Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but this past week we were presented with two perfect examples of how good planning can help you sail off in pursuit of your dreams.
That photo on the right was taken by Ron and Andrea, who just returned from an incredible sailing trip exploring the French Polynesian islands of Bora Bora and Tahiti. Along with seven other couples, they chartered two catamarans and spent two weeks visiting what they called “heaven on Earth.”
They wrote about their trip in the March 2014 Sailing magazine, and it’s enough to make you quit your job and book the airline tickets, with the descriptions and stunning photos of the “warm crystal-clear waters, sheltered anchorages, turquoise, reef-protected lagoons, (and) palm-fringed beaches with cloud-tufted mountain vistas.”
And best of all, it’s all part of their long-term financial plan. Lifetime boaters, the couple plans to spend part of their retirement sailing the Caribbean and Eastern Seaboard in their own catamaran, perhaps throwing in a few charter trips for extra income.
Their plans are no pie-in-the-sky (or sea!) fantasy. They’ve saved, planned and invested for this over the years, and they are well on track to reaching their goals.
My friend Valerie is going off on an adventure of her own. She’s been a sailing aficionado, and sometime boat-owner, for the thirty or more years we’ve been friends. In fact, years ago when we were both working in Mauritius, she planned a big round-the-world sailing trip that got cancelled when another crew member fell ill.
But now, thirty-some years later (and with both of us thirty-some years older!), it looks like she is indeed off on a big adventure. She just emailed to say she’s about to leave, crewing on a 48-foot sailboat for a six-week trip from the British Virgin Islands through the Azores, and across the Atlantic to Great Britain.
And why not? Her kids are grown and making lives of their own, she’s on her third or fourth successful career, and she’s wisely spent her time – just like Ron and Andrea – planning, saving and investing for the future.
And guess what? The future is now.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that everyone should call in sick to work tomorrow, pack their bags, and head off for a round-the-world jaunt. First of all, that may not be your dream, and it’s all about pursuing your dream, not someone else’s. Secondly, what seems like serendipity is actually the result of years of strategic planning and saving. These people have paid their dues and made the right choices. Now it’s time to reap the benefits.
So take a moment to think about what you really want out of life, and what it will take for you to get there. Then, plot a course and you’ll be ready to sail off in pursuit of your own dreams.