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Posted on Jul 21, 2012 | 0 comments

What Do You Believe

Playing horse is just one of many great ways to spend some time!

If you listen closely enough throughout the course of your day, you will probably hear a mention of “spending time” more than once. “I spent some time going through that report…” or “I’m going to spend some time with my kids this weekend…”, you know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, I think that too many of us don’t actually realize the consequences of what spending our time actually means.

Americans, in general, are not well known for our ability to save money. We like to spend it as it comes. (Not exactly the most prudent choice, but we’re not talking about what’s advisable, just what is true.) However, it seems that the opposite mindset is true of our time. For some reason our society has decided that if we work like maniacs now, we will be able to retire when we are at some unknown “older” age… at which point we will have “earned” enough time to relax and enjoy life. We have, unfortunately, picked the wrong commodity to try and hold on to.

In a program called The Truth Project, a recurring question that is asked is this: “Do I really believe that what I believe is really real?” That question has plagued me ever since I first heard it. People say that time is our most precious asset, it’s the only thing that we can never have more of. But do we really believe that’s true? Because if we really believed that, wouldn’t we do everything that we could to cherish every second and be a little more judicious with them?

My son was born almost 20 months ago. They have truly been the fastest 20 months of my life, and I’m sure that the months are not going to start rolling by any slower in the future. It’s about time for us to start spending them a little more wisely. Dan and I are in the process of finding out what it really means to live what we believe. I hope you will find out for yourself.

Follow your Dreams. Follow the Horizon.

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Posted on Jul 5, 2012 | 2 comments

Independence Day

Maybe we’ll set a few of these off when we leave

Today, people all over the United States will be celebrating Independence Day aka the 4th of July. We all get together for picnics and fireworks, and then tomorrow we’ll all go back to work. It leads me to reflect on how close Dan and I are to our own “Independence Day” when we can cast off the lines and really start our cruising life. Almost a year ago now, we took a hard look at what we would need to do to accomplish that goal, and we estimated it would take us around 4 years of saving and planning to have a comfortable cruising kitty.

That was a year ago. Now we’re sitting in office chairs wondering “what the heck are we doing here?!” We’ve come to find that doing the work-a-day life is significantly harder to stomach once you’ve realized there is another option. Judging by some of the other blogs that I have read by cruisers who have already left, we aren’t the only ones who have experienced the over-anticipation that occurs once you start planning to cruise. Frankly, 4 years is just waaay too long to tolerate under our current mindset.

Therefore, we have decided to speed up the process a little. By a little, I mean our goal is now to have our butts in the Caribbean by the end of next year. There are a lot of steps that we are currently evaluating, but let’s just say that things are going to start moving at a quicker pace in our house very shortly.

Independence Day, here we come!

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Posted on May 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Brotherly Love

It turns out Kyle is as crazy as we are.

I’ve talked about my brother Kyle previously when discussing various sailing adventures as well as my SCUBA progress… What I haven’t talked about are his and Becca’s (his wife) plans and dreams. I’m not going to try and articulate their dreams… no one could except them. Suffice it to say that they are planning on joining us in casting off and following our cruising dream. On their own boat, of course.

Kyle was the first person other than Michele that I discussed my crazy idea with. We were extremely excited about our newly hatched plans… almost giddy. Each time we researched cruising we became more convinced. We needed an outside opinion (We’ve since met with our friends Scott and Brittany from Windtraveler for one). Before approaching Kyle, I expected to meet resistance and a multitude of reasons why following my dream was impossible. Amazingly, I found nothing but support. Well… support and mutual interest. He began to express many of the same sentiments that Michele and I have about materialism, time freedom, and life in general.

I am not going to talk about the whys, the hows, whens, etc of Kyle and Becca’s plans… their story is their own. They have become part of Michele and I’s story in some ways, however. It is a huge comfort to know that we will be sailing with people we can implicitly, and without hesitation, trust. Not only will we have double the amount of spare parts, dinghies, tools, etc but we will have partners to experience the wonders of cruising with. I am sure there will be times when we wonder “What are we doing here?” Thankfully, we will have Kyle and Becca nearby for support. One of the things I am most looking forward to is meeting new people and new cruising buddies while we are on our adventures, but I am extremely lucky to have a brother that shares the passion and dream of cruising.


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Posted on May 7, 2012 | 1 comment

How did we come up with this idea anyway?

This sums up why we wanted to move there. Bay of Islands, NZ

NaBloPoMo asks “What sports did you play as a child?” Michele and I certainly didn’t sail. I played pretty much every sport an American child in the Midwest can play, just not sailing. We’re talking basketball, baseball, football, floor hockey, soccer, swimming, track and field, you name it I played it. So how did Michele and I come up with the crazy idea to sail full time?

A few years ago I had watched the documentary Ice Blink… At the time I thought little more about it than “Wow that’s cool.” The seed of sailing (and crusing) had been planted however. As Michele and I became more and more disillusioned with money and “stuff” we began searching for alternatives. Cruising was not at the top of the list, surprisingly. We seriously explored moving to New Zealand. New Zealand is in the midst of a brain drain as most of its young educated people move elsewhere, primarily Australia. Because of this brain drain, IT workers (and especially network engineers) wanting to move into the country are on somewhat of a fast track approval.

We went so far as to tell our families we were moving to live the life of Kiwis… but what was the life of a Kiwi? Our primary motivation was to reprioritize our lives away from what is fake and towards what is real. We started talking to people from New Zealand to get a feel for what life there really is all about. We would still need to work full time, if only to keep our fast track status. Slowly, we figured out that the freedom we were searching for doesn’t have as much to do with “where” as with “when” and “what” you are doing. Time-freedom is hard to come by. Cruising fulfills both aspects of what drove Michele and I to want to move to New Zealand: time-freedom and exploration. The ability to set sail within a few hours notice for whatever port you would like definitely is quite alluring for the both of us. The time-freedom to explore those ports, as well as ourselves, is what calls us to the sea.

This post is part of our NaBloPoMo series. Follow the Horizon is participating in National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). NaBloPoMo is for bloggers who commit to post each day in the month of May.

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