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I am a few months away from graduating from high school, breaking out on my own, and starting to form my life as I begin college. Not many months after I start college, I will go to somewhere that I most likely have never been before to spend two years with people I have never met. This in and of itself is a nearly mind-blowing thought, with so many possibilities and paths and outcomes that are possible, I nearly want to burst from the inside.

What about other possibilities? In this month’s National Geographic Adventure magazine (February 2005), there is an article entitiled “How to Sail Across the Atlantic (or the World) in 25 Easy Steps”. Right off the bat, you knew this was written by a rich couple, but hey, I read it anyway. It describes the said couple’s experience of purchasing a boat, and then sailing wherever they felt like for three and a half years. I was hooked by the time I read the subtitle.

Take this passage from the end of the article:

“We met sailors, such as Lin and Larry Pardey, who’d set out for a nice sail one day and were still at it over 36 years and 180,000 miles later. We met others who’d had very definite plans to circumnavigate in three years and hadn’t managed to extricate themselves from the north-west Caribbean yet. Many, like ourselves, found their course altered on a daily basis. A cold front from the north approaches, and suddenly you’re off to Cuba rather than Honduras.

In the autumn of 2001, we found ourselves crossing the Mediterranean. After a brief stop in Menorca in the Balearics, we pressed on to Sicily and the stinking cesspool of Palermo harbor, and from there, to little Cefalu on the north coast of the island. We stayed for a week trying to figure out the next step; whether to stay put and winter in Sicily, or make a late-season run to Greece, say, or mabe Israel.”

Wow. Doesn’t that just sound like one of the most incredible adventures you could go on? Not being bound by bosses, bills, or boredom, free to seek out your own adventure. Experiencing the countless different cultures of every port of call, struggling through repairing a broken part, observing the fishes of the sea that you may otherwise only see on the Discovery Channel. Imagine the stories and tales you would generate – all true – from such an enterprise.

Or what about doing something like hopping into your car and setting out onto a road, ignoring boundaries, state and country lines, and taking those byroads that seem like they’ll never go anywhere. For example, “The Motorcyle Diaries” (which I have never seen, bummer, durn R-rating) in which two friends set out on a motorcycle to experience whatever the road ahead has to offer them. Or the ad next to the sailing article, with a pciture of a group of hikers in an amazing mountain setting, with text that reads “What’s on your life’s ‘To Do’ List?” with checkboxes like “Explore Patagonia,” “Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro,” and “Sail the Galapagos.” Contrast this to my previous life goals such as “Go to college” and most risque, “Go sky diving.” There is so much of the world to experience out there, so many cultures to discover and learn about, so many different locales and lifestyles, how can you ever find them all by staying put?

Now of course, if I did manage to set out on my own adventure, I’d have just a couple of requirements. I would have to be able to take photographs all along the way, and I’d have to be able to blog about it and have some sort of communication (email) if I wanted it. I doubt I would go out for years on end, but more likely a month or so, because I can’t miss too much church! But oh what an experience!

Just you wait, you’ll be hearing about it soon enough!

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“Now of course, if I did manage to set out on my own adventure, I’d have just a couple of requirements. I would have to be able to take photographs all along the way, and I’d have to be able to blog about it and have some sort of communication (email) if I wanted it.”

Why can’t you? I did. The only thing you need to do is buy a plane ticket.

February 17, 2005 1:20 pm