Israel and I had reached the pinnacle of American success; we had two nice cars, a house in the suburbs with a pool, and all the stuff to go in it. Then one day we decided to leave our familiar, easy lives and families and friends. We sold our home and almost of our possessions. We left this perfectly good life behind for many reasons.
1. To find a new path in life
2. To explore the world with our children and give them a wealth of different experiences
3. To grow and learn individually and as a family
4. To gain the freedom to explore new opportunities
5. To get out of our comfort zones
One of the ideas we have been kicking around over the past few years is to buy a sailboat and live aboard. I love the idea in theory, but I have some worries about the practicalities. For instance, how do I cope with living in such tight quarters with 3 boisterous boys, how do we cope with bad weather, how do we gain more sailing experience without risking or children’s lives, and so on.
A new, once in a lifetime opportunity recently presented itself. I learned through a Facebook group that a sailor nearby was looking for one more crew member to make the passage from Ecuador to Easter Island and then on to Puerto Montt, Chile. I told Israel about the trip and we discussed the pros and cons of him going. Chile is on our list of places to explore in South America especially since his sister lives there, so meeting up with him in a couple of months is not too far off from our original plan. We discussed the logistics and how this idea would play into our long term goals. We agreed that this trip is an amazing opportunity for Israel to learn about sailing, navigation, and the realities of living aboard for an extended period on a sailboat. It is also an incredible experience to be able to visit somewhere neither of us have ever even dreamed we’d be able to visit. It would also make me a little more comfortable with the idea of living on a sailboat if that is the path we choose to go down.
While Israel is gone I will then get the opportunity to become more self reliant as I travel through Ecuador and then on to Chile without my partner, my backup, my wingman. Israel and I make a great pair. We complement each other with our different strengths. Together we know we can get through any situation, we help each other and support each other in myriad ways. After 20 years together we have come to rely and depend on each other through everything. We got married at a very young age and never really experienced adult life without each other. I look at Israel’s trip as a way for me to prove to myself that I can do this myself, I can navigate travel in a foreign country on my own without Israel to ask all the questions that I’m too reserved to ask, or to clarify something I misunderstood, or fix something that broke. I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn and grow on my own for a couple of months.
The best part of marriage is being able to celebrate each other’s achievements. I cannot wait to celebrate Israel’s successful journey and to live vicariously through him as he undertakes this amazing experience. We both know that this will be an incredible challenge for us as an entire family, but we think the benefits are clear.