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Old 16-03-2009, 09:57   #1
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Wandering, But Not Lost

What are the merits of living your dreams in a world seemingly gone mad with doom and gloom?

Are we supposed to feel guilty if we go cruising? Is cruising an unworthy hedonistic way of life having no redeeming features? Are we no longer making a worthwhile contribution to society when we drop our docklines and set sail on the ocean of our dreams? Are we no longer paying back our debt to society that educated us and gave us our jobs? When we go cruising, do we become pond scum?

Maybe the world needs a few eagles out there showing that it's possible to live your dreams.

When I went cruising, I got criticism from many quarters. Family, friends, and colleagues had plenty to say, and not much of it was good or encouraging. Here is my written response.

I MAY BE WANDERING, BUT I'M NOT LOST

For twenty-eight years, I have lived, traveled, worked, and cruised outside the USA.

My global adventures have sometimes been a source of confusion to my family and friends. Some of them have even suggested that I have wasted large segments of my life. After all, if I had gone mainstream professionally, I could have been rich - maybe even famous.

They are probably right. I could have been rich and famous, but I also would have been miserable, maybe even depressed, because I would not have been living my dreams.

I worked as an eye surgeon for eleven years in Saudi Arabia, and then I went sailing around the world with my family on my small yacht. When I stopped doing ophthalmology and started living my cruising dreams, many of my professional friends acted like I fell off a horse and hit my head. They thought I was throwing everything away when I moved on to different things.

They had a problem with their vision. They had a form of inner blindness that prevented them from seeing my dreams. To them, it looked like I was wandering, even lost.

Well, I have news for all the naysayers, disbelievers, and critics. Even though I am wandering, I am not lost. I am on course, and I am exactly where I want to be, because I am living my dreams.

In one of my books (unpublished) I have a term that I use to describe a group of clueless people; I call them the Life Long Disoriented. These folks don't know who they are, and they don't know where they are going. They are adrift on the ocean of life.

I am not a member of the Life Long Disoriented because I know exactly who I am. I am Captain Dave, circumnavigator of planet earth. I am Landroverman, an expert in expeditionary travel in Land Rover Defenders. I am Dr. Dave, a flying doctor with the Indian Health Service flying out to Indian reservations to deliver health care in Arizona. I am also a speaker, writer, podcaster, webmaster, and photographer.

I also know where I am going. I am traveling in the direction of my dreams. Wherever my dreams take me, that's where I will end up. Although it may look like I am wandering, I definitely am not lost. I have been living my life on purpose for the past 60 years, and I plan to continue living the same way.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is that if you aren't living your dreams, you are wasting your life. So go ahead. Live your dreams. You'll be glad that you did.

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That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 16-03-2009, 11:40   #2
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Seth Godin in his book 'tribes' calls these people "sheepwalkers" !
I think that's a lovely description....
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Old 16-03-2009, 11:50   #3
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Seth Godin in his book 'tribes' calls these people "sheepwalkers" !
I think that's a lovely description....
One of the things I like about cruisers is that they aren't "sheepwalkers". They have a different vision, and they march to the beat of a different drum. God help us if the cruisers all disappear.
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Old 16-03-2009, 13:21   #4
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Thanks Dave:

That is a very inspirational piece. For those of us who are still trying to align all of the stars to take off on our dream trip it is nice to see someone who has been there. I have been planning my departure for almost 20 years now. I am close enought that I can taste it.

It is obvious to me that are in a much better place than these LLD or sheepwalkers. You have shaped your life rather than letting life shape you. I am not as nice as you -- I call these people corporate morons, medical morons, or blue collar morons. Drones. Now that their house values have tumbled and their 401k's look like 101k's they are all the more in need of a scapegoat and someone who is following their dreams is just the person to persecute.
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Old 16-03-2009, 14:49   #5
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Shoot, Dave: You ARE rich! (And famous, too, as far as I'm concerned -- love your websites, podcasts, DVDs.)
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Old 16-03-2009, 17:38   #6
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Shoot, Dave: You ARE rich! (And famous, too, as far as I'm concerned -- love your websites, podcasts, DVDs.)
Rich isn't about money. Anyone who has their health is rich beyond measure.

