Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – attributed to Mark Twain
Cindy and I have charted a new course for our future: Selling everything (well almost) and sailing away. This idea was first planted in my impressible mind on a flight back from the Evangelical Philosophical Society annual meeting held in Providence, RI in November, 2008. Sitting next to me was a gentlemen who had just retired from the Air Force and was on his way to Tampa to meet his family and move aboard a sailboat for retirement. Although I knew virtually nothing about sailing, I thought,”What a wonderful idea!” For the next several years the thought of retiring on a sailboat remained somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind as a cool idea, an amazing life, but not something I seriously entertained as being part of any realistic plan for my future. Although I was born in Atlanta, GA, we took nearly yearly vacations to the Gulf beaches and I loved the sand and water. For the past 12 years, I’ve been a Floridian and have always been the one in the family who has suggested going to the beach more than others. Cindy and I love travel and have been blessed to visit Europe and the Caribbean on multiple occasions. In retrospect, the idea of retiring on a sailboat was quite logical (as illogical as the idea of anyone living on a sailboat may seem to some).
After three years of percolation, the idea bubbled to the surface during a difficult time at work. Medicine, at times, seems less and less about taking care of the patient and more and more about meeting goals, jumping through hoops, and making sure the patient is “satisfied” and “happy.” A lawsuit, which was eventually settled, didn’t help my frame of mind. The political climate of the country and the direction that I saw it going compounded my depression. (By the way, I’m coping fairly well now. Of course, the carrot of sailing away into the wide open seas and living in tropical paradises doesn’t hurt one’s mental state.) One day, over a year ago, I casually mentioned to Cindy that I would love to cut back on shifts or retire early and buy a boat, move aboard, and sail away.
Let’s just say that she was not as receptive to the idea as I was. She and I will both post to this site so you will be able to read her initial (and ongoing) feelings in her own words. God has blessed me with with a remarkable wife. We met in college in St. Paul, MN in the 70s. When she married me in 1979, she thought she was committing to a life of ministry as the wife of a pastor. It turns out, she did commit for 14 years of that. Then 7 years of full-time college for me. Then 3 years of residency. Then a decade plus of being the wife of a physician. And now… well, now she has, at first reluctantly, and now with slightly more enthusiasm agreed to come along with me on our next adventure. You can read a little bit more about us on The Crew page. There is a lot more I will say about our preparations for such a move in future posts. For now, you can read a little about our future “home” here.
I expect that primarily (at least at first) this blog will be followed by family (and a few friends). I and my wife will express our joys and frustrations and hope to be a help to someone else who is thinking of doing something crazy like this. You will gain insight from one member of the crew who is enthusiastically embracing this change and another who is approaching this future life with a little (or a lot) more timidity. Our posts will be geared to family, friends, and future cruisers. Enjoy!