Why Plan and Go on the Sailing Trip Now?

The most frequent questions asked of my bipeds these days – at least the questions I hear lately – are:

Why now?

Why plan for this trip while you are in the prime of your careers?

Why not wait until you have retired?

The bipeds have been searching for a way to answer those questions, and found it when re-reading The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis.  Granted, the words are taken out of context, but the quote on its own resonates:

Make your choice, adventurous stranger. Strike the bell and bide the danger. Or wonder ’til it drives you mad, What would have followed, if you had.

I often find myself wanting to resp0nd to those who ask “Why now?” with my own question: “What are you waiting for?”

Are humans ever ready for anything they undertake, be it falling in love, having children, backpacking across Europe, becoming a painter or photographer, publishing a book or creating a start-up company? As a dog, I have no such hang ups; I just go with the flow, day by day, doing what my heart tells me to do.

But humans … I watch humans and their habit of “waiting for the right time” and I want to bark at them! Hear me when I say, if you wait for that “perfect” moment, for all the stars to be aligned, I fear, dear friend, that your dreams will remain something in the future and never in your present.

At what point in life do you take the leap of faith and jump? When do humans decide to finally follow their dreams, whatever those dreams may be?

For us, the dream is to live a “part-time” nomadic life, to travel the world as an unconventional family, documenting it in photos and writing about it in a blog. We share our experiences and adventures with anyone interested, hoping to inspire those who might want to undertake a similar adventure … or any adventure! We want to prove that our part-time nomadic life can be done with a small dog family member.

Are my bipeds a little bolder? Perhaps.  Some hard life lessons may have had a hand in this. There have been a few tragic losses in their lives. I will not, out of respect for them, go into details, but suffice it to say that some people, whom they loved dearly, were gone too soon.  Gone when they should have had years left to live, grow old and explore.

These losses taught them a valuable lesson. There may be no tomorrow, or tomorrow may not be the way you envisioned.  You may lose your health or your strength, or your financial situation could change dramatically. There is no crystal ball. What a shame to delay your dreams only to have them dashed by circumstances beyond your ability to control.

You can save and plan for the “golden years” but should it be at the expense of today?  There comes a time when you have to take a few steps back, take a deep breath, calm your erratically beating-out-of-control heart, hear the imaginary pistol shot, take off on your strong running start and … jump!

We keep hearing variations of, “Oh you guys are so lucky! I wish we could do something like that.”  I listen to humans say this to the bipeds and I can’t help but wonder what they mean. It isn’t as if the bipeds suddenly came into a lot of money. Trust me, this is not the case.  No fairy godmother waved a wand, nor was there an inheritance from some unknown; loaded relative. There was no winning lottery ticket or any other sudden fortune that would allow the bipeds to shout “Yeah! We can quit our jobs and travel the world!”

Luck, in fact, has little to do with our adventure; rather, it’s been planning, saving, researching, and focusing. It has already taken years – with two more years to go – to prepare for our Big Trip. We have a plan, we are sticking to it, and sacrifices are being made to make this happen. It started with downsizing our home a few years back.  There will be no new car even though ours now has loads of rust and other issues. There are no new suits for dad, no new winter coat for mom, no cable TV, no voicemail on the cellphones and no fancy restaurants – in fact, no eating out, not even to go to the pub. The list is long my friends.  The trip is a priority in our lives.

So now when people say, “I wish I could do that!” I enjoy listening to my bipeds reply:

You can! You just have to really want to. You have to plan it, feel it, eat it, sleep it. Surround yourself with support.  If you do not already have people that will support you in your pursuit of living your dream, then we suggest you seek them out and allow yourself to be found by them. Interact with people who do what you dream of doing; follow their blogs and comment on posts that moved you; send them emails and ask them questions. Meet up with them if they are willing.

For, Dear Reader, at some point you have to stop talking about your dreams and begin doing! As a well-known traveler once said:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

– Marc Twain

The answer to those questions asked repeatedly of my bipeds is simple: Why not?!

What is your dream? What are you waiting for? Share in the comments below.

