The idea has been bouncing around my brain on and off for a very long time. I couldn’t tell you why. I don’t remember touching a boat in California or Michigan. I remember spending a day in Colorado on a 22 foot boat on a lake or reservoir (I swear is was Chatfield, but I don’t actually remember). That’s it though. Yet every time I’d thought about it, happiness and freedom always came in the form of a sailboat.
Like so often seems to happen, the idea was quickly relegated to the recesses of my mind, accessible only as an ephemeral fantasy, and accompanied with a snicker at my former naivete. It seemed like it took me longer than it should, but eventually, I was a skilled and productive member of society. I was active in local politics, and a big time outdoors advocate. I was spending significantly less than I made, and by all indications, everything was in place for me to save a shit load of money, and live easily and perpetually an upper middle class lifestyle in the United States. Not a damn thing was standing in my way.
It’s at times like these that I find those all-so-commonly-heard “voices of reason” make more sense. The ones that tell you how silly it was, and could I imagine if I had done something so stupid? I had some speed bumps on the way, but I was doing all the right things, and how awesome is life now? And I listened. I dismissed it all, only to bring it up when high and fantasizing out loud.
Something unexpected happened then, and to oversimplify to the point of being meaningless, I broke. I had it all, was well on the way to being able to keep it all…and couldn’t hold on. Gripping as hard as I could, I was only able to slow down my fall into I-don’t-know-what. It was a couple years into this fall that somehow, I stumbled across a video that sent me down an interesting rabbit hole. I can’t remember what exact video the first one was, but I know it was Nick and Terysa from Sailing Yacht Ruby Rose. The YouTube algorithm soon served me up Uma, and Nick mentioned both Delos and La Vagabonde. I consumed it all, and more.
And early this year, I caught a glimpse of the edge. The abyss doesn’t scare me, but I don’t think there is any coming back. I think it’s permanent. In a frustrated rant one day, it all came tumbling out. A disjointed attempt to explain an unexplainable depth of crushing despair, trying to make it clear what I mean when I say I wake up each day only hoping that the time to fall asleep and end the day comes faster. And even with all of that, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation before Xtine said she wanted to go.
So we’re giving it a shot, doing it all responsibly, selling all of our stuff (or trying to), renting out the house, and going from there. At least, ostensibly that’s what we are doing. I think we’ve already taken too long. We’ve already essentially thrown in the towel, with each bill we pay for an extra month of doing this stuff I loathe. Something is shifting. I don’t know what it is exactly. I don’t know what it means.
I can say definitively that there are only two routes I can see ahead of me, and I have to take one. I will try my damndest to go as far down the route of a boat as I can manage.