Friday, November 18, 2011

NKOTB - Changing Course

NKOTB (New Kids On The Boat) ... A Weekly Series Sharing Our Thoughts and Questions as Beginner Sailors and Future Cruisers.  NKOTB or Experienced Cruiser ... Tell Us Your Thoughts!

While many of today's cruisers are fortunate enough to have a "home base" to return to for a break, there are another set of cruisers that have to give up everything they've worked for to fulfill their dreams.  We're part of the latter group.  For us, a key part of entering the cruising world is having to "change course".  No longer will we be following the path of keeping and maintaining automobiles, a house,and all that stuff that goes with it. 

Choosing a new course down that big, blue watery road means going "against the flow".  (This was almost the name of our sailboat).  It means changing the way we've been raised to think by society.  After all, aren't we all pretty much raised to dream of that cute house with the white picket fence, the dog, and shiny vehicles in the driveway?  We're taught that success and happiness is measured by how many material items we've claimed ... it's our validation! 

Changing course will not be a breeze (pun intended)!  While we're excited about a new chapter in our lives, we're trying to prepare ourselves for those "What Are We Doing?!" days.  However, we know that these feelings are normal.  I love psychology and analyzing things, so I figure that these feelings are to be expected because getting rid of everything for a new course means taking a risk ... the risk of failure or disappointment.  After all, what if we don't like cruising (highly doubt it), or something terrible happens?  If so, then we'll be faced with the fact that we've given it all up for nothing! 

But, it won't be for nothing.  No matter what, we'll have "gone for it", and that's so much better than always wondering "what if".  So many people dream of things but never achieve those dreams because turning a dream into reality is often not easy!  It takes planning, patience, risk, and sacrifice.  It also takes the right attitude,  a "can do" attitude.  I read a quote the other day by Henry Ford that I love ... "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right."  

Many cruisers speak of the freedom that comes with their lifestyle, and that is a big perk for us.  With so many things weighing us down right now, we look forward to the opportunities that we'll have while cruising and afterwards.  We'll be able to go and do whatever we choose.  Stories of low-cost living in Ecuador or Mexico sound interesting.   Our decisions on where we live and what we do won't have to be based on selling a house first, as we're currently facing.  Limiting possessions prevents limiting options!

So, what have you given up to reach your cruising dream (or any other)?  Did you ever have those moments where you thought you'd lost your mind going for such a thing?  We'd love to hear the sacrifices you've taken, and the feelings that went with them.

BTW  ... cheers to those cruisers that choose to bring their children along with them!  We think these kids are truly lucky to be exposed to such a wonderful and different course in life.  While we did not raise our daughter on a boat, it's our hope that we'll still be able to "wow" her, as well as our future grandkids and son-in-law (she's only 19 and in college right now).  There is more than one course in life, but most just don't realize it!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

Note:  Here are the previous posts from this series.  Check them out and feel free to give us your advice.  We've really enjoyed reading your comments!


Anonymous said...

All those things you're giving up are just things that you bought, or traditional American expectations of how life should go. If you miss them, or "Made a mistake" to go cruising, you can just buy them back. How you live your life is a choice you can make every day. I say don't worry about what other people think, and follow your dream. Full speed ahead!

Sandee said...

I think what you are doing rocks. Why not? If it's your dream then live it to the fullest. That's what life is all about.

I know lots of people that live on their boats. They are very happy to do so. I think you two will do just fine.

Have a terrific day and weekend. :)

Linda on Troubadour said...

Hi Cheryl, read my latest blog post, I think it says it all. Choices and compromises for us means not seeing our families and friends as freely and as easily from a financial perspective. The further away from Wisconsin and Florida that we sail, the more expensive flights home become. Choosing when to go home - for major family events like, weddings, or births of babies, graduations - becomes a difficult choice for this girl (we don't have children, but we do have nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters). My compromise is to be active on Facebook when I can and call home often using Skype. That's my biggest sacrifice.

Latitude 43 said...

Changing course can be a bit scary. Jumping headfirst into a new way of life for both of you will be trying at times, but also a great adventure. Lot's of people will swear you are crazy, but many others will be envious.
We sold everything, well, except for that storage unit filled with stuff, and feel absolutely free. We didn't need it all! Today the sun is shining, and we have absolutely nothing scheduled. The best part? I have not had to cut a lawn, or rake leaves for over two years :)

Anonymous said...

I am doing the same thing. Material things can always be re-placed and I am not addicted to things anyway. I will miss family sometimes of course but with modern communications today It won't be so bad. I am going to build a small cottage on my property next to my house to come back to during hurricane season. I'll rent my house out and I will have a little extra income for a few years till she pays herself off. I purchased a cruiser, 26ft Ariel, last fall and I am re-furbishing it. You can see pics of "The Anne Bonny" on the Pearson Ariel association page. It will be ready this Spring. Best wishes to you! Me, I'll be Bahama bound soon! Maybe see you there sometime:)Larry

Anonymous said...

I hear ya Sista! I love the idea of getting rid of things. I moved into a studio 4 years ago before I met Tate and got rid of most of my stuff. I had never felt so good in my life, I didn't even need all of it.

Now Tate moved in with me in a slighter larger place and we went through his stuff and "thinned" it out. At his house we are trying to sell we even left most of his pots, pans, dishes, glasses, multitude of different adult beverage glasses, and here we are doing just fine.

In fact we kinda dread the day when we have to retrieve his items when the house sells. We'll just have to get rid of it, cause there's no room here.

Not to go on and on, but I totally understand when you say "fear of failure and disappointment". Working so hard to get rid of everything you had worked so hard for, conditioning those around you, convincing them this is the lifestyle you want to live..while you may in fact set off, and be horrible at sailing, you may hate it or god forbid something terrible happen along the way. But it's a risk you have to take to give yourself a shot at greatness.

No one ever got famous, rich, enlightened, or (enter grandiose word here) by not taking risks. So many people take way more risks getting on the highway everyday, or doing activities around their house then you will while cruising. They just don't think about it.

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