My vintage drum set sat, mostly neglected, for the better part of ten years. It had been an untimely purchase, when I moved up to the Bay Area at the start of my first year at U.C. Berkeley. Had I asked, any Berkeley alum would have told me that unless I planned to use it as a multi-tiered desk for all the work to come, that drum set would hold no use for me within weeks. That the set would merely serve as a sweet memory of the time my new friend Francisco took me to Sam Adato’s drum shop and gave me two timbale drum sticks tied with clipped dread locks to celebrate my purchase.

When it came time to sell everything to travel, my drums were emotionally easy to let go of in the first round of purging. I put an ad on Craigslist and within a few hours, I had two responses from the same person “Hi, can I come pick-up your cool drum set?” and the second, “P.S. I can come over at your convenience with cash and no B.S.” I called the number listed immediately but with suspicion. I didn’t expect it to be so fast and easy. I thought I’d be lucky to get any response and if I did, that I’d never get the price I wanted, especially considering the wealth of drum sets available on Craigslist. In fact, I believe I said something like, “I’m never going to get that price. I’ll be lucky not to have to donate them.”

So when “Don” answered the phone and offered me an extra $40 to deliver the set a ten-minute drive away, I had to ask. “I’m sorry, but this seems too good to be true. Do you always keep hundreds of dollars lying around the house in case you want to buy something sight unseen?” He replied with a laugh, “No! I have to find a cool vintage kit today. Do you know the band Romeo Void? You know…” The voice in my head was in synch with his voice as he said “Never Say Never” and mine went on to add “A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing).” Was he kidding? My drum set was going to a band with these titles as hits from the 80’s?? Ha! “Never say Never” is right.  Within a few hours of listing the set, my drums were property of great new owners.

I relayed this news to my friend Lia Rose, and half-jokingly told her that in honor, I would call my round the world trip the Never Say Never Tour, as a reminder that you never really know what life (or you) will throw your way. You can imagine my surprise when we went to see a movie soon after and the trailer for Justin Beiber’s documentary by the same name popped onto the screen. I never imagined that he and I would have so much in common. ;)

A big lesson for me has been learning to put never in its place. Here are some ways I do:

Never let what could be an expired definition of yourself limit your future

If I held on to the definition of myself as a student who graduated 465th out of a high school class of 495, I would never have dared to go back to school and ultimately graduate with a 3.95 G.P.A. from U.C. Berkeley. This is true of countless things in my life, and I’m guessing yours as well. We don’t arrive at our fully formed adult selves- we are constantly growing and changing, even if we don’t give ourselves enough credit for it. Once upon a time I was too insecure to go the mall without a friend. Now I’m a solo world traveler.

Never doubt that life can out-perform your expectations

I never expected to be the recipient of free flight benefits when I hatched a plan to travel the world. And I had a very different plan to travel around the country in the months leading up to the time they become active. I had a loose plan to do 22 stops in 26 weeks. Life handed me a better plan- period. And I’m so grateful I was open to it.

Never let naysayers set the limits on your life

Anyone, who upon listening to your plans, says that they will not likely or will never work out as you’ve dreamed, should be seen, as having limited imagination- NOT privileged foresight. Simply say to yourself, or directly to them, “those are your limits, not mine.”

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve proved the naysayers in my life wrong. I’ve watched them shake their heads when I moved to L.A. to become an actress, when I moved to New York City with $700 to my name, when I devised my plan to return to school. It’s come to the point where I can honestly say that I believe in myself more than I believe in them. If you’re not already there, I strongly urge you to work on that. YOUR life- the version you want to live- depends on it.

One of my favorite quotes is-

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.


One year ago, my To Do List certainly did not include get a divorce, sell everything, move in to a 45 square foot house on wheels, sell my house, start a loosely planned North American road trip, make it as far as stop #3, fall in love with a place, fall in love with a person (more on that later), and restructure said loose plan…but I’m also much happier now than I was last year. Point being? Give more weight in your decision making to your instincts than what you said or thought you’d do…and never say never…you may find more happiness than you can imagine.

How do you give never the middle finger? How have you triumphed over self-doubt or expired versions of yourself? You know I love to learn from you! Tell me about it! :)

71 Responses to “Never Say Never- What I Learned From Rock Stars”

Comments (71)
  1. I love your falling in love comment, I love hearing about those! details! :)

    ps: come to rhode island soon!

