Our decision to sail was not made on a whim. It came about after deep discussions on whether or not we could safely do this. Could we learn to sail a 40 ft sailboat? Could we sell our house and quit our jobs? Could we afford this and how do we budget? What about Chappie? The unknown seemed endless. But over time, as we began to plan and research, we found answers to our questions and what seemed impossible was all of a sudden quite attainable.
Since then, we’ve spent countless hours studying the art of sailing, researching ports of call, working as crew at sailboat races, getting our American Sailing Association certifications, connecting with mentors and researching EVERY boat on BoatTrader until we finally found the boat that met our very specific needs (full credit goes to Tye on that).
Even though we feel prepared, it’s never easy explaining our decision to sail. We understand there’s no great way to talk about it without sounding a little bit crazy, right? Why would we quit our jobs, sell our charming home, get rid of most of our belongings, leave Coeur d’Alene – one of the safest and most beautiful towns in the country, and downsize to a sailboat with very little sailing experience?
The answer is simple to us – life is short and the world is wide. And the older I get the more I understand that it’s okay to live a life others don’t understand.
By the age of 24 I had experienced more hardships than the average 60-year-old and to say it changed my outlook on life would be an understatement.
I’ve been through the sudden, traumatic death of my mother who was my best friend. A few years later I had a medical scare that left me believing I had a brain tumor for 4 weeks, until I was correctly diagnosed with having had four strokes (yes, I had 4 strokes), one being hemorrhagic (meaning my brain was bleeding), that were a result of a nickel-sized hole in my heart that I apparently had since birth (take a breather, I know that was A LOT). And the final hardship came when Tye and I received news of the tragic loss of our two close friends, Jason & Pat, in a canoe accident in the summer of 2015.
It was after all of the above that Tye and I sat down and had a serious talk about what we were doing with our lives, and was it truly what we wanted to be doing? If we died tomorrow, would we feel content knowing we lived life to the fullest? It was then when we realized we were too focused on making a living that we were forgetting to live.
I think about my mom's life often. If she knew it had been her last day, would she have been so fixated on paying the bills and running errands? Is that how she would have spent her last day? Month? Year? And I think back to my medical scare, it’s a MIRACLE that I’m still alive today fully functioning without deficits after four strokes and a brain bleed. It sends chills down my spine thinking what could have and probably should have been.
I truly feel I’ve been given a second chance; one I’m not going to waste. The fact is we never know how long we have on this earth. It could be minutes or it could be years. So we must take advantage of every day that we are given and try to live it in a way we will feel most proud. Tomorrow is not promised and we don’t want to wait to for “someday” to accomplish our goals and dreams. We want to experience it all. We want do everything we possibly can while we’re here now.
This is our time to slow down and turn our attention to the things we never had time for when we were focusing on our 9-5. It's our time to focus on the important things in life. Reconnect with family and friends. Read those books that have been collecting dust on the shelves. Learn a new language. Practice Yoga. Salsa dance in the streets. Sip wine while watching the sun set on an uninhabited island. Loose sight of land and know that we're going to be okay. Read the ENTIRE Bible (finally). Live in the moment and just become all around better humans. Not to mention the life skills we'll gain after navigating our own vessel on the ocean to new countries.
If there’s anything hardship in life has taught me, it is do not fear. There is much out of our control but we can find peace and comfort knowing our story was written before our time. Fear does not stop death, it stops life.
We are determined to embrace this extravagant life for all that it has to offer. Be brave. Believe in yourself. Do the right thing. Take risks but be smart. You have this one life. Make yourself proud.