Do you want peace of mind, fewer distractions, higher levels of energy, a repeated feeling of bliss and freedom like you’ve never felt before? Read on about how to become a sailing cruiser.
Back on land, I felt as if there were a million things competing for my attention. Brands were constantly trying to manipulate me, and my family, to buy their products. The negative news was often blaring out even though I tried my best to avoid it. And my friends and family wanted to discuss the newest product guaranteed to make life better or the latest media circus or impending weather disaster.
Life was a series of distractions – one after another, non-stop, never-ending and coming from every direction.
News alerts were on the TV, sent through the phone and publicized in most bars and restaurants.
In contrast, being on a boat, away from TV/Radio, commercialism and all the people caught up in land life there is SPACE. The distractions are reduced, far more manageable and they are healthy. There’s nobody or organization telling me how I should act, how I should feel or how I should be. There’s no need for me to have anything because no one else around me has anything either!
Can you imagine how freeing it is to feel that you really don’t need or want anything?
Seriously. Take a moment to consider what it feels like to not need anything other than simple things like food and drink and the necessary items to keep the boat in good shape?
When you’re away from mainstream advertising, living in a small space with limited room and are anchored off an island that has very few shops your desires for material items reduce dramatically.
Heck, the need to look a certain way disappears too.
Cruisers don’t do their hair (Boat Hair Don’t Care). Most of their clothes have rust stains and rips in them and shoes, if they are worn, are flip-flops. And it’s not because they can’t afford nice things. It’s just not important anymore.
I can whole-heartedly say that I don’t need or want any more clothes, gadgets, jewelry (can’t wear it on a boat) or to remodel my bathroom because it’s looking ‘tired’. I don’t need a car that’s better than Betty’s across the road. Even if I did want something I can’t get it anyway so overtime you just stop wanting things. And I don’t need a vacation. My life is a freaking vacation so there’s never a desire to go anywhere other than where I am now.
Talk about a sense of freedom.
Pre-cruisers often cite that they want to set sail to gain a sense of freedom. For the most part, they’re talking about the feeling of freedom based on the open expanse of beautiful blue water and to be disconnected from the grid. I don’t think pre-cruisers have any clue as to truly how much freedom they’ll gain. You just can’t visualize or imagine what it’s like because it’s so darn foreign to the way we were all brought up.
And what about the lack of news as a cruiser?
As a cruiser, you can have full access to the news as long as you have a cell phone. You, however, have to reach out to get the news. In other words, it’s not all around you bombarding you all the time. It won’t be on your TV or radio playing in the background as most cruisers don’t have a TV. And if they do, they don’t have access to a TV signal or cable.
The news won’t be playing at the restaurant or local bar either.
Most cruisers scan the headlines, get an update over social media or flat out ignore the news altogether. At cruiser gatherings, people rarely discuss current events or the latest media drama. There are far more interesting things to talk about like where’s the next best anchorage, better ways to create sustainable energy systems, hot fishing spots, the weather forecast, ways to make no-knead bread and what social activities are lined up on the cruiser calendar.
Some people ask, ‘But are you hiding from reality?’ ‘Are you running away from the real world?’ And then they say it’s important to know what’s going on in the world.
I don’t think cruisers are hiding. I think they’re living. LIVING. We still know about world events. It’s not like we’re burying our heads in the sand.
We see the news in a headline and then move on.
We all know that media outlets make their income from viewership. Also, we know that the best way to create viewers is to have massive drama. It’s a business. The news would have you think that the world is ending but we’re actually living in incredibly peaceful times compared to previous generations.
There’s 95% positive news in the world. But it’s the 5% that makes the headlines because it stands out. And in order for media outlets to thrive, they have to find ways to keep viewers glued to the TV. To do so they manipulate viewers through fear-based drama-filled reporting.
When my family and I go home to the States I’d be lying if I said we didn’t watch the news. We can’t keep our eyes off of it! It’s like a drug…you can’t help but want to find out what’s going to happen. It’s only after we return to the boat that we realize we got sucked into non-living via the comfort of the sofa.
So what kind of distractions do Bluewater cruisers actually get?
Bluewater cruiser distractions are what I call healthy distractions, they’re not covert or creeping up on us without our knowing.
There’s no magazine helping me to feel substandard because I don’t look perfect. There’s no fear building in me because I’m hearing non-stop speculated reports of natural and man-made disasters. I’m not being told over and over about the negative stuff going on. Nor am I building a desire to buy something that, in actuality, I really don’t need.
We get distracted by real-life events. A neighbor might come over to say ‘hi’. Something on our boat might break. During a storm, we might have to, at times, stop everything and make plans to prepare. Over the VHF we might hear about a boat in trouble and see what we can do to best assist.
Our distractions are in the now. They come and they go and we move on.
When living on a boat you’re not cut off from life – you’re actually LIVING LIFE and it’s amazing. Distractions are mostly positive. And there’s time between distractions to do other things like truly enjoy an engaging conversation or sit on the back of the boat absorbing the most beautiful blue sea, vibrant green land, and sparkling white sand.
The lifestyle is freeing and flowing. It’s what I believe humanity should be – it’s authentic, genuine and alive.
Can you imagine how much time you’d have if you removed your distractions? Pretend what your life would be like if you didn’t have an urge to buy anything or be anyone or go anywhere? Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t feel fear because you’re witnessing first hand the beauty and authenticity of nature and the kind people around you rather than negative news reports. And how about imagining what it would be like to hang out with other like-minded cruisers that are living and enjoying life?
Would you like to give the sailing cruising life a go yourself?
Join us on Britican for a distraction-free week of sailing education, confidence building, and boat lifestyle immersion. All that AND a few deserted tropical islands, white palm tree-lined beaches, excellent rum punches and crystal clear water to swim in! More on the Britican Experience Here.