For the first few years of our cruising life, I periodically wrote journal updates. The updates offered an insight into how our boating lifestyle was progressing. I offered what I felt, the epiphanies I had, and included any challenges.
I shared my highs and lows in the hopes that I’d be able to make the journey easier or perhaps reduce unknowns, for those that wanted to follow a similar path. So many people dream and don’t do. I think that’s a terrible shame.
Perhaps my contributions helped others, in some small way, to pursue their dream.
(Check out my book, Changing Lifestyles – Trading in the Rat Race for a Sail Around the World to read about the first three years of our adventures).
For the most part, my updates espoused the attributes of cruising life. I reflected on the lack of distractions (media, news, politics, broken systems, doom/gloom, and polarization). And I noted all the benefits of boat life including spaciousness, freedom, healthy living, authenticity, fulfillment, sociability, and connection to nature.
Regarding my challenges, I was initially surprised at what caused stress.
In contrast to traffic jams or troubles with my co-workers, it was a choice. Too many choices, in fact! Did we visit Turkey or hang out in France? Was it best to go to Grenada for hurricane season or head to Bonaire?
Should we carry on traveling with one set of buddy boats or break off and head out on our own? Going from feeling stuck on land with no choice to having all the options in the world was more difficult than one would expect.
Each choice brought us even more options and perhaps the fear of missing out (FOMO) played a part in my angst.
Over time, however, I became more accustomed to the multitude of choices. Through experience, I realized that no matter what path I took, it worked out incredibly well – as long as I made a choice! In reflection (this very moment!), I see that it was a great lesson to experience.
No longer do I suffer from FOMO. Through the core of my body, I know that whatever I choose to do it’s the right choice.
Fast-forward nine years, and many journey entries of highs and lows, later.
Now I’m back on land having left the boat and the lifestyle I adored so much. No longer am I a sailing cruiser living a dream life of sun, sand, and sea. When I wake up, I’m not looking out my port window reminding myself of what bay or country I’m in. I don’t open my eyes to the glistening sunrise reflection dancing above my bed, nor do I celebrate an entire day watching the golden light slip behind the deep blue horizon.
My view no longer consists of white sandy beaches, diving pelicans, tropical blue waters, and constant rainbows. I don’t smell the fresh sea air, the enticing waft of BBQ, or the delightful tropical aromas of sunscreen. The conversations with my community don’t cover diesel engine fixes, how to cook the resident veggies, the best (or quirky) restaurants, where the laundromat is, or the most inspiring hiking view.
There are too many differences to mention them all. It seems as if almost everything has changed. There is one aspect, however, that hasn’t.
While cruising, for all these years, I developed what I’d like to call an essence. It’s a part of me that is more about who I am being rather than what I am doing. During my latter years on the boat, I looked at the beauty around me, shared my gratitude with whoever would listen (usually a turtle), and felt a deep love for life.
I assumed my deep-seated love and appreciation for life came because of my sailing lifestyle.
During the months leading to my departure from our boat, I became increasingly stressed. I feared what my life was going to become. I worried that my return to land would invite back all the things I left it for in the first place! All the distraction, polarity, mediocrity, boredom, and stuck-ness.
What a shock it’s been to realize that although I now live on land, the essence of love and gratitude remains.
Now, I see beauty in the trees I admire as I take my daily morning walk. Instead of breathing in a variety of blues, I now get high from all the greens that surround me. I’ve traded the flight of an eagle ray with bluebirds, cardinals, hawks, and bountiful robins.
There is media, news, polarization, doom/gloom, and boredom around, but I don’t see it. My conversations, on land, are about new recipes to try, parks to visit, meaningful explorations of growth and well-being, how to get rid of red ants, and the beauty of the sun rays twinkling through the tall, wise, oak trees.
Becoming a sailing cruiser didn’t instantly change my life and provide more fulfillment.
This essence that I write about wasn’t present when we started out. It developed and grew in me over the years. It was the journey of living a life I felt was worth living that changed me. Instead of settling for mediocrity, I took a risk. I bought a boat and sailed off to destinations unknown.
Through the process of many highs and lows, I discovered an equilibrium that is ever-present. This essence was always there. I just didn’t know it.
The world is still the same but the eyes that choose what they see have changed.
I thought I was living the dream and the dream was going to end. What I discovered is that I was living the dream and I’m still living the dream regardless of where I am or what my lifestyle is.
So, much to my delight, there is life after being a sailing cruiser!
Read Some Of My Earlier Journal Posts
- Living the dream of sailing around the world – what do I make of month one?
- Journey Update: Three months into our around-the-world adventure. Will we carry on?
- Six months living on the sea – has it become a nightmare or a dream come true?
- After 15 months of living on our boat…
Any Questions or Comments?
I’d love to hear from you! Please leave them in the comments section below.
Get the Inside Scoop!
Discover what it was like making the decision to sell up and sail away. Find out what we did to make our dream happen. Check out all our highs and lows. Get the book here: Changing Lifestyles – Trading in the Rat Race for a Sail Around the World
David Johnson says
“No matter where you go, there you are.” We are who we are; where we are isn’t who we are. I’m glad that you are experiencing that much more consciously than we often do.
Kim Brown says
Wise words David. Thank you for commenting 😉 Kim
John Dixon says
A Very Good Article. Very telling of how life has changed your view of the world. Keep up the faith.
Kim Brown says
Thank you John! Kim
John C Farmer says
Kim, Glad to hear land life is also good. We didn’t get a chance to visit BRITICAN when we were in Virginia with our daughter and family but hope all is well. We went to the Annapolis show last year but missed this last one. We have helped friends leave in a 51-foot power boat on their great loop trip. At 82 years old our cruising days may be limited to extended inland river trips and bearboat charters. My son still plans to move aboard a 50-foot multihull after retirement and we will help with that as our health permits. I guess I am primarily a “kitchen table sailor” developing navigation texts to help others. People helped us on our wat up and now it’s time to give back.
Kim Brown says
Thank you for the update John! One of these days I do hope to meet you 🙂 Thank you for giving back. Smiles, Kim
Tricia Frary says
Oh Kim, that was lovely! What an amazing way to view life. Appreciating what we have all around makes life special. As a cruising family, we all had our ups and downs. The community we shared makes all those things we dream about, the sandy beaches, blue sparkling water and the amazing vistas, even more incredible. It was so great getting to know you and your family! Sending hugs!!!!
Kim Brown says
Tricia – so wonderful to hear from you! We miss you all and I look forward to the days when we’re all out sailing together again. Big love! Kim
Alan Strojin says
You don’t sail around the world. The world is round and you go sailing, where you stop is up to you. Great stories.
Kim Brown says
Thank you fro commenting Alan 🙂 Kim