By Bruce Farrow on March 15, 2015
He had had enough!
His job brought him nothing but an income so he could pay the mortgage on the house he didn’t even like. It robbed him of time and time was becoming a precious commodity in his life. It was running out. Like an egg timer, a little more sand drained out every day and what was his life about?
It seemed his life was about existing until he retired and got his pension! It seemed the society in which he lived demanded that he do this like a good citizen. Work hard, pay your taxes and one day, you can stop working and try to exist on some paltry sum of money.
He had realised that life was not about the future, it was about the now, and looking back he had failed to take the opportunities that this world offered because he had done the sensible thing. Get a job, get a mortgage, get into debt and then, try and get out of it!
So, no more!
He put his house on the market and it sold quickly and his friends and family were curious. He took the equity and bought a used Swan 60 yacht. All his life he had hankered after this boat and now he had it. It was a large boat for one person yet it fitted his plans. He was going to spend the rest of his life sailing round the world, in his own time.
His friends and family now thought he had lost the plot! “What happens when you get too old to sail?”, “What about your responsibilities?”, “What happens if . . . ?” they went on and on and he didn’t listen. This was his life and he had finally had enough of people trying to tell him what to do with it.
It was going to be a great adventure. He envisaged island hopping in the Pacific, staying as long as he wished in any one place and only moving on when he was ready. He wondered what it would be like to watch the sunset over Tahiti or experience the sunrise over the Galapagos or see the moon over Bora Bora. He was excited about experiencing things other than the chains of society. Freedom. Fun. Excitement.
However, he did consider whether he wanted to share this incredible experience and decided that an experience is much more powerful if shared with the right person. So he placed an advert. “Wanted. Companion who has had enough of life and wants to join me sailing round the world. Person should be fun, vivacious and excitable and should laugh a lot and have a desire to experience life! An unlimited journey with no internet, mobile phones or computers.”
He had no idea how many people were unhappy with their lives until his email box filled up with responses. He spent an entire day filtering them until he ended with a short list of 10 people to interview. Out of the 10 people he interviewed there was one person who stood out above all others.
They had lunched at the marina and over a rather delicious Melanzane parmigiana washed down with a crisp Prosecco, he had become entranced with her. She smiled easily, laughed readily, and was clever and intelligent and very beautiful. Her life was full of controlling influences. She was controlled by her ex-partner, by her boss at work and by her family. Perhaps that was being unkind to her family but she was expected to do the right thing. She was expected to be a ‘good girl’ and to fulfil obligations and responsibilities. That was her life, one of responsibility and burden and she was tired of people telling her what to do. Of course she was an expert at reframing her situation or even blocking her adventurous desires out!
She liked him. A lot. The thought of sailing away from her present life with this man was very appealing. There was an instant chemistry between them yet neither wanted to display what they felt. The conversation was business-like, punctuated by a few laughs.
When he went back to his boat, he had already made up his mind and emailed her. “I really enjoyed your company and think we would make a great team on this lifetime’s adventure. The space is yours!”
When she got the email, she didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know so much about her and what would happen if they didn’t get on? What if he didn’t like her little habits? What would her friends and family say about her just ditching her present life? What would anyone say?! She would have so much to sort out before she went! She wanted to go and when she thought about it she could almost touch the freedom. She would do it when she had sorted everything out.
But what about him? Would he wait while she sorted her life out? It might take a little while and he might not like that. She cogitated and didn’t know how to reply so she did what she always did in situations like this. She did nothing.
He had hoped for an instant response and when one didn’t come he began to assume she had changed her mind. Maybe she hadn’t got his email, so he resent it.
Why did he send it to me again? she thought. I am trying to sort my life out so I can come on the trip. If I tell him that I have stuff to do first, then he might get angry. I will just sort everything out and when it is all done, I will mail him and tell him I am ready to roll! I am so going to do this. I want it!
Still no answer and the man was sad. He had already visualised a life with this lady. Laughing over cold beers under tropical sunsets, yet she appeared not to be interested. Maybe her life was too complicated. Maybe she was complicated! Maybe she needed time to think and he would have happily waited around for her, if he had known that she needed time. She was certainly worth a wait. No answer, though, meant no interest.
The decision was made. Tomorrow he would set sail alone.
At 6am he walked away from his car for the last time and, before he left it, he tossed his mobile phone into it. No more internet, no more phone calls or texts, end of this life and the start of the next. The end of people telling him what to do.
He started the small motor and carefully edged the yacht away from the marina, looking forward to his adventure, yet sad and disappointed that he had no-one to share it with – especially that special lady.
As he raised his sails out in the bay, back in the car, his phone bleeped with an email.
“I am sorry I haven’t responded sooner, I just had a lot of stuff to sort out. I SO want to join you on your adventure. I like you and we would be a great team. I am so excited about this. I will call you later.”