Outdoors

Dreams Unlimited

Of bikes and bucket lists
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Some people spend a lot of time talking about their dreams, but don’t make a whole lot of progress when it comes to making them come true.

Others quit their jobs, sell everything they own, acquire bicycles and set out on global journeys to change the world. At least that what longtime friends Tay (Siang Hui Tay), 35, and Val (Xin Hui Tan), 29, did when they left Singapore in March 2010 with donated Polygon bikes and a notion to use their various talents—which included filmmaking, storytelling and public speaking—to help open other people’s eyes to the possibility of making their own dreams come true.

More than three years later, the friends have visited Taiwan, Japan, Hawaii, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica, and are currently making their way across the United States touting their project, “I Believe that Dreams Can Come True.”

With an aim to collect, share and inspire the “dreams of the world” via workshops, speaking engagements and art displays, Tay and Val have collected more than 3,000 dreams—often written on the dreamer’s palms—and are committed to continuing their journey until they’ve reached all 50 of the United States.

Since first coming to Bellingham last summer to speak at Western Washington University, the two have already collected a number of dreams—which have ranged from “I want to be a teacher” to “Live a life worthy of my calling” to “I want to be a mom.”

When they bring their “Dreams Unlimited” presentation to Whatcom Community College Tues., Nov. 5, those who haven’t yet met the dynamic duo can share their own dreams, as well as hear more about the challenges Tay and Val have faced while traversing the globe on foldable bikes.

“There have been days when we’d stop in the middle of a highway and fought and wouldn’t budge for a few hours,” Tay says. “But every morning when we wake up, we have always been grateful that we have each other as companions who share a common vision on this journey.”

“I believe that the experiences on this journey have helped us bring out the best in each other, even when we couldn’t or wouldn’t believe in ourselves; the other would,” Val adds. “And that’s how we keep going, keep growing and keep evolving.”

When asked how many miles they’ve traversed on their quest to help people realize that it is possible to check off most items on their individual bucket lists, Tay says they stopped counting when they reached their second country.

“One day, we simply took off our odometers to remind ourselves that we set out to touch and inspire the hearts of people, not with the intention to clock mileage,” she says. “We do not know how far we have cycled across 12 destinations, but we definitely can share stories of the dreams of most of the people we have met.”

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