Why We Decided To Quit Our Jobs And Go Sailing

When we first started discussing the idea of changing our lifestyle, we weren’t set on sailing at all. Initially, we thought of moving to Elena’s home country of Italy and getting a tiny farm in the hills.

We’d grow our own food in the sunshine, spend most of our time outdoors, and live a sustainable and fulfilling life. But there was something missing from this dream. We both had a desire to travel and to see the world. How could we do that on a low income, tucked away on a hilltop? We weren’t ready to settle down just yet.

Eventually we talked the plan through, and decided that if we were to do it, we’d still need to be able to travel. Ryan had done some sailing before, and secretly dreamed of setting sail when he was old and retired.

Sat in a beautiful bay in Spain, looking out at the boats bobbing about in the Mediterranean, the sailing plan was born. Ryan’s retirement dream didn’t have to wait. In fact, why should it?

The dream to explore the world, voyage over the oceans and dedicate our time to what we wanted. We’d live much more sustainably, with minimal use of fossil fuels. We’d work less, earn less, but live more. We’d eat fresh local food, caught from under our boat if possible, or foraged from the seashore.

Most importantly, we would be living an adventure.

We didn’t want to wait for retirement (40+ years!) to live our dreams. When Elena lost a childhood friend to an accident weeks before her wedding day, we realised we may never get to retire, or we may not get there healthy.

Suddenly the standard life seemed completely crazy. We didn’t want to sit behind a desk all day in the city and struggle to pay a mortgage for most of our lives. No matter how rewarding that can be, it didn’t seem like a fair tradeoff.

Humans didn’t evolve sat at a computer. We evolved working in teams, with cunning and bravery to feed ourselves and our family. We travelled countless miles, searching for the best food resources. This evolution has left us with some amazing skills and capacities.

Capacities that in our normal lives we just weren’t exercising. The disconnect between the lives we evolved to live, and the easy, comfortable modern life leaves people stagnant and depressed. To be happy, you have to live your life, not just let it pass you by.

We weren’t ungrateful. We recognise that now is probably the easiest and safest time to live throughout all of human history. Life is easy in the Western world. So easy, in fact, that most of it is done through habit, in a blurry autopilot, where you get to the end of the day and can barely remember what happened.

Most of the decisions you make do not matter an inch in the grand scheme of things.

We wanted more.

So we chose to set out on this adventure, travelling the world without destroying it. Exercising our teamwork, our ability to learn and almost definitely,

  • Philip McLaren

    I stumbled across your video on the Heavenly Twins facebook group and ended up here.
    I am restoring a Heavenly Twins in North wales and hope to follow in your footsteps from Falmouth to Asia.
    This is such an inspiration for me, i love your videos and blog.
    Keep up the good work.

    1. Sailing Kittiwake

      Thanks ever so much Philip! Please do share your progress in the HT FaceBook group. We cannot wait to see you set off too 🙂 You’ll love it!

  • Wanda Kaleka

    Very much enjoying following the Kittiwake videos. Can’t wait to see where this takes you. I do know it will be life changing. It was for me when I sailed away and never went back. You make decisions every day on the water that can be life or death. Much more adventurous than desk jobs. Fair winds Elena and Ryan.

    1. Sailing Kittiwake

      Thanks so much Wanda! Sorry for the late reply – we lost your comment in an ocean of spam 🙁 What you say is so very true! And we’re so glad you’re enjoying the videos. Where are you now? x

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