Why exactly did we go on this adventure without really knowing what it will be like, if we even like it, and how long it will last? Interestingly, we’ve never been asked this question by other sailors; probably because we usually immediately bond over similar motivations and romantic ideas of our lifestyle. However we have been asked this question several times by others and it made us think before coming up with a true answer.
Our usual response so far was that we wanted to escape the so-called “rat race” and repetitive daily life. This does not mean that we were unhappy with the life we were living, quite the contrary to be honest. It rather showed that we were thirsty for new adventures and the timing for a change was perfect for all three of us. No matter how much we appreciated our life, everyday routines somehow dulled our senses over time and we started taking much for granted, lost curiosity and openness towards new things.
Our desire to explore other countries, new things and to go on adventures made me wonder why we humans even have the longing to travel. After traveling for over a year, I personally think it is the constantly new and different influences that stimulate your senses. These influences help us to be more aware of our surroundings, look out for even small details, and to be much more alert towards new sights, smells, sounds, or tastes. These intensified feelings seem to give us joy and help us remember special moments associated with the experience. Research even showed that traveling stimulates the brain to be more creative and alert. The more contrast we experience on our journey, the more stimuli we receive, the more memorable is the trip for us. We find these contrasts frequently when traveling by sailboat. We are living on the ocean, a natural environment which beauty and forces we are rarely confronted with in everyday life. We sail to different countries where we encounter different people, cultures, and cities. We are surrounded by ever changing landscapes, climates, and nature. Some days of our trips are action-packed, while other days let us come to rest.
Even though, our trip led us across the Atlantic ocean, I don’t think that it is necessarily the distance or change of scenery that is important to enjoy a successful break from daily life. Mostly our open attitude, curiosity and adventurousness mentally helps to stimulate our senses and keep our spirits up, no matter where we are and how far we have traveled from home. Traveling, however, is usually associated with some kind of physical movement. Luckily, our means of transportation is one of the slowest we could have chosen. Sailing to our destinations gives us plenty of time to process what we are seeing and experiencing along the way and helps us discover new things at our pace at different destinations.
Apart from the routines of daily life that we wanted to take a break from, there obviously is also the attractiveness of the travel destinations, like beautiful Caribbean islands with sandy beaches, the challenges, such as the ocean crossing that we were keen to accomplish together, and the simplicity and self-sufficiency of boat life that we want to immerse ourselves into. Setting our own daily routines and focus on us without having to worry about work schedules was also a main reason to take a break from our previous jobs.
Another of our motivations to go on this trip (and probably Daniel’s motto of life if you ask him) is that we never want to stop learning new things. Sounds simple right? We are constantly trying to expand our horizon, face new perspectives, and leave our comfort zones to better ourselves. Being independent and reach the goals we set ourselves along the journey gives us a feeling of accomplishment and ultimately a sense of happiness and fulfilment. Living and traveling on a sailboat sometimes puts us in difficult situations that we need to solve together. Small challenges like this help us learn about ourselves, work as a team, expand our knowledge and enhance our self-awareness. So no matter how and when this trip will end, we definitely gained a lot from it already.
The choice to travel the world by sailboat also allows us to potentially make the world a tiny bit better. Most of our destinations are located in poorer countries that heavily rely on tourism as main income. Being respectful, exchanging cultural knowledge and supporting local communities and environment is a good way for us to contribute to the world while traveling. We also chose to find an eco-friendly way of traveling. Powered by wind and currents our sailboat does not leave a heavy footprint behind. We generate our own energy with solar and wind, reduce our waste, and try to use our engine as less as possible. By consciously using an environmentally friendly alternative to harmful modes of transportation and travel lifestyles, we feel good about this choice and hope to also inspire others.
While we enjoy taking in all these new experiences, we also learn to appreciate what we have left behind. While being away from home for a while, we start missing friends, family and hobbies that we sometimes took for granted and we will be happy to return to eventually. And maybe continue on to our next adventure, whatever that might be.