Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why Take The Path Less Chosen?

Yesterday, I posed a question on our Facebook page about what people would want to know about living aboard.  The idea is to develop some fodder for articles that I will (soon!!) write and submit to sailing magazines.  One question asked why Scott and I chose this life, when so many others in our situation (young, newlyweds...etc.) choose a life of the more, I don't know, "land-based" variety.

The truth is both Scott and I have wanted nothing other than what we are living right now for the larger portion of both of our lives.  When we met and realized we shared the same dream, well, that was just gravy.  Let me see if I can explain from my point of view...

I've always been a dreamer.  I attribute this fact to wonderfully supportive parents who not only instilled a love of travel, but a love of reading...more specifically, a love of stories.  I grew up wanting a story of my own.  Not necessarily a book, per se, but a life worthy of one.  The path less chosen historically seems to scratch this itch and just seems to be the one that I take in life - a lot.  Rebel spirit?  Perhaps.  I, however, attribute it to something greater - something bigger than myself.  I am following what is in my heart and soul.  I am living my life on my terms and I am lucky enough to a) be able to do it and b) have someone I love do it with me.  I count my blessings daily.

Scott and I have planned this journey from the moment we met 4 years ago.  We made some sacrifices (only had one car, lived in a very cheap apartment that could not get any closer to the 'el' train, gave up our summer to work on our boat...etc) but I think the most important thing is that neither of us ever wavered or doubted what we were after.  We just kept our eye on the prize.  Kept the dream alive, as it were.

Sure - we don't have a house (or any real "land based" possessions to speak of), have put a 'hold' on children and are alienated (physically) from our family and friends.  However, you just can't have it all in life and the way we look at it, life is to short to not get out there and enjoy the heck out of it.  For us - that means traveling, meeting new people, seeing the beauty of the world and sailing.  We choose to live freely, away from commutes, away from neon office lights, away from meetings and deadlines and  away from the totally constructed 'norms' of society.  Sure - we might return broke as a joke and have to start all over, but we're going to have one heck of a story to tell our kids...or have them be a part of.

If that doesn't sum up why we're doing this, I'll let my old friend Robert Frost do it in his beautiful poem, The Road Not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Sure has.

Brittany & Scott

*Wrote this at 4:30am after being unable to sleep due to a) a buzzing mosquito around my head and b) a sudden (and unexpected) downpour which sent me up on deck to close up the boat.  That is why you are seeing this post marked at 5am.  :)


Philippe said...

Very nice post, nicely summed up! It's often difficult to explain why that desire to others. Another pros is the time spent together as a couple, versus each at work. Some may see it as a cons, but I definitely don't.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Britt! I think this is one of my favorite questions to ask cruisers. I cannot tell you how affirming your post is for me, and how much I needed to read it at this very juncture in the process my Husband and I are going through to move aboard.

I am so happy for You and Scott! All the Best to You both with your Adventure and Life Together! Hope we get to meet in person someday!


Mid-Life Cruising! said...

As we say, if you have to ask you wouldn't understand! We totally understand and can't wait to do the same next year. In fact, I was once again explaining our plans to my mother last night. She just doesn't get it. That's okay, but we're still going for it!

SailFarLiveFree said...

Once again a fellow cruiser's contemplation brings me back to Sterling Hayden's wonderful autobiography titled "Wanderer", in which he writes "To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea..."Cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanders of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about."

Windtraveler said...

@ Island Bound...I love that...I am going to have to get that book...sounds magical. And so very true. Thanks for sharing...
@ MLC - you go girl! Some won't get it, and that is totally's your life anyway! ;)
@Gretchen - thanks for the inspiration for the post girlfriend...good luck on your'll be here before you know it!

Last Paradise said...

I have identified with that poem ever since we sang a musical version of it in middle school- love, love, love...

Gene said...

You guys rock! My wife and I hope to join you within the next year...

It's good to see other young folks getting out there. Keep the "honest" stories coming.

And like Jimmy Buffet said, just "keep it between the navigational beacons".

Best, Gene

Donna said...

Choosing the path less traveled invites adventure and discovery. It leads to experiences beyond the ordinary, offering unique perspectives and opportunities for growth. Embracing this journey fosters resilience and creativity, challenging conventional norms and sparking innovation. It's about carving one's own way amidst a sea of familiarity, finding hidden gems along the way. Each step taken offers a chance to craft a narrative that is truly one's own. Explore the unconventional with confidence. Visit for more insights. My connect Email: or visit my facebook page:

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