I have always been a dreamer... If anything I have been less than completely practical! Of course you should dream... Everyone should dream... What is with this not dreaming...? Dreams arise from the soul of the person... Dreams are normal...! I could say a lot about dreams, imagination and literature -- and I will someday.
Being "serious" (solemn) all your life is one thing -- I am serious about my dreams (which does not exclude having a sense of humor or whimsy about them, by the way) -- but I believe the word you want is "literal-minded." I once spoke with a Christian who said "I don't read fiction; it's not real. I just read Bible teachings." Excuse me, but Jesus used fiction; he spoke in parables and metaphors! Being literal-minded is the flip side of fundamentalism, whose adherents can largely be accused of having little soul or capacity for imagination -- two God-given qualities that are essential to avoid being steered in the wrong direction. It's not necessary to choose between having a mind or
a heart; we are supposed to nurture both!
Most people (unless well-heeled financially) put off travel during their childrearing days. Certainly most single parents do! As wonderful as travel is, I think it is more significant to volunteer rocking babies at Texas Children's Hospital than to take a jaunt to Burundi. (Is having jet lag ... a jag?) That said, most people who want to do both, will find a way to do both. My point is that I feel I will never be "done" with children in my life. You see online personals ads where women (and men, too, I am sure) all but say they are "done" with children and ready to pursue "the good life" of travel and carefree "me time"... Frankly, when I travel, I would avoid tourist-oriented itineraries, make my own contacts (through friends of friends) and itineraries in the intended locations, and try to "embed" myself to experience as much of the local lifestyle as possible. (My friend Melanie Flanders has the same approach; actually, she has packed up and moved to live and teach in China for the near future.) I would even prefer an educational or "working vacation" where travelers participate in an archeological dig or build wilderness trails...
Dreaming, imagining or envisioning a healthy romantic relationship is the first step on the long path to finding one... I worry about some women whose personals ads I have seen over the years ("must be unmarried, free of drugs, abusive or controlling behavior, lying, cheating, criminal record, etc."). Good Lord! Is this the best they can do -- define their wants in terms of avoiding all the negative things that invalidate a relationship? (What must they have endured?) I would say that you do not have
a relationship if it includes these things. Rather, the definition of a healthy, real relationship includes all the positive things (trust, respect, communication, kindness, affection, free will, moderation, interpersonal boundaries, and so on). In a similar fashion, you do not shop for a car based on what you wish to avoid ("not broken-down, rusted through, flood damaged, excessive miles or altered odometer, etc.") but based on the features and options you want ("sunroof, 4-on-the-floor, DVD player" and so on). Focus on the positive, and the rest should follow. One reaches a destination by paying attention to the road ahead, not by eyeing the rear-view mirror for the potholes in the past.
So dream on... And seize the day!