I get mixed responses when I tell others that my plan is to take a break from work, buy a sailboat and cruise. While it is difficult for some to understand, others understand completely. "Nothing to Lose" is what my daughter suggested that I name the boat...not exactly the positive response I had hoped for. Actually, I think she is happy for me, and maybe a little fearful at the same time. While I will not use her suggestion for naming the boat, I will proceed with caution, and plan to get a lot more experience before cruising. My son thinks it is a fantastic idea, and that I should already be cruising.
It is difficult to express the reasons I want to sail...but among them is that I want to see the beauty the Caribbean has to offer from the deck of my own boat...and to live simply, and most important, more freely.
At 61 years of age can I buy a boat, get some more sailing experience, ( I have very little), and cruise south to Florida, The Bahamas, and the Caribbean? Can I quit working, leave my comfort zone, and enjoy the freedom cruising can bring?Another big one...can I afford this? Maybe even a bigger question...can I afford to not do this?
I have to admit I am putting some pressure on myself to get going, to realize the dream. I have been working for thirty-six years. While I have read articles from others who were trapped in a career, or worse in a job, I have never felt that way. Until recently I have enjoyed my job tremendously, which made it possible to put up with the hectic schedules, deadlines, and responsibilities associated with my profession, and keep cruising on the back burner. I have been so fortunate to be a part of a wonderful profession.
Lately I have been thinking about complacency. Am I taking the path of least resistance? Am I locked into a routine? My children are grown...graduated from college...married to wonderful people and doing great...and I have four wonderful, beautiful grandchildren. No doubt the path of least resistance is to continue working, after all that is what I am used too... It has been my comfort zone for so many years. It is what I have always done. I go to work...I get a check...I am secure. Security...while not a bad thing can limit your willingness to take chances, and cause you to put off something you want to do until it is too late to do it. For me it is not about getting off of the hamster wheel, it is about taking a break from my career and moving to a new stage of my life...a new challenge...a new adventure... to do something I have wanted to do for years. Is this retirement? I do not think so. It is such a difficult decision for me to stop working.( More on this later.) Change is not easy, but I think necessary at this point.
Life is short, and can change in the blink of an eye. Life is precious, and meant to be lived. As my daughter-in-law would say..."don't waste it". Did I mention that I am not getting any younger. I am not sure why, but I have always wanted to sail, to cruise, to live and travel on a boat. I think everyone at some point in their life wants to blow off their job, and head for the beach... to paradise... to tropical breezes...to live a small part of their their life "like a Jimmy Buffett song.
Many blogs describe the actual cruising, My plan is to use this blog to document the preparation, the changes involved, the search for the right boat, the sailing experience, and ultimately the cutting of the dock lines and the cruise, as well as cruising's impact on both of us. There is obviously a lot involved, and my hope is that this information may make it easier for the next person planning to go to sea.