The Road Less Traveled

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

-A Buddhist Saying


sailboat dinner

After working hard on the repairs, it’s always nice to stop for dinner!

With Thanksgiving come and gone and New Years resolutions right around the corner, I have recently spent some time reflecting on my life and have to conclude that things are good. I have a stimulating job at a business creating an ethical product, a novelty in this day in age. The income from my job is helping me to make rapid improvements on the boat and stay one step ahead of my debt. I’m trying to keep the proverb in mind, “life is a marathon, not a sprint” by breaking up repairs into one or two hour tasks and trying to tackle one task per day.


The last few months have been a gauntlet, but I feel like I’ve risen to the challenge and am looking forward to moving onto the boat in April. Living on the boat will save me $400 per month, which is nice, but beyond the financial advantages, I also feel like I’ll be prepared to make the commitment of voluntary simplicity that the move represents.


voluntary simplicity

Another truck load of ‘stuff’ bites the dust as my life becomes simpler.

The benefits of voluntary simplicity have come more into focus for me over the last three months while giving up most of my stuff. I have so much more time now! Compared to the summer when I was unemployed, working a job takes a lot of my day away, but I’ve eliminated almost all my obligations outside of work – no lawn to mow, no garage to clean, no house repairs to make. A steady paycheck is so much less stress than trying to drum up clients. Even downsizing to a 27 foot sailboat from a 40 foot houseboat has saved me a ton of time on repairs. I’ve tried to minimized my life to focus on the highest priorities:

  • turning the boat into a cozy home and seaworthy vessel
  • spending time with friends and family
  • personal growth (learning guitar)
  • getting my financial house in order

I have made steady progress on all fronts and the future is bright. A few weeks ago I got rid of another pickup load of stuff. I physically touched every personal belonging of mine in one weekend and thought that was a huge milestone.

alcohol boat stove

Here’s a shot of my little galley. The two burner, alcohol stove (under the cutting board) wasn’t working when I bought the boat, but it is now!

Between the downsizing and rapid repairs, a transition in April feels conservative. This last week alone I finished the restoration of the two-burner alcohol stove and installed a drain for the shower. My outboard is being serviced and when I get it back, it will run like new and have a harness installed to charge my batteries with a 6-amp alternator. The basic necessities are coalescing rapidly!

Some fans and frequent readers of this blog recently turned me on to the Road Less Traveled blog. This is an excellent example of two people following their bliss in life and a huge inspiration to me. I should be so lucky if these initial steps towards simplicity lead me to a life resembling theirs.

Those friends I mentioned are presently in search of a good Flicka sailboat with a trailer. If you know of any at a good price, please contact me, or leave a comment here.

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