A person should never let money stand between them and their dreams. As long as you have your health and a willingness to do whatever it takes, it won't be long before you are sailing on the ocean of your dreams.

Of course, you'll need to stuff a lot of cotton in your ears along the way. Then you won't have to listen to the nay sayers who want to steal your dreams.
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Old 16-03-2009, 17:54   #7
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I was actually surprised at the lack of negative comments when I started taking several months off a couple of times a year just to go cruising.

While my age probably allowed me more acceptance, most of it seem to be that people I knew, also knew me and how hard and long I typically work at my non-sailing job and indicated they understood how much I loved it and were all for it.

Some were a bit envious but not overly so and were supportive and had hopes that some day they may be able to visit with me on a short cruise. Some actually have already.

Most don't want to dump on my dreams or steal them, more want to share them if only by my flow of e-mails and photos.

Not really positive why I've not had the negative response some people seem to have... and I count myself lucky!
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Old 16-03-2009, 19:10   #8
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Thank you Maxingout! Twenty years ago, at the age of 27 I had had enough, and informed my family that I would be leaving the business to go cruising. More than a few negative comments were heard. I went anyway, but after several years "out there" I came back. My boss calls it my "irresponsible period". I call it the best damn time of my life. I'm close to leaving again, and when my boat is ready we will be on our way. It's so damn easy to lie around here in the US and vegetate, so easy to Sheepwalk. It's just not for me...I can tell when I'm waisting my life.
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Old 16-03-2009, 19:58   #9
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Rich isn't about money. Anyone who has their health is rich beyond measure.
I've had a few old customers who were loaded, but had bad health.
They all told me the same thing.

Basically, "Without your health, you've got nothing."

Steve B.
(62 and hasn't been to a doctor in over 20 years)
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Old 16-03-2009, 20:05   #10
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(62 and hasn't been to a doctor in over 20 years)
No wonder David is not rich!
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Old 16-03-2009, 20:07   #11
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Thank you Maxingout! Twenty years ago, at the age of 27 I had had enough, and informed my family that I would be leaving the business to go cruising. More than a few negative comments were heard. I went anyway, but after several years "out there" I came back. My boss calls it my "irresponsible period". I call it the best damn time of my life. I'm close to leaving again, and when my boat is ready we will be on our way. It's so damn easy to lie around here in the US and vegetate, so easy to Sheepwalk. It's just not for me...I can tell when I'm waisting my life.
During your "irresponsibile period" you may have had more responsibility than some people have in a lifetime. Sailing a boat offshore is all about responsibility. The irresponsible don't last long offshore. The seas don't pay bonuses to those who behave in an irresponsible manner.
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Old 16-03-2009, 20:17   #12
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No wonder David is not rich!
I'm part of the problem too. My last check up was 12 years ago, and so I haven't been making any doctors rich either. Cruising is such a healthy way of life - good food, low stress, and you're not living in the viral soup found in large cities.

Probably 90% of all the disease that I see is created or aggravated by living a toxic, destructive lifestyle. That's one reason most cruisers that I know are so healthy. The ones that leave their destructive lifestyles behind gradually feel better - they even thrive. They take fewer medications and extend the quality and duration of their lives.

I say go cruising and let all the doctors go bankrupt.
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Old 16-03-2009, 20:22   #13
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The seas don't pay bonuses to those who behave in an irresponsible manner.
Leave that to AIG... As far as doctors go, you must feel pretty good about the people you have helped as an eye surgeon. What a wonderful gift to give...
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Old 17-03-2009, 02:57   #14
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Thanks again Dave...I look forward to your posts...Martin
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Old 17-03-2009, 08:58   #15
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Thanks again Dave...I look forward to your posts...Martin
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