The world is changing, and I feel like an anachronistic appendix sometimes as a result.
What I am talking about specifically is that the cruisers, the folks who want to, are currently, or have taken to sea in boats to get away from the rat race are disappearing from the net. There was once a time when you could find dozens of websites posted up by people out there sailing, or prepping their boats, or even just aspiring to a cruise. These guys were my inspirations, my guiding lights. From the Destiny Calls with their entertaining dispatches (before blogs became a big thing) to the intrepid Lauri G and his steel sloop – we all had a community of lights on our horizon and voices to converse with about our plans. There was even a decent magazine – Latitudes and Attitudes, to glam it up a bit. All are gone now, and with them their websites have also faded. You can still hear the echoes of some of them on the Wayback machine internet archive – but you have to kind of know they existed to go looking, and the signal is poor.
Has the world changed so much that people stopped dreaming of this kind of thing? Have we moved on from wanting a small ship to wanting a smaller house? Has the reality of cost driven those who have the time to do such things into building shacks and shelters (ahem, small houses they call them) and aspiring to having a job over aspiring to escaping the machine at all? Perhaps the news machine has made the outside world finally appear so terrifying that those affluent enough to be able to leave are huddled by their cable news hoping that the outside world doesn’t pay them a visit in the developed world.
I still want to get out there. I still want my kids to meet all kinds of people. Even poor people. Even people of other cultures. I want them to see the world, especially the bits that are at risk. I want them to know that life is more than a pile of toys in a house, or a job that you spend a third of your day at. I want them to succeed in the rat race enough that they can have the luxury of transcending it in a way they find meaningful. I would love to show them how – if such a method and showing could be valuable and reproducible in such a dynamic world.
I still want to sail. I may have given up my boat, and that may have been a tactical error of ugly proportions – but I have not given up yet. It’s the mother of all 5 year plans.