What I wouldn't give for a crystal ball...Photo Source
The question most frequently asked of me about our cruising plan is: Aren't you afraid of __________ (fill in the blank with one of dozens of fearsome things)? The obvious ones like Pirates or Sea Monsters, I can fend off easily. Some, like Hurricanes or getting knocked off the boat in the dark and left behind… aren't so easy to dismiss, but I have my explanations for avoiding those perils as well. But there are a few things that haunt my dreams and require continuous stifling during my waking hours…
What if I don't like cruising? No, really! There are so many boats abandoned in beautiful places serving as bobbing lonely reminders that dreams aren't always like we imagine them to be. I've done some chartering and spent time on our own boat, but it will be different when we're "out there". What if I can't take the heat, or the dirt, or the loneliness, or the shortages of things I've grown accustomed to having at my fingertips. What if the continuous boat repairs and physical stresses are just too much for me? What if we return home with our tails between our legs, failures at our own dreams? And if that happens… what would we do next, with our dreams of future adventures gone, leaving only the empty cloak of shame worn by those who can't hack it? What if we have to start over, having given up a great job and house in one spectacular bellyflop?
What if something happens to Bruce? He's 21 years my senior and even though he is far more physically fit than I, his age will become a factor at some point. Suppose we've waited too late, wasted the years we should have been cruising with just talking about it…? What if we're out there and something horrible happens and I can't get that echo out of my head… the regret for not having gone sooner. What if I find myself alone on the open water with Bruce incapacitated or even worse??? What happens THEN???
What if I'm not smart enough? I mean… I'm not a stupid girl, but I've always said that I would make a terrible criminal because I'm just not that CLEVER. I'm usually the one reading about the simple solutions to problems with a "why didn't I think of that" look on my face. What if my Cruiser Powers come in too slowly and we end up screwing up the boat or ourselves by doing something idiotic. Maybe our cruising days will be cut short by some failure to question some telltale sound or smell? What if our last words are "Hey, I wonder what this does?"…
All of these things are swimming around in my head in these final countdown days before we set sail. They are just waiting to mess me up if I let them. Yes, there are things that could happen "out there"… but there are just as many things that can happen right here at home while we doopdy-doop through our daily lives. What if we don't go? How bad would that be? Maybe we could just stay around here and be on permanent vacation right here at home.
That day when we head East and don't come back looms frighteningly in my mind's eye. But even more frightening… what if we don't go INDEED!? So many people have said to me "Wow! You're really going? You've been talking about it for years but I didn't think you'ld ever really DO IT!"… Now reader, if you are one of those people… please forgive me for these next words… but I fear becoming one of those poor souls who are perpetually "Gonna"… I fear losing credibility for living up to my words. I fear forever being a "Wannabe". I fear being, like the song says... Ms. Almost… Ms. Maybe… Ms. Halfway...
This post is part of the My Fearful Adventure series, which is celebrating the launch of Torre DeRoche’s debut book Love with a Chance of Drowning, a true adventure story about one girl’s leap into the deep end of her fears.
"Wow, what a book. Exciting. Dramatic. Honest. Torre DeRoche is an author to follow." Australian Associated Press
"… a story about conquering the fears that keep you from living your dreams." Nomadicmatt.com
"In her debut, DeRoche has penned such a beautiful, thrilling story you’ll have to remind yourself it’s not fiction." Courier Mail
Find out more…
Besides giving your fears to God and be anxious about nothing ... what if you go and really, really, really enjoy it? Switching my thinking from the negative to the positive helps me forge on, especially with those boat chores that I have never done before (which is most). Andy H
Thanks Andy! You're always so positive! Well, obviously we are doing this in spite of any fears I have lurking in my head... I guess there are fears and doubts to be had in everything we do, land or sea. I tend to be proactive and plan for things that could happen but not to the extent that I'm paralyzed with it. I can't WAIT to get out there and really do think I'm going to LOVE it... but I'm not so rosy-eyed that I don't think there will be HUGE adjustments to be made. Thanks for reading our blog!Delete
Hoorah for you! No regrets, go forward>>>>>ReplyDelete
I've been reading your blog for a couple months. I'm sooo excited for you! My husband and I live in Michigan; we boat on Lake St Clair. We are stinkboaters; we have a beautiful 40' Carver aft cabin.
Regardless of whether we sail or motor; we have much in common. We all love the water; we all work at keeping our boats the best they can be. We all plan and plan to finance our hobby or lifestyle. Boaters all seem to have a love of adventure and can't wait to see what is over the horizon.
Our retirement is just under nine years away. We have liquid plans for our future; meaning some part of it will involve water and we don't have anything set in stone. Ideally we would like to use our boat all summer in the Great Lakes and then maybe do some traveling with a small camper in the winter. I would love to do the Great Loop; but my husband has an irrational fear of what salt water would do to our boat. LOL
So, I read this post and it's as if you are reading my mind. Your questions could be mine. I love boating; but I'm a weekend boater. Will I really want to be on my boat for months at a time? What if my wonderfully talented husband isn't able to do so much on the boat. Can we afford to keep it? And I too feel very confident in my abilities. But what if one day I just forget to do something or I screw it up?
I think the answers to your questions and mine are: "So What?!" and "These things could happen on dry land too". Walk away from the doubt and in to a wonderful future! And if things change along the way; embrace that change and have no regrets for the past.
Keep writing and I'll keep reading!! Marie
Just think of the adventure that awaits!
Marie thank you so much for your words! You're very right... there are no guarantees no matter what we do. I have been doing a lot of thinking after hearing of one of my idols, MoreJoyEverywhere, making the decision to throw in the towel after two years cruising. Some of their reasons were echoes of this post. What has come of my contemplations on their decision is this: They had two great years full of memories that they can look back upon that can't be taken away from them. And... they will move on to something else. So even if we don't "make it", we will have DONE IT! I'm getting so excited it's almost here! Thanks for reading and for your comments!Delete