As we begin to tell friends and family of our impending trip, we have encountered a wide range of reactions:
– Most are extremely excited for us, some have some have said that they’re jealous, some that we’re doing what they’ve always wanted to do.
– Others immediately respond with the question of how we are going to make it work financially.
Given our current global economic state, and the fact that we’re both leaving good paying jobs (this, of course, is relative; we’re definitely still part of the 99%), this is an understandable concern, and it’s one that we share ourselves. In fact it’s the concern that we spend most of our free time trying to address currently.
Surprisingly few, though, have asked us why we’re doing this; why are we leaving our jobs, our friends and family, our conveniences, and purposefully uprooting our lives. Especially given the circumstances we’re heading towards: a violence ridden second world country with no promise of income while living on a tiny boat and subjected to the burdens of sea and weather at all times, it’s been a bit surprising that people have not questioned us more extensively. In fact, I’m starting to second guess it myself all of a sudden, when I put it that way!
So if no one has asked why we’re doing this, then why am I responding with a long winded post? Not sure. But here it goes anyway for anyone interested.
Katie has captained a charter boat in Hawaii in years past, we’ve been weekend sailing the lakes of Montana the last few summers, and we just returned from a two week sail in the Sea of Cortez. Whenever any of the trips end, we always wish we could keep going.
We want to immerse ourselves in the natural world
If only for a brief window in our lives, we want to align ourselves more closely with our environment. We are always amazed at the end of a one or two week trip living outdoors, how incredible it feels simply to be aware of the sun’ rising and setting, the moon’s phase, the tidal rhythm, or the patterns of wind. It’s such a rare opportunity to be forced to pay attention to these things in our current world, and we’re excited to form a closer connection to the natural world around us.
We want to shift our paradigm of what we perceive as important
We are dedicated to finding a way to live more simply and sustainably on this planet, and we want to be able to bring some of the lessons learned on the boat back to dry land. During the voyage we will live simply and sustainably (the sustainability of buying a fiberglass boat and a bunch of electronics is a discussion for another post) not by choice, but by the realities of a tiny space, a limited budget, and actively avoiding places of commerce when possible. One of the most appealing aspects of cruising on a sailboat is the self sufficiency required; items we have on board take on a much greater value by the fact that we will be far from a market that could provide a replacement should they break. Our skill sets and ability to fix things and solve problems on the fly become much more important than simply having money in the bank to buy a new one. We’re excited to learn how to sew sails, how to cook bread in a pressure cooker, how to repair a diesel engine (okay, maybe I’m not excited, about that last one, but it will be a good skill to have).
We want to prove to ourselves that we can take on this challenge and succeed
In our America today, if you can make enough money to pay the bill for a shelter and buy groceries, you can survive and be comfortable. We are excited about the daily challenges presented by anchoring, navigation, weather forecasting, etc that living on a boat will present. Of course, I’ll be cursing the day I wrote that last line when our anchoring is dragging at 2:00 am and it’s blowing 30 knots and pouring rain. We know that cruising will not be easy. We know it is not margaritas every evening and lounging on the beach all day, nor is that the experience we want (if that happens on occasion, though, I suppose we’d suffer through it). At the end of the day this is an adventure; we want to see foreign things and experience people and places that are different from what we’re used to. We want to live a life that is full of good stories so that when we’re old we can regale our grandkids.
And Finally: The Biological Clock
Time is ticking away as fast as it always does, and the idea of children is on the horizon. The idea of children on a boat is terrifying, so the time is now for an adventure, before that old stork comes a knocking.