29 Comments on “Why Plan and Go on the Sailing Trip Now?

  1. AWESOME!!! And with all you are not able to have right now while you save for your trip – you deserve the universe to smile and send you a winning lottery ticket! You deserve it! We sincerely wish this for you dearest friends! 🙂

  2. Wisely spoken, and quoted, dear Monte. I approve. To me, the worst thing that could happen in life is, when your final hour has come, that you will say: “I wish I had.” But, by then it would be too late. The thought of it makes me want to push ahead, every day with more determination than ever with my dream, to make my fantasy trilogy for children (where you star as a hero in vol. 1)and the graphic novel project a worldwide success. And, it cannot happen any other way, because I WANT it, and because I BELIEVE in it. I am fully behind you, Monte. And so is the Universe!

    • Yay you approve! You wanted positive and we delivered!

      That feeling you have – I see it in the Bipeds. Your book (and yes, I love that I am in volume 1 as a hero no less!) – your beautiful trilogy will be a huge success and the manga style comic … Oh that will just fly off the shelves – I see MOVIE! WE BELIEVE! I can not wait for the day, when you have achieved those dreams, and we will sail up some coats in Italy and meet up in some amazing little castle for a wonderful celebration of success, friendship and of living the dream.

  3. I love this!

    Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed – and we need to laugh, love, live, and dream today!

    And, you’re right, what it takes is planning. And I particularly love this paragraph:

    “If you do not already have people that will support you in your pursuit of living your dream, then we suggest you seek them out and allow yourself to be found by them. Interact with people who do what you dream of doing; follow their blogs and comment on posts that moved you; send them emails and ask them questions. Meet up with them if they are willing.”

    Because sometimes it’s hard to find people in your existing community who can support you and push you and love what you’re doing (my parents still think I’m an insane person), so you have to go after that support. Find those people. Build an expanded network of dreamers.

    Cheers, Monte! Luna and I are rooting for you an the bipeds!

    • Dearest Gigi,

      Why do you think we comment on, and follow your blog? And had that Skype chat with you (we should do that again sometimes soon)? Because we need to – as long term travelers – we must support each other and be there as a sounding board. We have to create our own “family” and circle of friends because you are absolutely right – most of the people we will know in our own circle will think we are insane. That is ok. I was once told that people feel most threatened by those living their dreams. Dreamers are often the ones persecuted the most. So as a fellow dreamers and long term travelers – we will ALWAYS be here for you if you need that support.

      As a little community, we can show one another – and those that are only at the “thinking and dreaming” stage – that you can move on to the planning and then DOING stage.

      You are remarkable in all that you have done, accomplished and achieved! Heck we NEED to get a copy of your book – A BOOK!! You wrote a BOOK! So yes fearless friend you go and live your dream! LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH often! We got your (and Luna’s) back.

      • Aww, you made me feel all warm and fuzzy there. We’ve got your backs too! And, yes, Skype chatting should happen soon!

  4. We just returned home from a trip to Florida to find that our 25 year old travel blogger son (http://www.theworldorbust.com and http://www.topspottravel.com)had the following tattoo added to the inside of each of his ample biceps–a sentence on each side:

    “Get out of your head.”
    “Get into the world.”

    After our initial “What were you thinking?” reaction to him adorning himself with (more) tattoos, I realized that notwithstanding my lack of appreciation for the medium, I actually admire his assertion of the idea and the fact that he has found a way(s) to support himself so he can practice what he preaches.

    Monte, your bipeds are doing the same in a planned out responsible manner. If not now — when? I appreciate that they are documenting their process and adventures so we can vicariously follow along.

    • Your son sounds like someone we would love to meet! No surprise there since you sound like someone we would love to meet in person and well … apples and trees. 🙂

      I like the tattoo’s. Love the choice of message. Both the Bipeds have “Tats” but neither have words. I find his choice truly inspired. Will also go check out his two blogs! Between the 3 of us we run the age gamut!

  5. Thanks to you, too, Monte, for your great support. And, with respect to that castle… I can SEE it ever so clearly…

  6. Well said! As soon as I read the title my response was “well, why not?”. Our dreams are a little closer to home at the moment but we’re working on them and, if all goes well, they will give us the freedom to travel a little more ourselves … which we are very much looking forward to.

  7. A wonderful post!!! All your regular readers love you and applaud your efforts to accomplish your dream of a sailing adventure in the Medeterranian. As for myself, I have no idea what it is like to dream that big!! Stewart and I both hope your dream becomes a reality!!

    • No idea how to dream big? Oh dear … we need to come on over again and teach you!! 🙂

      Thank you for your support dear friends. In fact your hospitality contributed first hand to our travel addiction! AS can be seen in our YouTube clip for Texas! THANK YOU!

