“Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement – and we will make the goal.”-Robert Collier

Do you remember when you were in school and you finished a test that you felt pretty good about, but you weren’t really sure if you had gotten a good grade or not? It’s not that you weren’t confident in the information you knew, but you just had a little nagging voice telling you all day that maybe there was something you missed. That’s a little like I’d been feeling about our plans for cruising. We were doing all of the research that we could, reading blogs, crunching numbers, but there was still that little voice saying “you’re missing something, this is all going to come crashing down at any minute now.”

Well, the little voice has been banished (for now at least) with some help from our new friends Scott and Brittany of Wind Traveler. I’d been following their blog recently and knew that they were back in the Chicago area awaiting the arrival of their new crew member (see: baby). Dan and I were also planning on going up to Chicago to spend some time with my family over the weekend, so I decided to take a shot in the dark and email Brittany to ask if the two of them would have a coffee with us and let us pick their brains a little. It was a bit of a stretch out of my comfort zone, I don’t normally invite people to coffee that I’ve never met before, but I’m so glad that I did.

Brittany and Scott were extremely helpful and very encouraging to talk to. They really helped validate our plans and gave us a lot more confidence in the knowledge that we had already acquired through reading books and blogs. They also gave us some great advice about how we can be better prepared. (I’ve already been scouring the internet for books/lessons on weather forecasting. I think I’m going to buy this set by Tim Vasquez.)  I don’t think that they can fully appreciate how much it meant to us when they looked at us and said, “We can tell you guys are going to make it.”

It felt like a big A on the test.