Why sail the world?

 

I’m of the camp where everything must be done with a purpose. What’s the goal of the eye? To see. As soon as that goal is impaired, we fix the eye to meet its expected goal with contacts or surgery or glasses. Everything has an intended purpose. The same is true of life and goals. If you have a goal, you do the necessary things to make that goal a reality.

I’ve met many ex-pats who were traveling, but were also living an unfulfilling life. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta says that she wishes us all to grow like trees – reaching for the sky, branching out, and seeing new things. But she reminds us to never forget our roots. The world travelers that weren’t living happy lives forgot why they were traveling, who they are, or where they’ve come from. This is a profound tragedy.

So what’s the goal of sailing the world?

I’m living my dream to challenge myself by way of adventure. I’m searching for my place in the world as a successful, inspiring, passion-filled man.

You have those moments very often in life that tell us something just isn’t possible or that it’s crazy and that we shouldn’t do it. Why would the C- student apply to Yale? Why would you try to get into the Yankees dugout uninvited? Why would you skip off to Asia? But the spark-of-a-moment that you realize, “Yeah, actually, this is very possible,” then life and energy result. It might be crazy, but so is being a billionaire. Thrill-seekers and authentic learners are the people who have this attitude bleeding through their veins. So is the guy who lives on his bike. So is the person of handicap masterfully playing a violin. So is the 16-yr old girl who sails solo across the Atlantic. So is the man who squeezes 1000 songs onto a chip. So is everyone else in the world that is inspiring…they are all people who lived on the fringe of normal and crazy. But we admire them and say that we want to be like them.

Imagine success in supply and demand terms: the most “out there” ideas are in huge demand, but such low supply because nobody feels they’re qualified to attain them. Pursue and master that demand, and you’ll be one of the few people who have a chance at succeeding. The most successful people are the ones who learn and do the crazy, most outlandish, most unheard of things.

I’m pushing my mind to learn things. I’m stepping away from the personally unfulfilling 9-to-5 lifestyle.

 People always say, “That’s so cool. I wish I could do it,” “Oh, I have a job,” “I could never do that.” Stop. Yes you can. You haven’t had the moment that I was just talking about. The dreamy, childish, cliché everything-is-possible attitude. I have impulsive, I-want-to-learn-everything-about-one-thing feelings that require my full attention. If I ignore those impulses, they show up elsewhere in my life as destructive and distracting. Thus, my performance in relationships, at work, and everything in between suffers unless I tip my hat to the ridiculous ideas that demonically possess all of my thoughts and spare time.

I’m focusing on a goal and harnessing my natural gift to articulate and bring ideas to life.

 I’m pursuing this to have a “next step” and “life strategy” (as opposed to a “life plan”). This idea gives me life, passion, a goal. What gives you life, passions, and goals? Seriously. Does your normal, 9 to 5 give you energy or drain it? Figuring out everything about sailing, oceanography, winds, weather and meteorology, ropes and knots, boats and their inherent intricacies gives me a laser beam focus.

When there’s an idea in the wheelhouse of my brain, I pursue relentlessly. Every element of the unknown is considered, yet hopeful for surprises. There is always a giant mystery in the idea phase. For an example, Chance Walser of RTV 6 met me on the morning of departure for New Orleans in my kayak. I embarrassingly, ungracefully, squatted into my kayak, floundering in my boat while his camera was intimidatingly aiming its red recording light at me. I figured out a huge idea – like sailing the world – and worked on the puzzle until all the pieces came together and the plan was executed. This process is a three-step ordeal: Idea Generation Phase, Deconstruction, and Execution. Each stage is a distinctly different rush.

I’m spending this part of my life traveling. I’m maximizing my finances.

 I want to live. Why wait until retirement to spend the money you’ve worked hard for on dreams that you had, but just aren’t possible at 65 years old? I would rather take my retirement now – four months of every year or four years of every decade doing something that gives me energy, rather than postponing that ability until I’m retired and not physically able to sail trans-Atlantic, or mentally not able to endure the heat of long hours on a kayak in the dead of Mississippi summers.

A beautiful and good sailboat is $20,000, which is a lot cheaper than a shitty $50,000 house. The horizon is my neighborhood and the World’s citizens are my neighbors in a very real way. I’m not restricted to the tin can of a plane on a boat. My goal has been to travel the world and I could do that by plane. The twenty $1000 flights would amount to $20,000, but why not, instead, apply that money to a boat that will travel me just as well with a greater return on adventure?

I’m pursuing the Air.

The elements have become a real attraction – it wouldn’t be unreasonable to call it an obsession – to me. I feel that I connect with the Earth and Water. I don’t know much about the Air. More so than the other elements, it seems that Air is intimately connected with our spirit – namely in the realm of meditation. I remember in seventh and eighth grade and throughout high school before wrestling meets, baseball, and football games I would sit cross-legged away from everybody, close my eyes, and think nothing about the match or girls or school…only my breath. There was an energy that blossomed from this practice, despite not being a yogi. I’m graduating this practice to a bigger scale. As much as this is an adventure, it’s also a spiritual endeavor.

 

My one big request:

I’m now at the point of research and deconstruction. I’m reading and watching everything. If you have connections that would help me in this journey, I’d be extremely excited to reach out to them. If you know anything about weather, sailing, oceans, living on a boat, etc, feel encouraged to email me, or follow me, or inbox me.

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