Hi, I’m back. I’ve been thinking a lot and I’d like to share it with you. There’s something I have discovered during these last few months and it is that more and more young people (usually couples) are coming out to live full-time on their sailboats. People from everywhere! Spain, Brazil, France, the States… And I’d witnessed the same phenomenon all around Argentina before I moved to Splendid, in little communities in the mountains and in the countryside, far from the big urban centers. There are some things these young people seem to have in common:
The couples I’m talking about are in their mid 20s 30s or 40s.
They come from a middle or upper-middle class upbringing.
They have one or two university degrees.
They have traveled a lot. They have also read a lot about other cultures or history.
They were making good money and loved their jobs when they decided to leave their countries.
They have a good relationship with friends and family back home and visit whenever they get a chance.
They love film, literature, music, nature, food, wine, swimming, etc.
They are in good shape and look very healthy.
They dress simply; they do not buy things they do not need or replace things that can be fixed; they speak clearly; they look at you in the eyes; they like to make new friends and learn new things but they tend to be honest and clear with people instead of just being polite and condescending. Social etiquette is usually reduced to honesty and fairness.
What I’m getting at is that these people who have left the system seeking a better life already had a wonderful life. They had choices. They were successful. They were considered “fortunate” back home. They were probably considered “beautiful people” in their places of origin.
But still they left the world they knew behind and now they just lead a natural life in the country, growing food and raising their own children. Or they buy or build a boat and travel around with the wind, go to the reef to get fish, cook with simple healthy ingredients, play music, meet people from different cultures, lie all afternoon in the hammock, do cannonballs and laugh out loud when they dive into the ocean, lead a healthy lifestyle and use natural medicine. They live in harmony with the world around them.
Just like the Kuna Indians. The beautiful Kuna people.
Sure these young “yachties” have laptops. They watch movies set up in New York, Kyoto or Reykjavik and drink chocolate almond milk. But their lives are really not so different from other indigenous communities if you think about it.
Who is more beautiful? A Hollywood star with the most expensive clothes, cars, beauty treatments and personal trainers, an Italian sailor with a ragged white shirt sipping a glass of 2-dollar wine on the deck of a 2,000-dollar floating home, a Patagonian artisan wearing dusty sandals and picking wild raspberries on the side of the road or a Kuna fisherman playing like a child with a crab on the sand? It really depends, doesn’t it? Depends on how happy or full their lives are. How much they love their friends. How much they appreciate the gifts life has given them. How well they eat, play and sleep. It is really not about the money at all.
Who would you rather be? Who would you rather hang out with? Which one CAN you be? Can you be a millionaire and spend your time doing the things you like and use your money to help others be free and happy? Probably not.
Can you move away from this system that is falling apart and set an example for others to just stop being a part of it and stop supporting leaders and corporations who are literally destroying our beautiful planet and all living creatures on it? Yes, you definitely can.
And I’m sure you can come up with one hundred excuses if you try. But we can all be less greedy and more respectful. We can all consume less and protest and inspire more. We can all be more creative, gentle and generous. We can all expect the best from others and be kind to all living beings.
There’s a movement of people who seek alternatives in the natural world not because they can’t “make it” in their Western societies but because they have realized a natural life is more fair for everyone and everything, it is far better, more fun and much easier for most of us than what the Western societies today have to offer.
Money is just paper (it really is!) and if you have to do the same thing for hours everyday for most of your life then it makes you a slave. You’ve got only one life to live that we know of. What are you waiting for?
Live your life. Enjoy this wonderful planet and all its creatures. Go back to the natural life that was taken away from you when all those stupid people killed and tried to silence the wise indigenous voices that can still be heard as soon as you leave cities and sit under a tree and let the wind play with your hair.
Sailing is just one option. There are other options too in the country, in the mountains, near rivers and lakes. It works. Lots of people are doing it and trying to spread the message! Breathe, dance, sing, write, swim, cook, share, read, sew, build, tell others what a great time you’re having since you decided to stand up for yourself and just leave those ridiculous commitments, obligations and monetary “satisfactions” behind.
Quit shopping and couch-potating. Do you really like hearing police reports and watching car and diaper commercials so many times everyday? Use your time for the things that fill your heart and make you dance with joy.
Quit working “under” someone else. Work for yourself. Do those things you consider important and relevant. Create.
Quit working for money. Work with wood, fabrics, ingredients, words, pencils and smiles instead. The things most of us love doing or feeling do not require the use of money at all. And you pay others to do things that you can enjoy doing yourself when you have the time and which keep you fit. Learn how to build and fix the things you want to use. Walk!! Swim!! Climb trees!!
Sure you are used to certain things but what percentage of the things you are used to are good for you? Try to make that balance. A huge comfortable couch, a nice car, steady pay, a lovely dinner in an cool restaurant (fill in with your own positive things) vs. traffic, media manipulation, street violence, unhealthy food and urban infections, diseases and disorders, having to pay many bills, not looking at or greeting people who walk by you, never having time for the things and the people you love (fill in with the negative things you’re used to).
Wherever you live you will have to secure a roof over your head and buy the food you can’t produce. But you can buy a boat for the price of an average car and fix it, property is not so expensive away from crowded or snobbish areas and you can build your own cozy shack for a lot less than your yearly expenses and rent/mortgage. And there are many things you can make with your hands or services you can provide for a few hours a week that will get you all the food you need.
It’s not about being extreme of course. We all love watching silly movies and playing Sudoku. We all love chocolate. We all have families. Some of our friends are supporting their relatives back home from here with canvas work, chartering, something they do on the internet. It is possible to live a very similar life but without so much stress, factory farming, ridiculous consumption in areas that are not overcrowded and where people greet one another with a smile or a nod as they pass by. You can still have a surfboard or a bike. But you don’t really have to be nervous and feel trapped. And if you worry about your children’s future, do you really think they need an expensive education more than they need to grow without violence and brain-washing? Universities prepare you to serve the system, not really to be free, happy, kind and healthy.
It is really that simple and it is only up to you. Making it work for your own circumstances. There is always an alternative. If you find it, broadcast it! Tell others!!
Humankind is all of us. It is our responsibility to stop the ravaging of the planet and all its creatures, including all the human beings who, rich or poor, do not lie in the sun, smile and dream at least for an hour every single day.
I really hope this that I’m witnessing is only the first spark, the beginning, of a fantastic, majestic, unstoppable global change.
Love from paradise.