One week from now I’ll be on a plane with my husband, daughter, and cousin heading for Gibraltar to start our sailing adventure. We’ll be leaving England for an indefinite amount of time – who know’s when we’ll be back? We’ll also be leaving behind my 3 – 4 trips per a year back home to see family in Rochester, NY, and Cary, NC.
What else will we be leaving? We’ll be leaving our dear UK based friends and family, our routines, our comforts, and our day to day life. We’ll be leaving everything that we’re used to. The quick walk over to the grocery store, 800 TV channels, non-stop Internet access, mobile phone, and the normal drama of our lives.
But where are we headed? What are we going to?
I’m hoping that we’re headed for a completely new lifestyle. We’re not just changing homes or moving to another location – we’re embarking on a journey that includes bringing our home with us and seeing the world! How incredible is that?
How do I feel about this sailing adventure?
Lately I’ve been really questioning myself as to why I’m so afraid to sail around the world. Actually, I’ve known this for quite some time but it’s hard to be open about your own faults – isn’t it? Or perhaps I can admit my faults but then it’s difficult to do something about them? Well…I’m getting tired of feeling scared all the time. I want to do something about this particular fault but I have a funny feeling that time will change everything.
One of my many weaknesses, aside from a lack of patience, is my uncontrollable need to try and control everything. Yes, I am a control freak. Although I love the concept of going with the flow, I don’t subscribe to its true meaning. Rather, I work to control the size, width, depth, length, terrain, and the tide of the flow – once I feel that there’s some level of control, I jump in and ‘go with the flow.’
I couldn’t just jump into an unknown river and float along
But that is precisely what I’m doing with this sell up and sail away adventure. And I’m not just jumping into a river, I’m jumping into an Ocean. An ocean that has the power to send me lovingly into a sunset or alternatively, spinning and crashing into a thousand pieces.
Rather than take calculated risks, stay safe, remain in the job, keep the same lifestyle, save your pennies for a rainy day, don’t rock the boat, wait for the right moment or live with the devil I do know, I’m throwing that all away.
I’m taking a huge risk, I won’t be as safe as I’m accustomed to, I’m not remaining in the job, I’m completely changing my lifestyle, I’m spending all my pennies, I’m rocking the boat, there is never a right moment so now it has to be. Furthermore, I’m sick and tired of the devil I know!
What do I have to lose?
My life. But I suppose if that goes I won’t really care too much. I could lose a family member. That would be devastating but I could just as well lose a family member living my ‘normal’ life. In fact, I bet it’s riskier to live on land and drive every day than it is to live on a boat and sail every day.
I could lose my dignity – the whole adventure could turn out to be a dud and I have to crawl back to England, find a job, and feel like a loser for the rest of my life. Somehow I don’t think that will happen.
I could lose my attempted control over life…hmmmmm. Now that’s a doozie. Perhaps I need to ask a better question so as to change my spiraling thought-train of doom?
What do I have to gain?
You see, that’s the question that I don’t have an answer to – no control. That is what I’m here to find out. What will I gain? Will I gain a better attitude to life? Will I gain more patience? Will I find more peace? Will I gain more of an understanding as to what life really is about?
When you meet a new lover, you know what your potential gains are. When you get a new job, again, you can speculate your gains. When you live the ‘normal’ life that society advocates: school, university, marriage, babies, job, retirement, death, you generally know where you’re heading and what to expect.
But what about a drastic change in lifestyle? Yes, I can speculate that I’ll change, but I don’t know what I’m going to change to. I don’t know what I don’t know…and I’m diving off a cliff here. This isn’t a slow approach. One day I live in a house on the land, surrounded by convenience, TV, technology, a very safe savings account, and friends/family. The next day, I will live on a boat, surrounded by the sea with very little convenience, no TV, little technology, draining down my life savings at a very far distance from my social network.
I can’t control my environment (yet). Perhaps that’s the issue? And that’s why I mentioned that time might play a huge factor in all this. Once I am on the boat and I fully understand the lay of the land or sea, I can then try once again to control things.
But I don’t want to control anything anymore!
And that’s why I think I’m doing what I’m doing. I don’t want to have this need to control anything anymore. I truly want to go with the flow. I want to stop thinking, analyzing, and speculating and instead I want to be in the moment as much as possible. I don’t want to worry. I don’t want to fill my head up with all the things that could be wrong. I just don’t want to fill my head up with anything other than what’s in front of me – for the most part.
So, watch this space
We all know that this 3 – 5-year sailing adventure is going to change me and change the family. But what will we change to? In 2 years’ time I might have dreadlocks, smoke pot, preach about saving the whales and feel at peace with everything. Who knows?!
Previous Chapter: 33. Ten days to go before we set sail on our grand adventure
Or…if you’d like to carry on reading all about our journey from selling up and sailing away, you can purchase my book, ‘Changing Lifestyles – Trading the Rat Race in For A Sail Around The World,’