    • thanks lindsay! it may take me a little (ahem) longer to get to RI now! LOL :) will definitely spill the beans soon and soooo appreciate the cheer! i know you know how this feels :D

  2. Such an inspiring post. It’s so true, you never know what awaits arounf the next corner.

    • thanks inka! it’s so fun to sometimes just wait to see what is revealed. like reading a book i can’t put down! :D

  3. I’m waiting on the details as well! Good lord you have had quite the year woman! Selling my drum set was awfully hard as well. I cried as they took it away and I kept my sticks as a momento as well. How could I part with them?

    I was always told as a kid that traveling was only for rich people. I find it to be one of the most satisfying endeavors of my life.

    • erica!!!! eeeeee!!! so much excitement! :D you know, i thought the same exact thing when i was little about travel. i thought college was just for rich people too! i blame that on 80′s ivy league- themed teen movies ;) but still- i hear you! good for us for getting over that, right?? such a great year for both of us! :D

  4. Great post. Happy to hear that you are happy! :-) “Never say never” is one of my fave sayings along with “Never ever, ever give up!” They’ve served me well in life — mostly. Did I see something about falling in love? Can’t wait to hear more.

    • thanks cathy! i will absolutely share more soon! i love those sayings. sometimes we need a little reminder of what should always be at the forefront of our minds but seems to slip so easily out of view, right? thanks for the cheer! :)

  5. This is just the kind of post I needed today! Love your excitement for life and the road unknown. I’m SO happy you are happy and living the life you truly want to live. The naysayers can suck you- you are awesome!

    • aw jade! that makes me so happy! thanks pal! and yeah, they can suck me! LOL. seriously, so many folks who once worried don’t anymore, and anyone new who comes in and reacts that way i usually keep my distance from. i’m no longer interested in proving anything to anyone but myself! ha ha :)

  6. I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks for the uplifting post and the awesome story about your drum set. Sweet.

  7. Totally true! We never know what life will throw at us, so we should never say never. Just have to keep on dreaming and believing! Life always surprises us, and it’s a good thing that it does in order for us to stay sane and excited about tomorrow. Maybe, one of these days, brownies will learn to bake themselves. Ha! Never say never. ;)

    Glad to know a lot of great things are happening in your life! That’s awesome! :) And great post, by the way (even though you reminded me of Justin Bieber – I’m not really his biggest fan, you know?).

    • thanks cherszy! and oh, i’m so with you on the brownies!!! then i could have them in the chinook! (2 burner stove, but no oven :P ) really appreciate the cheer, and i hear you on justin bieber! i’m not a fan of his music, but at least i’ve got to give it to him for the attitude and the fact that he plays his own instruments! and has since he was a 3 year old?! wow :D

  8. That’s right! Put that awful word in it’s place! Show it who’s boss!

    Really, really, love this post. And so happy for you. :)

    • LOL thanks dalene!!! i really appreciate hearing that. i’m so happy! it’s been quite a road to get here, not all bad, but life’s pretty great right now! :D

  9. That story is immense and inspirational. There surely couldn’t be a better home for those drums…

    I’m in the process of selling and getting rid of my things for a big trip (with minimal waste like you) and one of the things I’ve been so happy and surprised about is how well my vintage clothes are selling (insert shameless plug – I’ve wanted to sell vintage clothes and accessories on line for years but *never* did, I also *never* thought that I would or could or should leave my job to and join a man as he heads back home to Australia via most of south east Asia, but that’s what I’m doing…

    Though our trip is taking up most of my thoughts, I often think about afterwards and because I now know “Never Say Never” really works as a mantra for decision making and life, I feel like the possibilities are truly endless…

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Birdie x

    • wow birdie!!! thank you sooo much! i’m so excited for you and we haven’t even met! :) good for you for really trusting your instincts, following your heart, and taking off. i think the universe conspires in our favor when we do that. wishing you the best best best and thanks for this beautiful comment :D

  10. What a beautiful story! Life can be interesting and surprising as long as we let it.
    I just finished a purge myself so that I can get on the road.
    Nice to meet someone else who’s done it. You’re an inspiration.

    • thanks so much marcia!!! really appreciate your kind words. makes me so happy. that purge feels so great, right? it’s been over 4 months since i got rid of it all, and 3 months of living in my 45 square foot chinook, and i don’t miss ANY of it. in fact, i’m really excited to go back and ditch the rest. so happy to connect with you! :)

  11. Inspirational.!!!! As well as everyone else on here, can’t wait to here details. Hope the Chinook is fine. Hubby did some engine work on ours recently. We are building an upper bunk (pictures coming ) so our 100 lb lab has the floor and weez above

    • thanks carrie!!! the chinook is great! i absolutely love living in it…really! wow! can’t wait to see what you’re doing with yours! sounds amazing! let’s post pics on the roamantics FB page when you’re done! :)

  12. I love love love this post! This is SO important: Never let naysayers set the limits on your life. It’s hard as hell, but it’s the best way to live an authentic life. XOXOXO

    • aw andi- i love you doll! it is hard, but once we unburden ourselves from the weight of that criticism, life feels so limitless, free, and light, right??? cheers to LOVE :D

  13. Great story… and an even better translation to a larger truth.

    We’ve had this theme come up a lot – even during this Alaska adventure. When talking about our NVR lifestyle with peeps, they try to fit what we do in a “traditional” construct (in order to make sense of it in their heads).

