I just finished a journal I began in August. At the time I was living in San Francisco, going through the motions. Job, apartment, and friends were all good, but it felt like something was missing. I took a “date with Jackie” day, which essentially means spending most of the day alone doing whatever I feel like. Most of those days in San Francisco included copious amounts of time in my favorite place, Golden Gate Park.
On the front of the journal is an illustration of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city of San Francisco. It’s beautiful—perfect size and weight for traveling.
As I lay in the sun, I decided it was finally time to be honest with myself: is it time to leave San Francisco? Yes. Once I allowed my heart and mind to wander, ideas for a round-the-world adventure flourished. Though they are still somewhat vague, I know that I want to do the following:
- Work on an elephant refuge in Africa
- Central America
- South America – Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, & Patagonia
- Horseback riding
- Ice climbing?
- Biking (bicycle, not a motorcycle, but who knows?!)
The first part of my dream has come true! 2 months after taking my first basic keelboat class, I’ve sailed for the past 9 days around the island Espiritu Santo. My friend and I crew for a gracious and knowledgeable captain who has significant racing experience in San Diego.
For those that know me, I rarely do anything half-heartedly. I prefer to jump in and learn quickly. I have much more to learn when it comes to sailing, but what better way to learn than to crew? The real test of my new knowledge will come in a couple days when we will be sailing for 40 hours across the Sea of Cortez (wish me luck!).
It’s not always easy asking ourselves the questions that count. It took me a long time before I was able to, but once I did, it was incredibly freeing. Following through was scary—leaving my job, my apartment, friends, and SF all without an exact plan in place, but I knew what I wanted.
Months ago, I wanted to wake up every morning and be able to say to myself, “I love my life.” Sleeping underneath more stars than I’ve seen since living in Montana, swimming with wild Sea Lions, kayaking around islands, meeting Manuel from an extremely remote fishing village who gave me a unique and rare piece of coral as a gift to remember him by, beach yoga, speaking Spanish again, seeing phosphorescent plankton at night or a full yellow moon on the water, hiking, waking up to the sunrise, or feeling the wind on my face on a close reach opens my heart, and I think: “I love my life!”
More to come on the past 9 days and beyond soon…