Why go cruising? Why take such a financial risk? Why trade secure jobs, a nice house and regular paychecks for uncertainty? Why do we want to go? As a wise man once said:
“If I don’t find time to live my life well the first time, when am I going to find the time to go back and live it over?
It's not something that can be explained in a short paragraph. The best way to explain it would be during long late night conversations aboard the boat while anchored out under a full moon in some isolated spot with a glass of wine in hand. Since we can't do that, (right now, anyway) here's some links to help explain it.This is a good place to start:
More money can always be earned. Your days are numbered.
Late one night a few years back I realized we'd built so much momentum with this cruising thing that I was, indeed, going to have to walk away from this hard-earned pharmacy profession for a few years, giving up the fat salary and the security, if it was going to actually happen. So I emailed several friends to ask if I was crazy to consider such an idea, or was I just reaching for an escapist dream. I got back some much appreciated, sincere and very well thought out replies:
What Our Friends Say:
Here you'll find some excellent essays about why people go cruising:
After we bought the boat I “announced” it to the Island Packet maillist community and received many very nice responses:
I've discovered a few good books that relate the stories of people who have searched out and accomplished an adventure designed to expand their lives and shake up their complacency, even at the cost of personal comfort or financial stability. Modern day explorers if you will. These people, who cruise in sailboats, on bicycles or motorcycles, or who hike, backpack or kayak, sometimes across entire continents, seem to have a common thread. It's hard to define, but it seems to be a common desire to escape the day to day drudgery of a life with no challenges and to avoid the tame sameness of year after year of grinding out a living. A desire to push themselves. An opportunity to take the road less traveled, even if it has bumps. A desire to go somewhere they haven't yet been.
They are also often driven by an appreciation for the beauty of nature and a desire to be part of it, rather than viewing it through the tinted glass of an automobile as so many do. They want to get dirty and be uncomfortable, because sometimes that's the only way to see the sunrise from the top of the mountain.
A few were looking for a chance to give their kids an education beyond that of conventional brick schoolhouses. A couple of the books listed are the stories of families who took their kids around the world so that they could see some of the fast-vanishing natural wonders of the world before they're gone and to experience cultures that aren't based on shopping malls and electronic games.
Sometimes they take these breaks for a long time, making it a complete lifestyle choice, and sometimes it's just a desire to take a break for long enough to recharge their spiritual batteries. Just the knowledge that an escape is out there is enough to provide hope and optimism, if it's sampled occasionally. Isn't that what vacations are? As was once said, "A change is a good as a rest".
Several of these books are the stories of people who simply recognized the need to take a break and took some time off and went adventuring, some are stories of people who wanted to share some time and experience with their children, and some are personal quests. A couple are books about the ocean or the environment that I think would be of interest to anyone interested in the natural world and the cruising viewpoint. A number of them are striking examples of idealism winning out over sensibility, successfully. They are all excellent books, some of which have important messages. A few of my favorite cruising books are here too, but only a few. That list is a long one.
I enjoyed them all and I hope you do too.
This link will connect you to a rational look at a point of view that should be obvious, but isn't always.. That is, that more money does not buy more happiness.
If you still don't get it, how about some deep philosophy from one of the great hair bands of the 80's, Judas Priest:
If you think I'll sit around as the world goes by
You're thinkin' like a fool 'cause it's a case of do or die.
Out there is a fortune waitin' to be had
If you think I'll let it go
You've got another think comin'.