Joel finished his last day of work as a radiation therapist in STL last week. He gave his notice over a month ago, and the support we have been shown in the forms of letters, emails, Facebook messages, hugs, and tears has been overwhelming. His birthday buddy/best work-mate Mandy threw a going-away party for him last Friday evening and it warmed my heart to see so many people brought together to support my man and our dream. Being as I’ve been to a stellar bash held by Mandy before, I wasn’t surprised by the nautical decorations, sailboat ice sculpture, steel drum player, or treasure chest full of pirate loot. However, I was absolutely staggered by the fact that so many of Joel’s coworkers reached out not just to Joel, but to me to express their interest, concern, and support for my role in our adventure. You see, even after 7 years, there are still quite a few of Joel’s colleagues I don’t know very well. Many I see only once or twice a year, and thanks to the high turnover at Joel’s now-previous place of work, it’s been hard to keep track of some of the names and faces. And yet, I received so much positive feedback on my last post and a number of questions about what it felt like to be in my shoes as we venture forth on this walkabout. The concern for my well-being while we make this transition is more appreciated than you can ever know. Most of you know by now that this was Joel’s dream first: to sail farther and live bigger than most from our humble midwestern town would ever imagine. Though I’ve listed some of my reasons for going in my last post, this recent outpour of support brings me to another one of my reasons (and I think Joel’s, too) for this summer’s expedition.
A number of you who have wished us well on our endeavor this summer have also wistfully expressed your desires to fulfill your own dreams. Though there are several outcomes I’m hoping we achieve with our travels this summer, one of them is the desire to send a message: no dream is impossible if you have the courage to make it a reality. And so, I’m extending this invitation to you. Please follow and join in on our attempts to live a dream this summer. Who knows what will happen? Regardless of our experiences this summer, I hope our unfolding story will be a testament to the attainability of dreams. If we give even one person the nudge they need to push them into pursuing their passion, then I’ll be pleased. We may be millennials, but believe it or not, this trip isn’t exclusively about us. It’s about making the most of the human experience in this crazy thing called life before we have to leave it. And one thing I already know is that the connections we make with others are one of the best blessings life can give. Joel and I have been blessed in connections we’ve already made, and we look so forward to those yet to come. In closing, I’d just like to say thank you to all of our friends, family members, work family, and acquaintances who have and continue to support our dream along the way. Though our time is rapidly approaching, I hope with all my heart that you find a way to make sure yours is too. From both of us: thank you.