I am a daktari without borders. I am not sure when and where borders disappeared from my mind, but sometime in the last quarter century, I became a citizen of the world. Wherever I am on planet earth, I feel at home in my borderless world.
Animals do just fine without borders, and most people do pretty good as well. Sometimes I get the feeling that borders are fictional boundaries created by the rich and powerful to maintain their power and wealth.
One of the best things about sailing on the ocean is the absence of visible borders. The rich and powerful have not yet figured out a way to divide the ocean into parcels that they can sell, tax, regulate, and go to war to defend.
One of the reasons I like Land Rovers and sailboats so much is they fit nicely in my borderless world.
Billionaires don't like worlds without borders.
They like to puchase large tracts of land on which they can build high walls and place barbed wire fences to exclude people like me.
When I lived in Arabia, I spent the weekends exploring and camping in the desert.
For the first ten years, we had free access to the desert.
Then it became fashionable for billionaires to build palaces in the desert, and suddenly high walls and barbed wire fences started to appear.
We had to go deeper into the desert if we wanted to live in our borderless world.
The desert bedouins are different than the rich and famous.
They live in a borderless world, and they are not particularly fond of high walls and fences.
Bedouins do not own land. They share it with other members of their family and tribe. They move their tents and flocks with the seasons.
I confess I like bedouins a great deal. They are kind and generous people who live a simple life.
Wherever I sailed around the world, I continually met people who had simple pleasures and a great life. Although they didn't have much money, a complicated lifestyle, or lots of things, they did have contentment.
Throughout our circumnavigation, there was a positive correlation between a simple life and contentment.
When I returned to "civilization" in the rich countries, people were consumed by the cost of living high, and contentment was in short supply.
Several times in my life, I almost succumbed to the Gospel of More. You know what I mean.
More is better, and the person who dies with the most toys wins.
Its victims give free reign to desire; they spend their lives chasing after everything that does not satisfy. Only at the end of their life do they realize more is actually less, because more chases contentment out of their heart.
Of course, this may all be sour grapes. After all, I'm not rich in the things of this world.
My pile of dollars is fairly small, and in the acquisitions department, I didn't end up with a mountain of things; I have only a small mound to stand on.
If you look under my mattress, you won't find a stash of cash. Instead, you will only find contentment.
Now that I'm back at work in "civilization", there's a certain malaise in my life.
I'm treading water in a sea of discontent, and all of the things I didn't have or need a few months ago are now part of my life. I have fallen off Exit Only, and I want to get back on board.
God willing, it won't be long before I have another adventure, and once again I will raise my glass of contentment and toast a life of adventure without borders.
David J. Abbott M.D. is the Positive Thinking Doctor. He spent his career working as an eye surgeon in developing countries. Although Dr. Dave was trained to preserve and restore vision using surgery, he also wanted to fight inner blindness and restore inner vision teaching people how to look at the world through eyes of possibility and love. Dr. Dave has written twelve books that you need to have in your mind. He also created a Positive Thinking Network that is the home of positive thinking on the world wide web. People from one hundred ninety-six countries come to the Positive Thinking Network to find out everything they want to know about how to have a positive mind.
The best place to get your daily dose of positive thinking is The Positive Channel. Positive thoughts are just a click away. This is your opportunity to change the way you think and feel about who you are and what you can do with your life. If you want to change your life, you must first change the way you think. When you change the things you think about, the way you think about things changes. When you change the things you talk about, the way you talk about things changes. Your new life starts today when you start putting positive things into your mind.
At the end of each decade of your life, you should sit down and write a short essay entitled "What I Have Learned So Far." Each decade is different, and the lessons you learn are different as well. It's almost as if you get a new life during each decade. Your beliefs change about who you are and what you can do, and you actually become a different person.
Join Team Maxing Out as they sail around the world on their Privilege 39 catamaran, Exit Only. Experience their adventures as they sail through pirate alley and up the Red Sea. Find out what it like to sail through a global tsunami in Thailand. Sail up the Kumai River in Borneo and visit the endangered Orangutans of Kalimantan. Ride out a storm at sea as Exit Only sails from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands. Discover what it is like to sail on the ocean of your dreams.
