As I sit on the floor in my office, I’m surrounded by half packed boxes, books I’ve read over the years and knickknacks from friends and family. I become overwhelmed with emotion and tears slowly roll down my face. I so desperately want to hold on to what is comfortable and familiar to me but I know it’s time to let go. I find myself sitting there, for how long I don’t know. I space out staring at the pile of books and begin to reflect on the life I have lived. I realize this chapter of my life is coming to an end and I’m saddened to be leaving my family, my friends and a successful career, yet excited about the adventure to come. Change is uncomfortable because it makes one step outside of their comfort zone. I have no idea what it’s like living on a boat or how to navigate the vast Ocean, but I’m going to let go for dear life and enjoy the journey ahead of me. I am committed to leaping into this Barefoot & Salty Adventure with both feet first. Who knows, I may even surprise myself and what I’m capable of. “Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change.” Jim Rohn.
The past year has flown by in a blink of an eye. We’ve been busy preparing ourselves for the journey ahead, researching the anchorages we intend on traveling to, brushing up on what we learned in the BVI during our week long course, attempting to learn a new language, learning how to play the piano, working diligently to get the home ready to sell by the end of the year, trying to stay healthy with eating the right kinds of food, working out consistently and working a full time job. I often wonder what day-to-day life will look like on our boat. I envision beautiful anchorages with breathtaking views of the European countryside. Bustling coastal communities with friendly locals willing to sit down over a cup of coffee to discuss anything and everything under the sun. I imagine family and friends joining us on our traveling adventures. I picture our days spent exploring towns and our nights lost in conversation under the stars. I realize this might be the more glamorous side of sailing, but a girl came dream! We have been sailing a Catalina 22 up and down the Indian River over the past year. I quickly learned how many things can go wrong on a boat and how to troubleshoot in order to get the boat in working order. We’ve been trying to get as much time on the water as possible in order for me to become comfortable with all aspects of sailing. I will be getting some offshore sailing experience under my belt this year, as we are set to travel to San Diego to participate in the Coronado’s race in September with two of Clive’s daughters. I want to be familiar with the points of sail, standing rigging, running rigging and how to maneuver the boat by motor. I know fully well that a transition from a Catalina 22 to a 44-foot catamaran will be a learning curve but I welcome the challenge with open arms. Our plan is to fly to France to take possession of our Sailboat in La Rochelle towards the end of January, after my Grandmother’s 95th birthday. We intend on taking four to six weeks to acquaint ourselves with Sailing Vessel Jelani before setting sail across the Bay of Biscay. We plan to sail to the Rias of Galicia, Spain. We’ve read the Rias are beautiful well-protected estuaries and worth exploring. Our plan is to shine light on some of the less traveled destinations, raise awareness for Ocean conservation and it is our wish that by our Vlogs we can help raise funds to support some of the amazing non profit organizations making a difference. I couldn’t be more ecstatic to embark on this life-changing trip with the man I love and adore. Our relationship is by no means traditional, but we chose to live our life by design not by default. I hope we can inspire people to connect with one another, love without expectation or conditions, live a simple but meaningful life, be present in every moment, be vulnerable and to give back. Kick your shoes off, feel the sand between your toes and the salt in the air. I do hope you join us on our Barefoot & Salty Adventure.