The only thing left to do after having dreamt up our sailing adventure, searched and found a suitable vessel, and purchased and become acquainted with our new yacht, was to then sign out of our land lives before setting sail.
You would think this would be the easy part of the ever increasingly gigantic logistic project we had embarked on, especially as Nick and I have both moved and travelled so much previously, have no kids, no pets, or corporate ladder climbing aspirations. However we both found this a little more challenging than we’d expected.
Friends and family were mostly supportive, although a few (nearly all) were (understandably) a tad worried at our lack of sailing experience. Nick delivered the news to his parents in France early on over skype with the overwhelming enthusiasm only he can possess. Their reaction was definitely a little stunned. After seeing their jaws and blood pressure drop with this approach, I chose to hold off for a while to inform my family until I knew I had most of the answers to what would no doubt be their many questions. This seemed to work a little better, with the responses (after a few deep breaths) consisting of carefully chosen words, and ultimately expressions of encouragement. Telling friends was easy, as the majority immediately started penciling in their surfing/sailing holidays.
The next step was to then check out of our working worlds. Both Nick and I somewhat agonized about how and when best to tell our respective workplaces of our plans. Sports physio is a relatively fluid workforce so this was not as seemingly career ending for me compared to Nick where the engineering world is not quite as flexible. We both semi rehearsed our leaving the workplace speeches, expecting almost to be scalded for letting people down or acting so irresponsibly towards our careers. But really it turns out we were just rehearsing for our own benefit, as we were both met with enthusiasm from our bosses and twinkling eyes knowingly saying ‘go now… while you can’.
So, with our sailing aspirations all out in the open and the prospect of no regular income looming quickly, all that was left to do was pack up our home and downsize to as much as airline baggage would allow. We sold the big items, lent out to friends whatever they like the look of, and stored the things we wanted to keep – the biggest of which were our cars (I love the van too much… thanks Mum and Dad) and our relatively large quiver of 15 remaining surfboards (thanks Kate, Kayte, Emily and Shane!).
And then, looking possibly like the most excessively baggaged couple to ever hit Tahiti, we arrived. Goodbye fixed address, hello funemployment. I think we’ll like it here.