You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.
I have been following Captain Liz’s journey on her sailboat Swell for over a year now and, just a week ago, finally got to meet her. She has been sailing the world for the past ten years, surfing and exploring along the way with her cat, Amelia. Liz has turned her dream of sailing and surfing the oceans into a reality, and is also able to raise awareness about environmental issues as she goes.
Having lived part-time on a boat for much of my life, I dream of spending years on my own sailboat and exploring the world. I’ve always worried that it would be too selfish, that I would be escaping our problematic world and not addressing the things I want to try to fix. Solo journeys that remove oneself from society have always been attractive to me (like Cheryl Strayed’s Wild). Parts of me yearn for the wilderness and the unknown, perhaps as a break from the relatively easy life I’ve been living. I’ve always had indoor plumbing, a roof over my head, and a steady food supply from the local grocery store; just imagine not seeing telephone lines stretched between dead trees, even for a month! I’m so drawn to a trip to the wild parts of the world, away from our built up society with its systems and expectations that often feel overbearing and skewed.
But running away from society won’t fix it, and Liz has given me a shining, living example of how to be in the middle of the ocean under the sun and still make a difference. She’s a Patagonia ambassador whose documentation of her trip has shown hundreds of thousands of people how there are more sustainable lifestyles out there. She just finished a speaking tour of female activists, spreading the word about all the amazing things women are doing for the world and giving people ideas about how to tackle the big issues.
The four women Liz spoke with are also amazingly inspiring and worth checking out. Debi teaches future world leaders how to be good diplomats, conversationalists, and citizens. Caite does wonderful work with Waves for Water. Shaney uses both art and smarts to educate people about breast health and toxic chemicals. Alexis is the lead singer for Sleigh Bells and a co-author of Beauty Lies Truth, a blog about what’s in beauty products.