Very Slowly, Then All at Once
I just finished an interview about Escape from the Ordinary during which I was asked “How do you prepare for a quest as big as sailing around the world?”
Figuring they didn’t want a list to follow, I offered that it’s like any other goal you work toward. You proceed slowly at first, finding out the basics of what you need to know. Then you make steady progress, reading everything you can lay hands on that helps, getting experience and weathering small setbacks over days and months and years. Then there’s the one big breakthrough that you can take advantage of once everything else is in place.
When I think about preparing for our circumnavigation, I think about lugging around books like Heavy Weather Sailing stuffed into my Army duffle bag to read on military deployments. I laugh at standing with Glen on the deck of our first small sailboat learning how to use a sextant and coming 130 miles away from the real position, determined using a GPS. I cringe at the memories of using a precious weekend at home with Glen to go sailing in a storm on the Chesapeake Bay as a training exercise. That wasn’t any fun. In fact, the small details of getting ready were so important, you will see in my book that we missed some big things!
Countless small, slow steps moved us to the place to take advantage of the one big breakthrough that allowed the All at Once activities like sell everything, buy the right boat and sail off. Friends and family who read the email I sent announcing our departure only saw the dramatic final stages. But, in fact it was a ten-year process with roots that went deep.
Despite what some call the unseen hands that seemingly by magic make things happen, for us it was focused, relentless commitment to small actions that got Glen and I sailing away on our boat, It’s Enough.
That said, I advise anyone who is on the fence about pursuing a quest to not get too caught up in the details. You will have your own timeline and if you keep moving toward your plan, your big breakthrough will come, and you will know when you are ready for your own big adventure. Slowly at first, then all at once.