Q: Are you retired, or what?
No. We are putting our professions on hold while we pursue the goal of circumnavigating. In addition, life has seen fit to give me some remote work opportunities that fit our schedule, here and there. Once the trip is complete, we anticipate returning to work.
Q: What was it like to quit your job?
Hard. I didn't think it would be so hard until we got closer. Then, I realized how much I enjoyed the feeling of security a steady paycheck gives me. "Make hay while the sun shines!" Why would you walk away from a perfectly good job when so many do not that luxury? It seemed as insane to me as it does to you. But, I searched my soul to discern where I should go next and all signs pointed to having faith in myself, our little Oddgodfrey team, and in life to give the abundance we need. If you want to visit the experience in live time, read the following posts:
Q: Do you miss work?
A: I don't think we miss work, because we have a lot of work we must do out here to accomplish our purposes.
How exactly do you define work? A boss? A set of responsibilities? Compensation? Does it require misery? Reward. We have all that.
The Ocean is our boss.
Andrew's job is to maintain Sonrisa, plan routes around navigation and weather, and make decisions required to keep all of us safe and on track toward the circumnavigation goal. He is the "At Sea CEO". My job out here is to record the experience through photography, writing and editing this blog. I am also Sonrisa's "crew;" responsible for handling the spinnaker when the Captain so requests, consulting and advising the Captain on key decisions, manning the helm in tight spaces, and taking my share of sailing watches. I also earn money through a legal related side-hustle.
People are paid money for the work we do out here all the time. There are many people paid to be a ship's captain, engineer, or crew member. There are people who are paid for travel photography and to write memoirs or biographies. So, our efforts have a value equivalent to work; and someone is paying us. You might say..."Hold up, Leslie. Who is paying you?" The Ghosts of Andrew and Leslie Past are paying their hard earned dollars for Andrew and Leslie Present. Our earnings are going to the exact same thing our earnings went to a decade ago: survival, building our goals, enjoying the experience of being alive.
Rest assured, we have our fair share of misery. Andrew does not enjoy dangling head first into a tiny anchor locker in a rolling anchorage, but just like a TPS Report, it must get done. My share of misery comes in the form of seasickness, wrestling my fear into reasonable submission, and extremely slow internet.
We don’t miss the challenge of work because we face challenges and learning opportunities every day out here. I do miss my friends/people at work, I sometimes miss the day to day (relative) predictability of work, I miss cardigans, pencil skirts and the perfect jewelry pairing. I do not miss having to report to somewhere day after day at a specific time while mountain bike trails, oceans, and islands are left unexplored. I don’t miss 12+ hour days away from my travel buddy.
Now you might be saying, "Don't be silly, Leslie, you know the rewards and perks of this sailing gig are nothing like work!" It depends on how you prioritize between the optional rewards of financial security or beach cocktails. Usually, people are rewarded for work with money. We happen to be rewarded for our work with time to explore far off places, new friends, scuba diving adventures, sun, sand and beach cocktails.
Q: Will you return to the same profession?
I don't know. We both enjoyed our respective professions, and it is the business we know. It probably makes the most sense to return to the same profession. We will wait and see what opportunities present themselves at the time. I do hope we will return to shore better/smarter/with new ideas than when we left. I want to bring everything I learn to my work life and combine our industry experience with our sailing experience to offer something meaningful in the marketplace.
Q: Are you afraid you won't be able to enter the rat race again?
Every now and then. Whenever I get nervous, though, I try to remind myself how lucky I am to get this opportunity now for however long it lasts. Focusing on gratitude for now keeps me from fretting too much. We keep a pretty intense pace out here anyway, exploring, writing, processing photographs, working on my side hustle, maintaining Sonrisa, meeting and entertaining friends. It's all a lot of fun, but the energy it takes feels similar to the energy required for a working day. We aren't ready to phone in our lazy-boy orders just yet.
Q: Are you afraid no one will let you enter the rat race again?
Every now and then, but we built our careers from scratch once; there is no reason we can't do that again. And this time, we are not even starting from scratch. We both have 10 years experience in our respective industries, and this trip is giving us many more insights into our personal drive, endurance, extreme responsibility, project planning, independent development of expertise, team work, leadership, grit...and more. Would you have misgivings in hiring us? Can't wait to find out? Keep following along!
Q: Why didn't you just take a leave of absence?
Our goal has always been to circumnavigate, and we knew it would take much longer than six months to accomplish our aim. We didn't think it would be fair or right for our employers or for us. What is a reasonable length of a leave of absence? Six months, maybe? Even if we did take a leave, what would our employers do for that span of time? Find someone to cover our desk for us, but not hire anyone? We've both served on hiring committees before, and we know what it is like to have to fill a desk, train a person, bring them into the culture. It's difficult. To expect our employers to do all this then boot that new person out to let us return from mucking around on a sailboat for a few months wouldn't be fair to anyone. The Boss would have thought I'd lost my marbles.
Q: Will you be broke when you return?
If all goes as planned, we will have a "resettlement fund" comprising 6 months of expenses at the rate we spent money on land before we left. We also saved money in retirement, so although we will not touch it, it exists. If we still own the house and it is rented out, it should provide some cash flow as well. In addition, life has seen it fit to send us some remote work. This income brings us flexibility to choose between more scuba diving, more sailing time, or a larger cushion on return.