    For instance, we get a lot of questions like: “How do you work when you’re doing all of these fun adventures?” To which we encourage people to reject the notion that life has to be compartmentalized. Oftentimes, people are initially confused when we say “We do whatever we need to do where ever we need to do it!”

    It’s fun to see the a-ha moment of inspiration when people realize that we’re not defined by our location…. or anything, really. It’s all very fluid. Never say never.

    • thanks kent!!! it’s true- i don’t think people are ill-intentioned, just wanting to stamp out the hopes and dreams of others (okay, maybe SOME are), but for the most part i think it is just lack of imagination, frame of reference, or working on auto-pilot in terms of what’s possible. i know you mavericks know how do stay calm and carry on and inspire and educate compassionately along the way! :)

  14. Welcome back to blogging! It’s so nice to “see” you again. Very inspirational post and I love your positive attitude towards life, no matter what happens. Am also very curious to hear more about falling in love :) .

    • thanks laurel! i’ve been in such a lala honeymoon stage…and i’ve LOVED it! sometimes you just have to pause and be in the moment to fully absorb, appreciate, and enjoy it, right? thanks for the cheer! i’ll be sharing more soon. :D

  15. Oh you totally got me with the falling in love comment. I love how you can look on the brightside.

    • LOL anyngelina!!! i disappeared for good reason this time! :P life is so good, but really want to catch up with you and everyone! more soon ;)

  16. Lorna,

    When you decided to come back, you came back right!! Love this post…..I can definitely identify with naysayers trying to make you doubt yourself. I can’t wait to hear about the special one in your life too.

    • thanks so much renee!!! i think we can all relate to the naysayer situation, right? admittedly, i may have even been one for someone else- eek! i think we can all get caught up in shoulds/shouldn’ts, etc. but it’s good to learn to push back from them in ourselves and others. thanks for the love cheer! more soon :)

  17. I love this post. Definitely the words I needed to hear. You are an inspiration my dear Lorna. I miss you buckets!!! cant wait to hear more :-)

    • thanks bucket o’ love!!! aw- i’m sorry you needed to hear this, but glad you got what you needed if so. i love you and miss you so much my dear dear friend. thanks for all your support. xoxo talk soon- we have loads to catch up on! ;)

  18. Welcome baaaack, Lorna!! I’m in sort of a rut — thanks for the inspirational kick in the butt!! You have the best attitude!!

    • thanks so much abby! so sorry to hear you’re in a rut! happens to all of us at some points, right? i am 100% happy to be your cheerleader ANY time- truly mean that! we all need them and i’m grateful to have you on my team. :D

  19. “Never let what could be an expired definition of yourself limit your future” – I LOVE that! I am totally guilty of thinking of myself as who I used to be and not stepping back and realizing I’m a different person now or that I can be a different person now.

    And I totally kept wondering about your road trip and how that was going…and now I see why there have been no updates on that…can’t wait to hear more!

    • thanks so much val!!! i can thank my first cultural anthropology teacher, joan barker, for really making me see that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is complete bullshit. she was a gorgeous 60+ year old woman at the time and was just learning to play piano and surf, and had much more on her to do list! screw our past selves, right? we have the ability to do a complete 180 at any moment! yep! i’ve been really enjoying being head over heels and a little uncertain about how i’d change my plans, but so happy to be back with all my lovely travel peeps again too! thanks doll :D

  20. Wow, you really know how to leave your readers in suspense. I WANT THE LOVE STORY!!! With pictures.

    Glad to hear you are happy, Lorna. Can’t wait for the next installment.

    • LMAO!!! wow! barbara?! i have been away a long time! glad to finally know your name! obviously need to catch up ;) the love story is a comin’! maybe not next though! ha ha. soooo appreciate your cheer. you’re awesome :)

  21. Awesome, awesome and awesome! Or in the words of Martin Lawrence, “You go girl!”

  22. Yay, go YOU! I love the part about believing in yourself more than the naysayers. I have a huge problem with this — although, luckily, the only naysayers I have are the ones in my brain (I have something of a Greek chorus up there).
    And we all want the love story, lady. But I guess we’ll have to wait patiently until you’re ready to tell it… dangit.