  8. Very much impressed, Monte. You asking what is my dream and what I am waiting for, and proposed to share. Well, i do it, I always do what you ask for, have You noticed that, small owner of big fairy tail? :). It is not my dream, but the dream of my son – to become one of the best in the professional football, and i am not waiting for anything, i am just working on it every minute, I spend everything I have for his dream to come true, I forgot when I bought clothes for myself, if I eat out, it’s always my friends who pay, because they know how I enjoy it and they also know how I live (in general, I don’t go deep into details, but they see it). All I know is that my son will never say to me: I could do that if I had more support. He has every possible support I can provide, but I don’t have anything left for myself – no time, no money, no strength, but I don’t regret it, I was a sportswoman myself in my youth and I know the value of a dream, even if it will never come true. But I still hope to become a free bird one day and fly wherever i want. I deeply respect you, Monte, for the steps you take for your dream come true, and the more efforts you put in it, the more satisfaction you will receive in the end, we are with you, our dear friend, you bring us the wind of change, xxx,:)

    • It is amazingly selfless of you to take your son’s dream as your own. I know parents around the world do this and it amazes us to no end. There is a selfishness in pursuing ones dream – I have talked about this in this very blog before – but you have shown that there can be true generosity of spirit in that pursuit. Very humbling Val. We sincerely hope that your dreams come true. Both for your son and his athletic career and fro your own freedom to fly.

  9. Thank you, Monte, You are always able to understand me. There is no sacrifice on my side, I love what I do, it’s just a hard piece of work for me, but for my son it is much much harder, but there is no other way for us, it is our destiny – good or bad: We will see soon.

    I will never forget when he said to me at the age of six: I can break my leg, my ribs, or nose, but I don’t care and you shouldn’t. And you know what, he has broken everything on the list and more, and this is normal for them, it’s their life, but I never met a more kind, protective and strong (by their spirit) people than football players. They take risks, they are very unpredictable not only on the field but in day-to-day life. Yet you can trust them and rely on them, I can tell you, when I need some help, the entire football team is at my service, but I know their hard life and never use it, and they notice and value it, smarty’s. I just LOVE THEM!

  10. Oh Monte. Oh Sonja, Oh Stefan!!! it sure is, the best of the best you have written ..It made my eyes watery. It so touched me .. I sooooo Agree. You won’t believe how many of us around the world have been taking that risk and chances in life .. Jumping into it .. whatever your dreams are. Is sooo nice to share deep thoughts and feelings with someone so far and yet close at the same time. Yes yes yes GO for it!! Is a time for changes and taking the risk indeed!

    • I am glad you liked our post. The hardest thing about chasing your dreams is to find a way to surround yourself with those that believe in you and that dream. Naysayers abound! This is when a blog, book or even a TV show can really help. Yet, nothing replaces real people, real friends.

  11. Dear Monte and the Crew,

    Thank you for this great post! I have to say that from my own experience, I can relate to your comments on postponing things till I’m really ready or sure of it; being worried that the time is not right looks like the theme of my life! All my adult life, I had this feeling inside me that once everything will be perfect then I enjoy everything.What a great life it WILL be! For example, I used to play piano for 14 years in my childhood. When I came to US, I stopped playing, but I was always saying that once I have a big house with enough room in it to fit the baby grand piano, I’ll play again! Well, this past year, I have decided that enough is enough. No more waiting for something to be right. I have waited 13 years to come to this point, so once I made up my mind I started to look for smaller version to fit my apartment. One day my wonderful boyfriend surprised me, and when I came home my piano was there waiting for me. 😀 Thanks to him I’m playing again! It makes me so happy. It doesn’t matter that I don’t have the big house and the baby grand piano yet, I know that will happen one day because I will make it happen. What matters is that he enabled me to be myself again and I love my piano!

    This past year, I made some serious decisions in my life that made me realize that I just have to go ahead and immerse myself in my/our plan…work on it…save for it…adjust my/our life to it, so it can happen.Our plan will be 5 years in making, but it will be so worth it. 🙂

    I have to say it is a very liberating feeling to make up my mind about something and to know that this is it! I’m doing it! You might ask why is it such a big deal to make up my mind about something, but it is. I actually attribute it to being Libra … if you know what I mean. 🙂
    One very wise person once told me that we are never more than 80% sure of something. I find it to be true, so if we don’t act on being 80% sure of something and wait to be 100% sure, we might never find out if it worked or not.

