Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 2: Courageous, Crazy, or Just Plain Stupid?

Living at sea has left me with a new appreciation for the explorers from long ago.  When you are in the middle of a rough, unforgiving, and seemingly never ending sea you come to realize something.  Historical figures, such as Christopher Columbus, must have been extremely courageous, incredibly crazy, just plain stupid, or a bit of all three.  When you live on land all of your life it doesn't always sink in.  When your at sea, however, you can't help but wonder what they were thinking.  Did Christopher Columbus just wake up one day, look at the Ocean, and say to himself "Hey, I bet there is something on the other side of this water"?  Everyone else thought the world was flat, that he would just sail off the edge and be gone forever.  But this didn't stop good old Chris…this dude must have had some real guts (or no brains).

I experienced a similar revelation last year when I lived in Colorado for 5 months.  Living, hiking, and running in the mountains of this glorious state also left me with a great appreciation for the explorers of old.  Living in Colorado showed me how brave and strong people must have been to take a covered wagon from East to West.  It might not be the Atlantic Ocean, but the landscape that separates East from West is far from forgiving.  One mistake, one mishap, and your life could be no more.  And yet they went anyways.  They packed up their families, their belonging, and headed West.  While their reasons for traveling may have varied, they all had one thing in common…courage.

Having acquired such an appreciation for the explorers of the past, I would like to say thank you.  Thank you for having the guts to do what you did.  For it is because of your courage that we are able to enjoy all sorts of wonderful places all over the World.  And, looking to the future, I hope that we can continue to have the type of courage that led us to where we are today.  Although our adventures and explorations may look a bit different, I hope that we can continue to explore.  For if we aren't exploring and advancing ourselves, are we even really living?  Perhaps that is what motivated guys like Christopher Columbus.  Maybe they felt that life without exploration wasn't really life at all.  So we might as well take the risk, because if we aren't striving for something, we aren't really living…are we? 

Fact of the day:  There are 4 sides to a ship.  Forward (front), Aft (back), port (left), and starboard (right).  The trick is to remember that port, like the word left, has 4 letters.  Once you remember that it is pretty easy to remember the rest.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 1: So Long USA...Hello World!

Today marks the first day of what should be a journey of epic proportions.  For the past few months I have been sailing to (and running in) a variety of places on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.  Much to my delight I have been able to run at least once in every place that I have been to.  The places I have visited are as follows:

1. NYC, NY (USA)
2. Southampton (UK)
3. Rotterdam
4. Le Havre (France)
5. Zeebrugge (Belgium)
7. Southampton (UK)
8. NYC, NY (USA)
9. Newport, Road Island (USA)
10. Boston, MA (USA)
11. Bar Harbor, ME (USA)
12. St. John NB (Canada…eh!)
13. Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada…eh!)
14. NYC, NY (USA)
15. Southampton (UK)
16. Madeira (Canary Islands)
17. La Palma (Canary Islands)
18. Tenerife (Canary Islands)
19. Gran Canaria (Canary Islands)
20. Lisbon (Portugal)
21. Southampton (UK)
22. Le Havre (France)
23. Zeebrugge (Belgium)
24. Southampton (UK)
25. NYC, NY (USA)
26. Southampton (UK)
27. Madeira (Canary Islands)
28. Gran Canaria (Canary Islands)
29. Tenerife (Canary Islands)
30. Lisbon (Portugal)
31. Southampton (UK)
32. NYC, NY (USA)
33. St. Kitts (Caribbean)
34. Dominica (Caribbean)
35. St. Lucia (Caribbean)
36. St. Maarten (Caribbean)
37. St. Thomas (Caribbean)
38. NYC, NY (USA)

Yesterday, however, at around 9 pm, I left the good old USA for good (if you consider 4 months to be "for good").  With the United States of America in my wake I am now headed for, well, the rest of the WORLD!  Although the world tour does not officially start until we leave Southampton, as a US citizen, leaving NYC is more or less the beginning for me. 

While I do know the places that we will be visiting (I hope to post the list in an upcoming post), I know very little of the adventures that I will have.  This sort of uncertainty might be nerve wracking to some people.  I however, am not overly concerned with having a strict agenda or a list of things that I need to see or do.  In fact, in some ways I prefer not to have a plan.  While some days I may set out in port with a specific goal, I will probably spend a fair amount of time flying by the seat of my pants, allowing myself to enjoy whatever adventure presents itself.

In fact, I think that some people struggle to enjoy traveling / vacations because they have a thousand detailed plans accompanied by a million more expectations.  Although their planning is intended to help them have a good time, they get too caught up in making sure things go just right.  As a result, they get disappointed when things don't go as they wish and they end up feeling as if their trip was a disappointment. 

Thus, as I embark on my trip around the World I aspire to take each day is it comes and enjoy whatever experience I might have.  Weather it be a run up a mountain, an encounter with a random hiker, or cliff diving with a bunch of random children, I desire to soak up the day and enjoy all the blessings that the Lord provides.  Come to think of it, all three of the things I have just mentioned have already happened and you better believe it when I say that I enjoyed them!

FACT OF THE DAY: "1840    The First Cunard steamship (owned by Nova Scotian-born Sir Samuel Cunard) crosses the Atlantic Ocean in twelve days." - Joshua Slocum, Sailing Alone Around the World