Retrospective: Why go? Why now?

A short post describing why we wanted to sail away together. Much of this post was written 12 months ago.


Everyone has ups and downs. I have come to realize that when I am up I listen to and get a lot of energy from music. And when I reflect on the tough times it strikes me that the music is missing. I am not a musician, far from it, I get teased that I couldn’t hit a note to save my life…ha! But I have been missing the music for quite some time and it was breaking my heart to drop my son off at daycare when we really didn’t want to go, to leave him to spend all day doing a job that wasn’t inspiring me anymore. The job was great and so were my colleagues and I am convinced that the daycare is the very best one in the world – we are very lucky to live in Norway. BUT the music was missing in my life and even though I am quite a careful person, I can not willingly sit by and watch my life drain away while I watch. It’s time for chasing the music, to press the big reset button.

We felt that we were at a point where we all needed a change. Teo was just old enough to start remembering the adventure and Jon and I were simultaneously at the point where we needed a change at work, and socially, too. We also needed to go “right now” so that we wouldn’t lose our nerve, the stars seem to align to tell us to go.

Leaving the safety nest I have built up and resigning from the job I have done for the last 13 years has pushed my comfort zone and the result is I am listening to music pretty much constantly….aaaaahhhhh! Plus we have been talking about doing this with varying degrees of intensity for a decade.



I’m not really a sailor; I don’t get much enjoyment from the act of sailing, it’s not something I would choose to do for the weekend or evening. But. I do love the placid pace of life when travelling so slowly around the world. Something special happens to you when you decide that you’ll cross an ocean at barely faster than a brisk walk. Time slows and your days are filled with lots of ‘now’ moments. That is something a love.

I read an interesting article about four years ago about regret. A palliative nurse who counselled the dying in their last days revealed the most common regrets we have at the end of our lives. Here is the TLDR version:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content.

The tragedy of these regrets is that they are avoidable, maybe not to all of us and maybe not all the time, but for me and right now. Four years ago I realised I could do something about avoiding those future regrets.

The ‘why’ go was easy to answer. The ‘when’ to go was harder to answer. Clearly I needed a spreadsheet.

Take a spreadsheet, in the first column put years running out from when you left school until about 80 years in the future. Title each column to the right with the names of people in your life, starting with yourself, spouse, children, parents etc. Figure out what that person ‘should’ be doing for each year into the future – working, retired, school, college, etc. and write it in the relevant cell. Look for horizontal blocks of opportunity.

When I did this we found a few blocks of years or ‘opportunities’ which while they weren’t perfect for everyone, they were OK for most. But, more obvious were the blocks where being chasing a dream would come at a significant and potentially unacceptable cost, or indeed the more obvious good fortunes of health and wealth.

Four years ago we were in a window of opportunity which clearly wouldn’t last for long. Let’s go now.



Most of all I want to be with my mamma and pappa. If i can play all day with them and my friends, too that would be best. Oh yeah and I taught them to scoot, so we scoot a lot and go to the park and eat ice cream.






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