If there is one thing that can destroy your dream, it's the mind game
you play against yourself. Each night, I lie in bed
, with hesitation and doubt growing, and not a night goes by that I don't think about what it will be like to quit my job and go sailing, but a thousand worries crop up in my mind, insidiously chipping away at my resolve. Battling myself is going to be a rough journey, I can tell you that. Here are some of the things I think about.
Saving and lifestyle change
I admit I'm having trouble saving as much as I'd like. Without going into the nuts and bolts of my finances, I will say this, there are two areas where I spend the most superfluous money
miscellaneous stuff, and purchasing
food/going to restaurants/drinking alcohol.
I have attempted to limit my budget
for food/restaurants/alcohol to $400/month. I have zero doubt that right now someone is laughing at this because it should be easy. This has certainly not been easy for me though, at least so far. In my efforts to improve my savings, I have transitioned from eating out maybe 80% of the time to cooking
my own meals
and eating leftovers. Spending at bars and restaurants still takes a large chunk of this even if it's only once or twice a week. I'm doing the best I can, but friends don't want to come over and have a sandwich, they want to meet at a bar and drink $40 of beer
on a motorcycle in 2009 was one of the highlights of my life. Two weeks into the trip, somewhere in the Austrian or Italian alps, I couldn't help thinking that I never wanted to go back. This feeling of despair about returning to the grind is exactly why I want to take up the cruising lifestyle. In fact, I find it very very difficult to go on vacation
now due to the dread of returning. Nonetheless, my experience has caused me to run some mental calculations of the pros/cons of touring the world via motorcycle versus touring the world via sailboat. The point is, a sailboat costs a lot of money
, and accomodations are cheap
in developing countries. For instance, forty thousand dollars that could be spent on a boat would buy a lot of cheap hotel
I won't like it
Another enormous fear I have is that I will dedicate years to this goal, save while living the spendthrift life, buy a boat, and sail off only to find out that it's really not what I want after all. Maybe I won't like the cramped living aboard
the boat, maybe it will be too much work maintaining everything, or maybe I won't have enough to do, maybe I'll be too lonely away from friends and family
. Maybe. So many unknowns paralyzes me. I've been around enough to know that you can generally think your way through things that arise, but it's imposing to know you must face these issues and any one of them could be a deal-breaker.
Buying a piece of ****
This worry is high on my list too. What if I work through the rest of the issues I'm facing only to end up purchasing
a money sucking black hole of a sailboat, spend the bulk of my money trying to correct the inherited problems, and in the end capitulating due to finite finances? This is such a real possibility with all the douchebags out there trying to scam you or rip you off. To some extent, I feel in my bones that this will happen to some degree regardless of any countermeasures I take. Trusting some stranger to be honest about a major purchase
is foolish. Thinking you have all the angles figured out is also foolish.
has it's perks, but it has many drawbacks as well. For me, chief honcho drawback number one is the idea of sailing alone. Anchoring
, chilling, living the easy life, yeah, I can do that by myself, but making passages, overnight passages, sailing across oceans... these are things that scare the hell out of me to do alone. I have nightmares of falling off my boat and watching it sail away from me on autopilot
. This is a bit of a murky area for me though because I know that you can use a safety
harness to attach to the boat, but still, with nobody there, the smallest mistake if you decide to put safety
aside could end up being your last. This doesn't even go into what it may be like alone for bad weather
I'm taking a deep breath here. I have a lot more to learn in this regard before I raise the threat level to panic. So this worry is still to be determined.
Research and reading
Despite my fear and paranoia, I've spent a lot of time researching things on the web, reading, learning
, and taking sailing classes
. I've been pouring over sailboats on sales sites, trying to figure out a variety of things like aesthetics, layout, headroom
, costs, models and brands of manufacturers. This in and of itself is a bit overwhelming at times.
I've read or am in progress of reading my fourth book on sailing, cruising, or related topics.
In addition to the experience I gained sailing 2 weeks in Greece
in 2007, I'm in the midst of an ASA
101 course of which two out of six are now completed. I've learned a great deal and am on my way to my first ASA certification
, but I'm hoping for more. I get my turn at helming the boat and doing the other various things aboard, but I want to be responsible for all of them so I can put it together in my mind sans crew. Maybe I need a few private lessons where I just need a supervisor to guide me. Something to consider.
I'm also up to lesson nueve in Spanish. Still working on that.
Add it all up
I'm struggling through this. The one hope I have for bothering to post my thoughts here is that others can relate some advice and wisdom to me. I don't want my goal to be a confirmation of my bad judgement or a warning to others who have similar thoughts. I'd like it to be inspirational and actually impart some wisdom to others eventually as well. So, please, if you have thoughts about any of my fears, let's hear that advice