It’s early 2018. In a few months, I will leave a job I love, sell my possessions, rent out my flat in Manchester and pursue a lifelong dream – to sail around the world.
Like a perfect storm, this dream has brewed over time. From sitting in a bucket and sloshing around the cockpit as a baby to thinking about buying my own sailboat and becoming a full-time liveaboard. With input from things and people, I could never have imagined, building over the years, all of a sudden it’s urgent and time to leave.
I’ve been telling my friends that this is probably a third-life crisis. I’m thirty this year, which depending on who I talk to, receives mixed reactions, from ‘you’re still so young Kath’, to ‘oooooooo thirty…’ Either way, a milestone birthday like this, inevitably heartens a healthy dose of reflection, and for me, I just feel it’s time to do something different.
A bit of background.
I have been in Manchester for twelve years now. Arriving originally, to study English and Drama at University, but planting more permanent roots for its diverse, liberal, gritty, entrepreneurial spirit, ability to bounce back and continuously evolving ‘happenings’, which successfully make a smaller, cheaper city seem unexpectedly new again. Not to mention the friends, who have unquestionably become family, I have collected along the way, and of course… for love.
Nevertheless, time seems to be passing extremely quickly now. I host a New Years’ party every year and each year I chalk a message in the bathroom, for the sit-down visitors, wishing them a prosperous New Year. Only this year, during party preparations, I was alarmed to find that apparently I had not even found time, in the past 364 days, to scrub off last year’s good wishes.
My partner T has a theory that time passes relative to the number of years you’ve been alive. So when you’re four years old and waiting for your fifth birthday, it feels like an awfully long wait.
After all, one year when you are four is 25% of your life! Whereas when you’re thirty and one more year passes, well that’s only 3.3% of your life, so it’s no wonder that seemingly time flies. Either way, the treadmill of life seems to have ramped up a notch for me. Like a personal trainer who’s got it in for you and smacking your speedometer up with a smile on his face, I just can’t help feeling an overwhelming need to step off.
Why leave the rat race now?
Working in an office nine until late, yo-yoing in and out of the latest exercise routine, attending an increasing number of weddings, and more recently christenings, has definitely forced the agenda. Forced me to apportion considered thought to what I would actually like my future to look like.
So I’m going to take the leap. Cast off, set sail and in many ways, like this first blog post, make it up a bit as I go along. In some ways, I am opting out. Opting out of conventional life. Opting out and stepping off the conventional path of uni, job, career, marriage, kids etc. that society has signposted for many generations. Not that there is anything wrong with this path, I hasten to add and deeply wish to emphasize, I may well enjoy re-joining this at some point. However, in the meantime I have built a hatch in my flat for the ever-decreasing number of possessions I still own, attended several onshore and offshore RYA courses (which require a dedicated post to themselves I have to say) and built this website as a starter for ten.
Instead, I am hoping that I am opting in, for something different. I hope for a healthier lifestyle. I hope to slow-travel around the world. To see new places, meet new people, to sail. I hope to find new work and charitable causes. I hope to live more eco-friendly. I hope to spend more time doing the things I love, with the people I love. I hope to be in control of what, when and how I live my life. All in all, I hope to live more deliberately.
So… join me?
Like all good ships logs, I hope to keep you up-to-date on my whereabouts, sea and mental state, weather and whether things change, and seasoned with a few anecdotes and tales from the sea along the way. Oh… and in the event of a disaster, include a detailed action plan and link to my wishes and will. Until next time and with love.
- Log 0.0
- Date – 7th January 2018
- Wind – 072°, 6kts, gusting 14kts
- Position – 53°47’64.9″N 02°23’85″W
- Comments – Manchester, sunny, clear blue skies (believe it)