When you decide to go after the life of your dreams no matter what, you'll be unstoppable.
But just dreaming about it won’t make it happen.
Just wishing for it won’t make it happen.
Only doing what it takes will make it happen.
Have you ever heard stories about people who, near the end of their lives, were filled with regret about the things they hadn't done and the dreams they hadn't gone after?
And every one of them, there at the end, said, "I wish...."
I wish I'd travelled more.
I wish I'd started that business.
I wish I'd gone back to school.
The easy way out is to do what everyone else expects you to do. As for me, I didn't expect it to be easy—and it wasn't—but I never wanted to have to say, "I wish."
And from that day on, my big, scary, never-gonna-happen-but-I'm-dreaming-it-anyway, no-regrets dream was to move to the UK.
Years went by, as they do, and I'd been an airline pilot in the US for 10 years—living a lot of people's dream life, but not mine—when I took a chance, chased my own dream, and moved across the Atlantic to work as a flight instructor near London.
And not long after I got properly settled in, happy with my work and a proud new homeowner, the economy tanked. Belly flopped. Crashed and burned.
I found myself out of a job, living in the house I'd just bought but couldn't afford anymore, with my two German Shepherds who'd just arrived from America.
Great. Now what?
What do you do when your dream life—the one you gave up nearly everything to live—comes crashing down around you?
You pull yourself together and go after a new dream, that's what.
Don't think of it as the end of your dream life.
Think of it as a chance to reinvent yourself.
You, my friend, have the rare opportunity to live another life.
It's like reincarnation without the falling-off-your-perch bit first.
By this time in my various incarnations I'd earned a Bachelor's in English and a Master's in Forestry, and I'd been a student, a fast-food worker, a Hooter's girl (don't laugh... it paid the bills), a stable hand, a writer, a graphic designer, a flight instructor, an airline pilot, and a simulator instructor.
Time to reincarnate as a road warrior!
So I bought a cute little touring caravan and started the search for a tow car. My Vauxhall Astra was perfect for light duties, but it couldn't tow a pony cart, let alone a caravan.
I schlepped from London to Leeds on the train to check out a used car... and I struggled home in The Jeep of Death. What could possibly go wrong?
We'd love to have you come along for the ride as we travel from London to the northern tip of Britain (hint: Muckle Flugga) while we learn caravanning on the fly, deal with the Jeep's many problems—I couldn't make this stuff up—and take my two rescued shelter dogs to places we'd never have dreamed they'd get to go.
Maybe that long road trip wasn't part of my original moving-to-Britain dream scenario, but guess what? It turned out to be even better than what I'd thought I wanted.
And none of it would have happened if all I'd done was sit around wishing and hoping. It wasn't easy—not the move, not losing my job, and not even the travelling sometimes—but every bit of it was worth doing.
Because if I hadn't chased my dreams, I'd never have had any of the experiences (both the great and the not-quite-so-great!) that I use in the stories I write for
So when you read the stories I tell here and in the book, I hope that you're not only entertained with a bit of insider knowledge about Britain and its incredible history, but that you're also inspired to go after the life you really want.
So here are my questions to you: what does your dream life look like, and what stories will you tell?
Right, then, it's time we got going. See you on the road!
Keep calm and travel on,
Gina, Jerry Lee, and Holly
P.S. Wondering why it's called Britain Unleashed®? Check out the Flashback in Story #3/Chapter 4. Who needs a leash?
The true story of one girl,
her two German Shepherds,
and their three years together*
roaming the Great British roads...
*And my mum, too, for the first six weeks. We couldn't have done it without her!