    • thanks so much sally!!! LOL to the chorus- yeah, my inner naysayers can always use working on too ;) HA! everyone’s waiting for me to spill the beans on the loooove. i’d better up my writing pace or i think a few people may come knocking on my chinook ;) so great to hear all the excitement. i love all y’all! ;)

  23. I love it!!! “those are your limits, not mine.” <– I'm going to recycle this puppy.

    You've fallen in love? I must know about this NOW. Was it the same person who put a note under your windscreen wiper?? :) Tell! Tell!

    • HAHAHAHA torre!!! no! it’s not dave the note writer! i promise to tell tell…soon! suffice it to say that you and i have something new in common. what could perhaps be viewed as an unlikely romance is, and is beautiful nonetheless! :D thanks so much for the cheer and glad you like that rebuttal! feel free to recycle it- i know i got some gems from your post on naysayers! :D

  24. Love this! So inspirational – I can relate to so many things. Now more than ever people are having to re-define themselves over and over throughout their lives and careers. If you’re constantly looking over your shoulder and worrying about other’s thoughts and opinions it’s so hard to be succesful at that.

    • thanks andrea!!! i think so many of our traveler community (and more folks of course) can relate to this. us and our crazy ideas! so true what you say. but so great when we don’t anymore! :)

  25. The title also reminds me of Justin Bieber. The Bieb’s influence is everywhere. And “Never let naysayers set the limits on your life” reminds me of Willow, the Whip My Hair girl, singing about not letting the haters get her down. I guess lots of songs have the same theme, whether they’re recorded by rock bands or pre-teen singers!

    • totally scott! and you know, i don’t have to like their music to respect the mindset! definitely will have to check out willow. :)

  26. So happy for you! And I am anxiously awaiting your post about the new love.

    • thanks stephanie! i’ll get to that story eventually! i’ve got to make it through what happened along the way first i think though! LOL :)

  27. Lemme guess — you’ve fallen in love with the Chinook. :)

    VERY happy for you Lorna, and what an awesomely excellent post to triumph your return.

    • thanks so much raymond! indeed, i HAVE fallen in love with the chinook! loving it far more than i expected, and haven’t even really settled in (still have my stuff in a roller bag) or done the interior renovation! sooo appreciate the kind words on the post and the feeling that i’m being so welcomed back by you and all our awesome peeps! :D

  28. what an amazing journey you’ve been on?! And a great testament to “anything is possible if you set your mind to it”. looking forward to following your journey ahead!

  29. I was wondering where you’ve been!!! I’ve got to say, though, falling in love (with a place and/or a person!) is one of the best reasons to “disappear” for a bit! =) Your posts are always so inspirational and help remind me of all the reasons why I do what I do… and love it. It can be easy to forget sometimes, so thanks for the reminder. =)

    • aw christy!!! thank you so much :) wow, i can’t tell you how sweet it is to hear that peeps felt my absence and are ready to cheer me back. i’m SO glad that you find my stuff inspirational. i can’t ask for anything more than that, the fantastic community i find here, and the freedom to have a life i’m happy with to write about! i know you understand all of that! thanks so much lady :D

  30. Never a truer word,as they say. I LOVE the Goethe quote and will use it!

  31. Was thinking of you the other day and wondering what had happened with the travels and not hearing anything in a awhile – sounds like you are enjoying the discovery phase of travel

  32. Love the sentiments here. Thanks so much for sharing!

  33. What a journey you are on! I’m so glad to hear the happiness in your post! You have been through a lot. Blessings to you.

    • thanks so much lisa! i have been. and i’m trying to fully allow myself to realize that and deal with it all rather than just pulling myself up by my bootstraps and moving on. sometimes it’s good to pause, deal, and heal. that’s what i’ve been up to! appreciate the blessings so much. :)

  34. I can’t think of any post in the world I needed more tonight, than this one. Thank you for writing it. (I hope you are well wherever in the world you are Lorna.)

    • aw! thanks so much kirsten!!! i’m taking a little time to heal and deal, but doing well. i’ve slowed things down in a way that feels right, to build a firm foundation on which to build my perfect life! i hope that the reason you needed this has resolved or subsided, or been dealt with in a way that’s giving you peace and happiness! <3 <3 <3

  35. Thanks for this beautiful and encouraging story. P.

  36. wonderful blog.. thanks for sharing ..

  37. Completely true! We never know what lifestyle will toss at us, so we should never say never. Just have to keep on thinking and believing! Life always excitement us, and it’s a great factor that it does to be able for us to remain happy and thrilled about the next day.

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