I’ve always wanted to do something extraordinary. To live life a little differently, if only for a while. To have the time and the space to be inspired. To turn that inspiration into creativity.
So I did something crazy. Well, Garrett and I did something crazy. We quit our jobs to travel and sail the world. Part of the world, anyway. We’re beginning our journey in a few short weeks: we fly to Greece on June 16! We’re spending the summer in Europe and will return in September to start sailing down the California coast toward Mexico and, eventually, through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean.
This is something that Garrett and I have been dreaming about for a long, long time. We are so excited—and a little terrified—that the time has finally come.
Making an adjustment to a non-conventional lifestyle and saving money for this adventure was the impetus for us moving onto our sailboat a little over a year ago. At the time, we weren’t quite sure when we were going to cast off the lines and leave, but moving onboard felt like a natural first step in the right direction.
We’ve learned a lot, and saved a lot, in our first year as liveaboards, and we’re planning to use that savings to fund our journey. Our hope is to travel for two years, starting with this summer in Europe and a cruising season (September through May-ish) that will take us from San Francisco to Panama. We’ll check in at the end of that cruising season—and certainly along the way—to see where we are financially and emotionally, to see if we can and want to keep going.
The idea is to end back up on the East Coast, which is where I’m from, and where Garrett and I can both see ourselves living long-term. I’d like to settle there, plant roots, start a family. But I’m getting ahead of myself—who knows what will change between now and then. We might be entirely different people.
I’ll write another post soon to clue you in on how we decided to give up our San Francisco apartment, quit our jobs, and travel the world, but for now, I’ll say this: every bone in my body feels like this is the right thing for us to do.
Sure, it can be unnerving to walk away from a good life. A really, really good life. And a stable one to boot. Garrett and I have great jobs, live in a beautiful place, and are surrounded by a wonderful community. We are paid well, have endless career opportunities in San Francisco, have access to exceptional health benefits, and have a fantastic work-life balance. We are walking away from a lot of good things. We know that.
But I also know that I feel like I’ve been holding a part of myself back for a long time. That, at my core, I am a creative person who is happiest when I get to write and take photographs and be inspired by new experiences. And the working lifestyle that I lead right now zaps all of my energy by the end of the day, leaving the creative parts of myself unfulfilled. I want to give myself the time to be creative. The time to figure out what I really want to be doing with my life. Embarking on this adventure is part of that. There are a lot of other aspects that have fed into this decision, and I’ll touch on those later.
And for Garrett, this trip is...well. When we first met he told me that he saw himself ending up in a tent on the beach or in the woods, fishing and hunting for his food every day. I just nodded and didn’t say much. Part of me knew he wasn’t joking. He’s always been that connected to nature. He’s always been happiest when outside. Garrett never got to make that dream of living out of a tent and off of the land come true; I mean, sure, we live on a sailboat, which is close, but his lifestyle plays second fiddle to his job. He kicked off a career in sales right after college and hasn’t stopped since. He enjoys his job, loves the challenge, and is really good at it, but businessman Garrett is a far cry from the outdoorsman I met so many years ago. This sailing adventure is bringing him back to that place. Giving him a break. Letting him connect to nature, letting him live off of the sea.
I am so, so proud of us for making this happen. When Garrett and I came up with our dream to sail and travel full-time almost five years ago, we felt like we were a lifetime away from making it come true. We were broke, digging ourselves deeper into debt every month, and didn’t know how to sail. Even if we came up with the money, could we say goodbye to a normal lifestyle? Could we live on a sailboat, live out of suitcases? It all seemed impossible. Far fetched. Almost inconceivable. But this adventure was what we wanted, so we set our minds to it and worked hard to see it through.
I understand that there is a type of privilege associated with what we’re doing. That we are extremely fortunate to lead the lives we’ve led so far, and the ones that we are about to. We are in good health, are now debt-free, and have no children or mortgage holding us back. Even if they wanted to, not everybody can do what we’re doing. We understand that and do not take it lightly. We are not taking any of this for granted. We wake up grateful for the things that we have every single day.
It’s just that, we want more. We do not and will not feel bad for saying that. It’s how we move forward in life, by wanting more.
There’s a danger in that, of course. What if we already have it all? What if I’ll never be satisfied? We won’t let the fear of those unknowns hold us back. It’s the unknown, really, that is one of the most exciting parts about this.
I know you probably have a lot of questions, like, ARE YOU CRAZY? And, how did you come up with this idea? Or, how did you guys prepare for this? All of which I’ll answer soon. Feel free to ask your questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to address them. Stay tuned—there’s a lot more to come. For now though, I hope that you’re as excited as we are!