport, Maine. I’m 60 , married and it takes a lot to uproot your life to go study photography for 30 weeks. Fortunately my husband was totally behind the idea (and visited often.) The experience was life-changing and oh-so-challenging (back to school with papers and studying and shooting and hours of critiques and more shooting). I now have 5 strong portfolios of work and am pursuing a new career as an exhibiting artist. I have mentors and colleagues and experience and knowledge that would have taken at least 10 years to perhaps piece together on my own. When the opportunity presented itself last summer, I jumped and it gave me more than I ever could have imagined. And the support I received came from the most unforeseen sources.

    If you have a dream, make it happen. Find your support community and let them help you. Live fully because today is the only day you have with certainty.


  26. Thats it. Just make it happen. Don’t concentrate on why not, concentrate on doing it. Awesome, thanks for the reminder.

  27. I am going to Photoshop World in Las Vegas this September even if it does stretch my finances 🙂


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