    • First of all Michaela, what a NICE boyfriend! I hope you gave him loads of kisses and loving for that most thoughtful, kind and generous act of love.

      Secondly, I love that you play piano. What is your favorite piece to play? Mom is a big Beethoven fan, Dad likes Debussy and Mozart of course is a family favorite – sort of the go to if you will.

      You hit the head on the nail when you say you can’t always refer to life in terms of what “will be”. You have to live it and breath it as if it was already so. Believe it is happening right now. Five year plans, just like our two year plan, really helps – but more than the plan itself is the unshakable belief in its outcome.

      The bipeds often act as if we were already there. I think it plays hugely on the success we’ve had so far. 80% sure… I think its more like we are 100% sure… and 20% scared! 🙂

      (By the way Mom and I are Gemini’s and Dad a Scorpio! Mom’s ascendant sign is Libra)

      • Yes. He is absolutely loving and generous boyfriend. I am one lucky gal! I have so many favorites…I love all three composers you mentioned. Beethoven is my favorite and Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nacht Music” has always been a collection to go to every time someone upset me when I was a child. Kind of weird selection for a child, right? 🙂 But it worked.

        The 80% sure and 20% scared/doubtful is what my friend was referring to 🙂

        Good luck with everything!

  12. You have shared your hopes and dreams, fears and schemes, and your desires to make this all happen. You all – Monte and your bipeds – show a great deal of courage with this undertaking and I admire you for it. You can see what you want and make it happen. For some this is difficult to do. So many of us want the guarantee of safety and security if their plans fall through that it keeps us from dreaming that big. It takes courage to push past all of that. Keep pushing for that dream to be real.

    • It has little to do with courage my dearest friend. I think it has more to do with the realization that things like security, safety and stability are illusions.

      As a family, we have little control over things like Government, and the state of the economy. We have no control over such possibilities as a recession, civil war or worse. We have no idea what our needs regarding health will be in our “sunset years”. Once we realized that no matter how much we planned, saved and checked the marks off the “safety and security” list – curve balls will still occur to show us just how illusionary that all is. As Woody Allen said:

      “Want to make God Laugh … tell him your plans.”

      So planning so far ahead as to worry about old age and that possible future – and its security – sure it’s important and we do – but not at the expense of today.

      Thank you Brad, so very much for commenting. Your thoughts are always very good ones and we look forward to reading them. Wouldn’t be the same without your input!

  13. AHA!!!! yes, I always tell people to not wait either, as tomorrow may never come! Sad to say, but how many times have we heard of people retiring after 30-35 years and within a year or two they pass before they were able to have their retirement dreams come true? It happens way too often. Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today, there is a reason this quote is so popular!
    Life is short. And you are right, you don’t want to be on your death bed thinking “I should have…” Do it now!!!! And you may not be capable either phisically, or mentally to do what you are dreaming of doing today. You just never know! So do it now while you can. I do not believe in waiting until you are retired. That doesn’t make sense to me.
    I took a retirement course a few years ago, and this very wise man told us that if you want to do something badly, do it now! People think they will golf more often, travel more often, read more often, whatever your favourite past time is more often, but it does not always happen! People complain about not having enough time now, but once they retire, that only gives them more time to complain about it!!!! 🙂 Do what you love now.

    You guys are young and healthy, and are financially ready for this trip, so it’s the best time to do it! In 20 years from now, who knows if you will still be financially and medically secure… life is full of (unwanted) surprises! So don’t wait! If by then you are still capable of all these things, then all the better, you will be able to plan for other adventures! My father took a treking trip to Corsica then Spain in his mid 70ies… so as long as you are healthy, there will be plenty more opportunities ahead of you!

    • Thank you! Your dad sounds like a great man. We have other friends – in their 70’s as well – that travel and like you said if you can then continue to do so!

      That is the key … continue. Not start… continue.

      • And he actually just turned 81! still in great shape, jogs 5-6km on a daily basis, and does weights/exercises for about an hour every day. He still does some local travelling, but I’m sure if the opportunity arose, he’d go abroad again. Don’t start, continue… and never stop!

        • AMAZING! 81 and still going strong. Awesome. 🙂 Maybe you should both go on quality time, memory making trip! say … Tuscanny?

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