Exactly one year ago, we untied the lines and left everything we knew behind. Quitting our jobs, selling our cars, and moving out of our house was terrifying. But, we were determined not to allow fear to control us and prevent us from chasing our dream. We had visions of what this adventure would be, but we really had no idea what to expect. We refused to let the questions paralyze us. Would the reality be anything like our dream? Would we fail? Was this a pipe dream? A mid-life crisis?
Little did we know that learning how to sail would be the simplest of our challenges. After three blissful months in the Bahamas, the pandemic hit hard and threatened to put an end to everything we had worked so hard for. For years we had dedicated ourselves to our careers, put money away, and paid off debt to allow for this freedom. For 6 months before leaving we worked our 8 to 5 corporate jobs, spent our lunch breaks and weekends cleaning our Airbnb house, dedicated our evenings to decluttering and selling our possessions, and spent any other minute we could find preparing a boat older than us to sail away across oceans. In the midst of all of that, we struggled to adjust our lives and our dream to be absent of our best friend and furry first mate.
The pandemic closed borders everywhere, drastically altering our route plans. Our autopilot failed (repeatedly), forcing us to dig deeper than we knew we could and hand-steer for over 200 hours nonstop. We wrapped a line and bent our driveshaft strut, leaving us without an engine in the middle of the hurricane belt.
We would be lying if we said that each time, the thought of running home scared did not creep into our heads. But, each time, we concluded that together, we could defeat the challenge. So we pressed on, again and again.
In choosing to continue on, we have been rewarded with incredible mountain-top views, mind-blowing underwater experiences, sunsets that should be screensavers, night skies with more stars than we have ever seen, and new friends from all over the world and all walks of life.
The highs have been high, and the lows have been low. Without the comfort and safety of our past life, we are as vulnerable as we have ever known. Without a doubt, the past 365 days have been the most rewarding of our lives. Here’s hoping that the next year is just as challenging, as fulfilling, and as adventurous as the last. This is our One Life, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.