A decade ago my hubby and I envisioned a different life. A life that represented freedom and as off the grid as we could imagine: we wanted to live on a boat and travel. I solved the income challenge almost immediately. I discovered the ideal mobile business and have successfully worked from different states and Canada, even from a sailboat for a short period, as a Virtual Assistant—and I love what I do!
So why hasn’t the dream become a reality I ask myself? Life happened. Unexpected major events that we’ve handled surprisingly well and bounced back from—wiser but not deterred from our dream. And that’s okay. I get that we’ve only hit the snooze button. But some days I feel unmoored. Are we on the right course? Do we need to adjust the sails? Doubt for our North Star seeps in.
We recently found a fixer upper sailboat that met 90% of our must-have-list on the hard (out of the water) in a marina near Tarpon Springs (a doable two hours away instead of in Oregon!) It had been the owner’s dad’s project boat but his dad had died before seeing it complete (sadly this is a common tale). Fixed up this boat would sell for five times the asking price. We enthusiastically set out the next day with our cash deposit in hand.
I climbed a wobbly aluminum ladder (my faith in hubby’s hold on said ladder complete) to step on board into almost shin deep rain water in the cockpit! I waded to the companion way and braced myself as I slid the hatch cover back and pulled the slats out. I could hear water running inside like a faucet in a bathtub— she was full to the bottom of the galley cabinet doors. Oh, NO!
I was able to clear the cockpit drain obstructions and get the water flowing out. From the algae and gunk build up it was apparent this had not happened recently. The boat was already a big project for our experience but we were game—but this—this changed everything! Fresh water rots and mildews wood faster and more effectively than saltwater—any water inside a boat is undesirable but long standing fresh water is a deal breaker.
I snapped photos for the unsuspecting owner and for Jeff, my heart sinking. Once again—this was not our boat. And I was saddened from the high spirits of expecting to have found and made an offer on a boat—finally! But also for the boat herself. I grieved for her, for the loving work undone, for her obvious neglect, that I couldn’t help her beyond alerting the owner and marina staff. Sad. That.
How do you determine if the obstacles between you and your dream are the Universe’s way of steering you clear of a rocky shore or only mighty storms to be weathered to prove your passion and commitment to your dream? We brainstormed to see if there was something else we’d rather do—a third option we’d overlooked. Or was it only our ideal boat was still waiting for us to ready for her? What do we need to let go of to make room for her? For me I think its attachment to an extremely comfortable and privileged life: I’m deeply attached to electricity, hot water, indoor plumbing, and air-conditioning!
Detaching from these comforts seems a small price for the freedom and adventure inherent in the live-aboard lifestyle! It took a few days but we buoyed ourselves up and we’ve reached out to a sailboat seller again on the Gulf coast and he offered us the opportunity to stay on the boat for a night while he was on land. Now that’s the way to test drive a lifestyle! Thoreau wrote: If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
We continue to advance and our dream may be bruised but its heart is strong and steady and beats on! I have the utmost faith in serendipity and the law of attraction and will keep my positivity flowing; the windows and doors to my soul open; and envision her out there—our ideal boat—fair winds carrying her into our lives and hearts.