What Does Sailing and Homesteading Have in Common?

What does sailing have to do with off grid living or homesteading? Our dream of living off the grid on a small homestead was much different in the beginning.

In January 1998 on a cold dark winter evening, my wife and I escaped our 1 bedroom apartment and visited the local ShopKo to browse the aisles and look at things we couldn’t afford.  Sometimes these trips were motivated just to provide some escapism from our debt ridden lives.  On this particular evening, I remember being deeply depressed looking at the mountain of student loan debt we had accumulated with one more year of schooling still to go. We both had jobs that barely paid the expenses we needed to live, and the large student loan payments took whatever we had left at the end of the month.

While perusing the magazine rack before leaving the store, I spotted Cruising World Magazine. Never having any interest in sailing before, I picked it up and a whole new world opened up to me.  I felt this was an answer to the dreary, debt ridden life we were trapped in.  I explored the pages of the magazine, placed a yearly subscription, and dedicated my life to this dream of circumnavigating the world for the next decade.

As time passed, my wife and I drew closer to the reality of embracing a life on the sea, it became apparent we were no longer a unified front. My dream had become my wife’s and yet my wife was in turmoil of the great unknown and being exposed to the forces of nature.  Thinking about being on thirty foot swells, traversing the Pacific Ocean during a squall was hindrance enough.  I was confronted with a choice. Push my wife beyond her sense of comfort and to stress the limits of our marital vows, or I could honor her by shelving my dream and re-evaluate how we could live a life together in a dream of mutual harmony.  Soon sailing adapted to living on an off grid homestead. 

Even though dreams change.  The lessons I have learned in my preparations for a life at sea came with me to the homestead.  The knowledge I had obtained became useful in the design of our home and how we live on the land.  Dreams never truly die when they are a part of the heart; I smile when I think how those sailing tips and tricks manifest in our home on the land.

Enjoy our story as I share our off grid journey since 1998 with you. If you are dreaming of living off grid, hopefully, you can take some of the knowledge and tools I have learned with you toward your dream.

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