When I am asked, “What are you?” I am hard fought to come up with an answer. I have never been able to wrap my mind around the concept that we can define who we are simply by mentioning our profession. It probably is because I don’t have any of the usual answers. I guess if forced to it I would have to define myself as a jack-of-all-trades, which in this day and age of hyper-specialization is hard to decide what this means. Truth be said I am not even sure if this term applies because what I do to live is more than a job. When you are sailing or working in wild places, or both as is my case your life is your work and your play. You don’t deal with any particular routine, except those of course dictated by the seasons and tides, but you are on the clock, as it were, 24/7.
I have no degrees or titles, just years – really a lifetime – living in wild places where self-reliance is everything and hard work puts the bread on the table. If you think about it, especially considering the state of our little blue planet, it is kind of sad that this option is no longer on the table for our children. Kids say I want to be a fireman when I grow up. President. A doctor. But what about a wilderness… what ever you want to call it.
I prefer my lifelong nickname of Bear over my given name because this powerful animal definitely sets a high bar to strive for when it comes to making a life for oneself in the wilderness.
The lessons learned living off the land all these years has propelled me on this world voyage searching for all those secluded jewels still remaining to be appreciated.
The daydream of course is to “discover” a place very different from everything that you have known, yet where you feel you belong. It would be a paradise that you could share with the ones you love as you build a home (or even better an eco-community) from the ground up with your own hands and only the limitations of our collective imaginations.
Like the song says, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans,” so you might as well go where the wind is taking you.