For as long as I can remember, I wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
I dreamed of feeling that epic adrenaline rush as I ran for my life, hoping to make it all the way down the 825-meter course and into the bullring without wiping out on the dew-slicked cobblestone streets and getting trampled, crushed, or gored. Or even worse…
Foolish, I know. But hey…it was my dream.
I liked the idea of having a story like that to tell my grandkids someday. I wanted to be able to tell them, “Grandpa wasn’t always so stodgy. Back in the day, I went large!”
Sure, it was a silly dream. But it was a nice dream. And it was my dream. Unfortunately, it remained just that for years.
The reality was…I simply never had enough time, money or freedom to embark on such a grand overseas adventure. It seemed too out of reach.
So I pretty much gave up on it. The curse of the “9-to-5” grind had gotten the best of me.
Or so I thought. You see, back in 2005, everything changed. Here’s what happened.
I was living and working in Honolulu, Hawaii. And at that time, I was taking a course on how to become a freelance copywriter. It was a last-ditch effort to find a way to make money from anywhere in the world.
It seemed like the perfect job for me…a chance to get the freedom I craved.
That’s because as a freelance copywriter you can live anywhere in the world. You can work anywhere in the world. And you can get paid BIG from anywhere in the world.
Some of the highest-paid freelance copywriters in the industry make $300,000 a year… $400,000 a year… even $1 million a year or more.
You set your own hours…which is a huge plus. If you want to set aside a few weeks to attend an epic world-class festival like, say, the Fiesta de San Fermin in Pamplona, you can do it.
It almost seemed too good to be true.
But the course worked. It taught me how to write effective copy…and it helped me land my first big copywriting client.
I was finally free.
One of the first things I did after landing that client and gaining my freedom was to book a trip to Pamplona so I could finally try to make my lifelong dream come true.
I did make it to Pamplona that year. And I did finally run with the bulls.
Standing on the cobbles of Pamplona’s Old Town, waiting for 8.00 a.m. when the bulls would be released onto the ancient streets, was so terrifying it almost defies description. Let me put it this way. Five minutes before the start of a bull run is not the time or the place to have bladder control issues. I’ll just leave it at that.
The other runners were thrown into a panic when rockets were fired to signal the start of the run. The bulls were far bigger—and faster—than I could have imagined. Sprinting through that terror-struck crowd as those gigantic, dagger-horned balls of muscle and testosterone barreled up behind me was the most exhilarating experience of my life. It’s something I’ll never forget.
I made some very good friends on that trip. Friends I still keep in touch with to this day…over seven years later. And before we left, we all promised each other we’d meet up the following year, come back, and run again.
We all stuck to our word. I’m hoping the grandkids will be impressed.
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