Lake Michigan is my home water. My cruising roots have been fertilized and grown here on the Great Lakes. I feel a connection with Great Lakes sailors and have a bit of a quest to heighten awareness for the Great Lakes and raise their profile among sailors, outdoor enthusiasts and those with an intrinsic passion for water. I believe those who have never been on the Great Lakes would be in awe of their size and beauty. It is in this vein that I plan to periodically host guest blog posts authored by cruising sailors who started their great escape in the Great Lakes.
Brittany and Scott from Windtraveler started their journey at the southern end of Lake Michigan in Chicago back in September, 2011 (although planning, dreaming and scheming occurred long before). Today they've made it as far south as Grenada in the Caribbean. Given the theme of my website (Sail Far, Live Free!), I thought their blog post titled "Live Free" was a good fit and actually reminds me very much of my own Why I Sail post. The post below was written by Brittany and first appeared on their blog here. (Thank you Brittany for allowing me to use your post!)
Live Free! (by Brittany Meyers)
I actually had to think about that one. Anyone who has read our blog for any length of time knows that the lessons learned through this "journey" are great and vast. We have learned so much about ourselves, about life, about nature, about the universe...it's incredible, really.
So what is the greatest lesson we have learned?
After some thought, I finally answered: "I think the biggest thing I have learned is that - once you get away from land, once you shove off and are free from societal contraints - anything is possible".
Does that make sense?
Because it's true. The minute Scott and I said goodbye to Chicago an entire world opened up to us. Not just the physical world, but the figurative world as well; the world of opportunity. We were now in a world where we were able to dream...and not only could we dream, but we could do so freely and without doubt. Suddenly, it was not insane to imagine opening up a tiny marina in some tropical isle, or running a charter company in the Caribbean, or opening a hostel for wayward travelers or running a boutique sandwich shop in the islands...suddenly all those things that on land seemed silly and fruitless, held weight and possibility. It's amazing to be thirty-two and still be dreaming what life will be like when I "grow up". I mean, I am just getting started!
I don't know what it will take for you to see your dreams as something more, but you should do it. It is an incredibly freeing way to live. Scott and I feel like kids in a candy store who found a ten dollar bill on the floor. It's like nobody knows our secret, yet it's so simple and easy. How come we have this ten dollars when so many people don't? There really is power in dreaming. There really is another way to live. There really is a way to live a life less ordinary. You just need to step aside and extricate yourself from the status quo, it's designed to keep you there! Easier for some than for others, for sure. But I am a firm believer that where there is a will, there is a way.
And that is the best lesson of all; we have learned what it feels like to be free!