Six years. I’ve been planning this and working to make it happen for six years. In that time I’ve almost gotten married, but ended a four year relationship, held three different jobs, lived in three different states, lived in four different cities, finished an MBA, learned how to sail, owned two boats, rebuilt and learned to ride a motorcycle, and bought the boat I think can take me around the world.
I am trying to reconcile 8 months with the need to see and spend time with my family and friends, find and secure sponsors, finish the four dozen projects on the boat, make enough money in my present job to pay for all that still needs paying, finish the website and solidify the partnership with SOS Children’s Villages, give up a six figure salary, raise the media machine I need to get donations going to SOS, learn how to take good photographs, hire a professional photog to take pics for the website, take some writing classes, and generally keep a good handle on reality.
I’ve been running more and more lately. I don’t know how to describe it without sounding a little touched, but whatever the thing is that pulls me to go sailing is also pulling me to run. The closer I get to it the more I feel it. Sailing, and running, has become a need. They are no longer a want or desire, but things I know I have to do. I literally feel pulled to do them just like a fish on a hook. Hopefully I won’t end up in a frying pan.
I’ve been using the marketing side of my brain the last few hours trying to figure out how I can add to the draw of the blog and get more readers involved. I think the best idea is to have the site sponsor an individual child from each country I’ll be visiting through SOS Children’s Villages. http://www.sos.usa.org/. If I can do this I’ll be able to generate a dialogue with a child under the care of SOS learning about them before I arrive. That way when I do get there we’ve already got something of a relationship and I can get to know them much better in the short time I’ll be at their village. This should also give the readers a chance to get to know the kids better.
The other little known aspect is that my pup, a 10 year old Siberian husky will be making the trip with me. If I can get the some publicity with dog and animal lovers it’s a huge market to break into. That should add huge numbers to the readership. For those who have no idea why I am concerned with readership, well, it all boils down to charitable donations. In the end, part of the measure of success for this trip will be the amount of dollars donated by my readers to the multi-national 501(c)3 non-profit SOS Children’s Villages. I need my trip to be about more than my personal gratification.
It is all coming together. It’s going to be a long push between now and November, but it’s happening. It seems like I’ve lost a little of the whimsy that I usually have and no doubt there is a little stress to pull everything off, but it is all really good. I can’t wait to go sailing.
UPDATE: The above was written last night as I was flying to San Francico for work on Easter Sunday. I’ve been smiling all day. I had a great talk with the folks at SOS Children’s Villages and I got a little more reassurance that we are all on the same page with the project. The sent me a picture of a little girl that lives in Limon, Costa Rica. That is one of the sites I’ll be visiting on my route to the Panama Canal. Kind of pulls at the heart strings huh?