I have been involved in many adventures that have brought on great changes in my life in the last two years. Pursuing a minimalist lifestyle has made me more aware of my surroundings and more importantly, myself. As I simplified my life, I discovered that I could carry on with less material possessions and that the only things worth investing in are learning, traveling, and helping others. My creative output, no longer weighed down with distractions, was re-born. I am regularly writing blogs and songs, making new music, reading more often, and focusing my talents to better myself and the world around me.
Last August, I began taking keel-boat sailing lessons in San Diego. Now, half a year later, I can safely say that I am in love with sailing. Since my first lessons, I have gained a lot of experience as a skipper by renting sailboats in Mission Bay several times and once in Santa Barbara during stormy conditions (many lessons learned that day). Last weekend I skippered a Capri 25 with ten people on board. It was a new challenge, especially since half of them were intoxicated, but I managed to get us out on a two-hour cruise and docked safely with no incidents. Last month I joined a sailing meet-up group, took a seminar on heavy weather sailing, and began looking into buying a boat. I would like to own a 20-something foot boat before summer.
My long-term goals in life are to sail down the Pacific Coast in five years and cross the Panama Canal before sailing back up to the U.S. East Coast. In ten years I would like to circumnavigate the world with no time line. Between now and then, I have a lot to learn. Because of this, I am now debating whether it would be a good idea to live on a boat for a while. I know that I will get a lot of boat-handling experience and increase my comfort level on board, but I am not sure if I am ready to make that extreme lifestyle change. I have a talked to a few people who live on boats and they all seem to be very happy with their lifestyle. I’ve also learned that many of them like to drink…a lot. I also fear being labeled “the weird guy” because I chose such a nomadic lifestyle. Sometimes I feel like I’m one niece or nephew away from being the weird uncle. How does one recover from that? With marriage? I love being single, but I do realize that people begin to wonder if you’re a weirdo when you hit 30 and haven’t gotten married.
The option of living aboard a sailboat is not a possibility in my immediate future. I currently live in a spacious house with a dog and have a lot more clutter to get rid of stored in my garage. It has not been easy to reduce my material attachments. The motivation to live a minimalist lifestyle is sometimes defeated by my emotional attachments to certain useless items. I’ve had to change my ways in every category and have made enormous improvements even as I struggle with certain things. I am grateful for all I have, but I still crave a more efficient life that is free of material things. I want to build my riches in Heaven, but I also want to be a better human here on earth.