This quote hangs on the refrigerator at our house and every time I walk by, it always gets me thinking and asking the question “Why Not?”
When we first started considering the idea of “sailing away”, I pondered and still do, the reasons that stand in the way of taking this big step. Money, lack of experience/confidence, careers, leaving family and friends, selling the house and possessions, and sailing with two young girls were all things that came to mind as roadblocks. Leaving the conventional lifestyle of living in a house and going to work everyday seems like a safe option to continue, but is there really purpose in continuing this routine for our family or should we take the leap towards our dream, as impossible as it may seem right now?
I’m able to work through or rationalize most of the roadblocks as mentioned above.
Money– We have begun a budget and lifestyle that will make the financial aspect of cruising possible (at least we hope!). This budget has actually lead to living a simpler life which, surprisingly, I have found much joy in and hope to continue this type of lifestyle on our boat.
Experience–I have ideas about ways to gain experience and confidence. We have access to a Catalina 25 which makes for a perfect option to start really learning to sail instead of sitting back and enjoying a glass of wine! My ability to actually manage our cruising vessel solo is important, especially with our two precious cargo aboard.
Friends/Family– It will be hard to leave our friends and family, but we are not leaving forever. I hope they will come visit us wherever we are, plus there is the opportunity to meet new friends along our travels.
Selling our things–Selling the house and possessions actually makes me excited, as I feel we have begun to accumulate too many “things” and I’m looking forward to a more simple, self-sufficient lifestyle. I have begun to come to the conclusion that buying things and having a big, nice house only makes you want more things and a bigger house. So, doing the opposite and simplifying life by attempting to eliminate all the material goods, seems it would lead to a more purposeful life.
Which leads me to my biggest concern and “why not?”—-the safety of sailing with my two daughters. We discussed cruising in the past when it was just the two of us, but always seemed to bring up a number of excuses. Now, we have children (2 months and 17 months), so our life has drastically changed and cruising with two girls makes me nervous. All those dreadful “what if” circumstances run through my head which scares me. Our current plans have us leaving when they are three and four years old and I wonder if this age is too young. My initial searching lead me to this site which asks 12 cruising families about their experiences.
A common thread throughout these families was the closeness and bonding that occurred during their cruising time. Some families have cruised with their children as newborns and continued into teenage years. Not only do the families talk of the relationships that were formed but also the sense of purpose that was gained. This is what I hope and imagine for our family. My girls will not be in daycare, but instead with their mother and father having new and different experiences outside of the mainstream. I envision our family being closer than ever before. Of course we will physically be closer, as our living space will drastically decrease! But I also want to create memories for our family and be a role model for our girls by showing them that you can actually accomplish your dreams with lots of hard work, positive thinking, and motivation.
So at this point it is starting to become clear this is a step our family wants to take and needs to take. This blog will be a place for us to discuss our plans and thoughts as we prepare to take this journey and as the blog names suggests, release the bowlines.
“The very act of believing in the viability of a bold plan, greatly affects the
chances of you succeeding at it”-author unknown