How do you know you can go?
It was a wonderful morning when I woke up in the small bay in St. Johns (USVI). We anchored in crystal clear, warm Caribbean water. The sun was just rising and the birds were hunting their breakfast. It smelled like sea and the silence could be heard. A warm, sunny day in the nature lay ahead. That was one of the perfect moments in life.
Six months after my return to everyday life, my reserves of tolerance and “Ertragenskraft” (kind of durance – I think we should create new words more often) were exhausted. The year of simple life on the sea and in nature had rearranged my values and priorities. The posing and bragging of our civilized everyday life went on my nerves unbelievably and I didn’t fit in anymore. To my joy it was similar to Ka.
When do you know that you have to go and can leave?
They are two decisive turning points. A helpful prerequisite is that you have the courage to leave everything behind and loosen the lines. This is a development process and you feel exactly when the point is reached. The other question is do you have enough assets for an open end journey.
It’s interesting that both themes are linked up to one point. Since manna doesn’t fall from the sky here in Europe either, you (usually) have to work to make a living. The arrangement is simple: we sell our unique and valuable lifetime for jobs. We work conform in balance for money and security. And the deeper we get into this routine, the more adapted and less adventurous and daring we become. But we are becoming more and more frustrated, as the all-time-high antidepressant consumption proves. It is physiognomically easy to explain why we want to stay in the familiar and comfortable mode and then call this front cemetery the “comfort zone” in a funny way. This is simple body chemistry and conditioning.
Assumed one reaches the crossroads, the question remains how to finance the other life. How much is enough? Do I have enough money? Thoughts about not being able to maintain the standard of living, worries about poverty in old age, the feeling of being irresponsible. Accumulate a little more reserve. There are enough reasons that come to mind before falling asleep and prevent the last step.
Thats not the way to answer the question of questions. Just step back and rethink. So I changed my approach and asked what monthly amount I could handle for the rest of my life. I defined a monthly amount. Then I created a financial plan up to the age of 99. That’s enough, because then I’ll be happy, with a smile on my face and a glass of Bordeaux in my hand, with a heart attack falling overboard.
Wonderful, a green balance in the Excel sheet. The diligence of the years has been enough to reach my number. After the first joy you hear a Scrooge’s voice (before the purification) in your head: but is that really enough? Wouldn’t a little more be even better? Are you irresponsible? I know from my own experience how much budget I need when I sail around the world. That fit, all well. All that remains is to make the decision. To strive for more money for later times or to live the life I really want – in my case as a circumnavigator.
My answer is clear: I am ready. Mentally I am prepared to leave my comfort zone and expose myself to the highs and lows of a journey on the oceans. Family responsibilities have been passed on to the next generation. And my budget fits.
Sure, something can always come up. A meteorite can also fall to the earth, which, by the way, is 100% likely to happen. Only who knows when. As long as – or up to 99 years – depending on what arrives earlier – I lead the life of my choice. And I can decide every day anew. Everything is possible. I can hardly wait until the Rivercafe is finished and we untie the lines in Cape Town. I will smell the sea air again, see dolphins jump and the birds hunt their breakfast. It will be my own life. /HB