Monthly Archives: September 2010

The road out of the rat race leads to the water

This all began as an idea one dark winter night in our kitchen of our huge rented house in Western Massachusetts about 6 months ago.  Our life of working unsatisfying jobs just to barely keep up with endless bills seemed endlessly depressing.  Let’s go on a sailing trip.  Let’s just get out of here. Leave the rat race.  Open the door to a new adventure.  It sounded like a fun, yet crazy idea.  Do we have enough experience to take on such an endeavor?  And what about the money?  Even though we were admittedly lacking in both of those things, the idea took hold and there was no going back. 

After doing extensive research on a seaworthy sailboat that was manageable for our skill level and affordable, we picked out a relatively rare, Swedish sailboat called an Albin Vega as our vessel of choice.  There are not many of these around on the East Coast, and the people who do own them usually either never sell them or sell them to friends and don’t post them for sale.  How to find such a sailboat?  We made a post to an online group of Vega owners asking if anyone had one for sale, because we wanted one for our dream trip.  It wasn’t long before someone replied:  “I have one that I wasn’t planning on selling, but for you and your dream  I may reconsider”.    It turned out he was keeping the boat on Lake Champlain, not too far from us.  We went and looked at it and it didn’t take long for everything to fall into place — he sold us the boat for a great price, and with so much help and support to assist us in our endeavor….we couldn’t help but feel like God/the Universe was handing us the boat, saying “Here, now go!”

Then came months of downsizing, moving, taking care of a million details to get ready to leave. There were steep learning curves, and engine problems, and unexpected financial setbacks.  It was stressful and challenging.    And fun and exciting too! 

Most people we’ve talked to about our plans seem to think we are crazy.  Maybe we are.  But staying in a situation that wasn’t bringing us the happiness we want seems even more crazy. 

So this is how the Wee Happy came to be.  Why did we name our boat Wee Happy?  Here’s the story…when we first met we lived several hours apart, and drove back and forth visiting each other often.  On our route we would pass a Chinese restaurant called “We Happy”, and that became a slogan for us, as we were (and still are!) so happy in love.  This past winter we began jokingly adopting the word “wee” to signify small.  Part of our journey so far in getting “out of the rat race” has been the exploration of the idea that smaller can be better than the great American concept of “bigger is better”.   Our sailboat is definitely WEE — it’s a small 27 footer.  It’s the Wee Happy.

Who's happy? WE HAPPY!