We have been sailing around the world for eleven years on our catamaran, Exit Only, and what a trip it has been, full of agony and ecstasy, and everything in between. Captain Dave nearly died in a car accident in New Zealand, and I reckon that qualifies as agony. In the ecstasy department, we sailed 33,000 miles around the world, and have seen the things sailing dreams are made of.
The first home I ever owned was sailing vessel Exit Only. The dream of house ownership never appealed to me, and I have steadfastly resisted any passing and weak urges to buy a house. On the other hand, all of my adult life I have had an overwhelming desire to own and cruise on a small yacht.
When you live your dreams, and everyone acts like you are crazy, you must keep going forward. A prophet is without honor in his own country while people half way around the world think you are totally amazing. Sometimes, it makes you want to purchase a one way ticket to your antipodal point on planet earth so that you can assume your rightful place in world history. But in the meantime, while you are saving up for that airline ticket, you should keep going forward.
When things don't work out as planned, what should you do? Put a for sale sign of your Defender and hope that a Bedouin with lots of cash shows up to put you out of your misery? Sit around and feel sorry for yourself because you are high-sided on the sand dunes of life? I don't think so. When plans don't work out, you keep on digging, keep on fixing, keep on navigating, and keep on driving.
My first trip into the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia taught me the most important lesson of desert exploration that I ever learned: DON'T DO STUPID THINGS! The desert is unforgiving and doesn't treat fools lightly. Here is how I learned that lesson.
Daydreams are easy. Just sit back and let them happen. Daydreams are effortless adventure. It's easy to be a legend in your own mind. Real dreams are hard. You can't sit around making bun prints in the sands of time if you want to make your dreams come true. Real dreams aren't a trip to fantasy land. They are rock solid adventures purchased with blood, sweat, and tears, and the most precious commodity of all, time.
Travel with Team Maxing Out on the Darb Zubaidah from Iraq to Mecca. More than a thousand years ago, Queen Zubaidah from Iraq built an eighteen meter wide pilgrim road from Baghdad to Mecca. The road was called the Darb Zubaidah, and millions of pilgrims walked this road on their journey to perform Haj. We calculated the distance and felt we could complete the trip in a week in our Land Rover Defender 110 expeditionary vehicles.
Join Team Maxing Out as they make an expedition to the white volcanoes of the Arabian shield just north of Medina. The volcanoes are in a no man's land with lava fields stretching for hundreds of miles. We would be foolish to make a solo trip to this area in the heat of summer. But if it's the cold month of December, if we have two spare tires and enough water to survive for a couple of weeks, and if we are willing to burn one of our spare tires to make a smoke signal in an emergency, then a solo trip is not crazy.
Let Team Maxing Out show you the art and science of expeditionary navigation in the Arabian Desert. Not all expeditionary navigational problems are created equal, and your approach to navigation varies with terrain, capability of the vehicle, and degree of access to the land. Limited access makes navigation more challenging, and unlimited access gives you hundreds of options when you plan your expedition. Situational awareness forms the foundation of successful expeditionary travel.
Team Maxing Out conquers a sand ramp in the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia and then studies the petroglyphs of the Rock Wall Journal. The ancient people who created the Rock Wall Journal were not simple-minded cavemen waiting to evolve into real human beings. These highly intelligent people had an appreciation for the natural world in which they were immersed. They displayed their focus on the natural world with stylized drawings that are still pleasing to modern eyes.
Travel with Team Maxing Out as they visit the Orangutans of Kalimantan. Borneo is off the beaten path and sailing there on your own yacht is a big deal. It's not around the corner and up the street. It's your reward for a long hot passage across the Java Sea. In order to see the endangered Orangutans, you must sail up the Kumai river which takes the better part of a day if all goes well. Sometimes things don't go well, and you run aground. That's exactly what happened to the sailboat that traveled with us up the Kumai river.
In Thailand, Exit Only survived the most destructive tsunami of modern times without a scratch, but we didn't escape scot-free. The arm of the tsunami was very long, and out in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the tsunami made a lasting impression on Exit Only's starboard bow.
Find out the lessons learned by Team Maxing Out as they sailed around the world on Exit Only. You always find what you’re looking for. The cruises who talk about the dangers lurking in each location are invariably the ones who find trouble. Cruisers who make smart decisions and keep a positive attitude somehow manage to find good stuff in the same places and enjoy themselves much more.