“Land is the secure ground of home, the sea is like life, the outside, the unknown.” – John Gardiner
I believe we all dream, at one time or another, of casting off the proverbial dock lines and setting our bows toward the horizon, happily forsaking our routines in search of something exceptional. Wanderlust is an urge not easily escaped. Very few of us, however – for whatever multitude of reasons – actually do that. It’s certainly a dream that’s difficult to fulfill, and in the end, it may in fact be just that – a dream, and nothing more.
But those wanderers are out there – they’ve given up many of their possessions and comforts, and have embraced a simpler, roving life. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re dreaming or doing right now. Perhaps it’s in a van, or an RV, or even just a bicycle. What’s taking you to points unknown?
In this case, it’s a 65-foot steel sailboat with a family of nine living a life of abundance aboard. Yes, you read that correctly. Peter and Molly, and their seven kids, live together on the water in only a few hundred square floating feet.
While we lived in Ketchikan, we had the pleasure of getting to know this wonderful family over the course of nearly three years. They were, and continue to be, not only a motivation for my soul’s desire to wander, but an example of life distilled down to its basic elements. They know what’s important. It’s not about the accumulation of stuff; it’s not about making as much money as you can; and it’s not about spending your life working so you can pay bills until you die.
They felt the call of something more, then they actually answered that call.
Is it so simple?
To be honest, life on a boat is not an easy life, and they won’t pretend it’s all smooth sailing and rainbows. It can be cramped and damp, privacy is almost non-existent, upkeep on a boat is constant, and you occasionally have to deal with the literal storms of life. I literally mean the real storms. Big storms. Storms with huge waves and green water blasting across your deck. That stuff sucks.
But more often comes the serenity of watching your wake slowly spread out behind the transom, or anchoring in a quiet cove, with only the lapping of water to rouse you, and the unspeakable beauty of nature to greet you. Joy comes in having charts spread out on the table, plotting a course, and imagining what you’ll find.
This is the reason people choose a life unfettered by walls. Our lives should be filled with as many moments of beauty as we can possibly squeeze in. It’s not always easy. In fact, it’s more often much harder than a life of normalcy. The question is then in how you measure life. When predictable, normal, and all those words that describe our regular lives are weighed against the uncertainty that comes with adventure, how does the scale tip? It’s different for all of us. Peter and Molly weighed their lives, and chose to go.
Their life is a life worth telling. They’re living a story of adventure that’s true. They’ve sailed thousands of miles, fought through wind and wave, dealt with the difficulty, and tasted the delicious reward which only comes by taking the path less traveled.
Maybe you’re considering an adventure – big or small. I encourage you to follow the example of those who are doing it, and to get out there.
For more adventures check out their blog at: http://www.oceanvagabonds.com/blog/.