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Sailing Away

” If you built castles in the sky; your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now, put the foundations under them. “-Henry David Thoreau

Many of you know I spent a year sailing around the Pacific Ocean and living on a 38′ boat with my husband. It’s been ten years since we returned from that adventure and decided to start a family. At this point, we are way too land-locked for our own taste but our plan to return to sea is still underway. I have only written about the trip we did take and not the one we want to take and I think that since we discuss it amongst family so frequently, my writing about it might help manifest it more immediately!

When we planned to go the first time back in 1998 we were both working paycheck to paycheck. I was account executive at a commercial photography lab where I could get all my film processed for free and continue to feel a bit tapped into the industry without being a full-time photographer. I only shot for myself and didn’t really have any ideas about what I wanted to do with my photography except travel.

I have always used my photography to support my whims. Ever since graduating BFA in Fine Art Photography I worked commercially. My fine art pursuits were tossed aside and I pretty much figured it wasn’t a possibility since it’s an expensive dream to support and I couldn’t make enough money at it to pay the bills. Ever since then I have worked at some aspect of the photographic industry to make money and pursue my dreams to travel and live life untethered. I worked as a commercial photographer’s assistant, an account executive in a lab and a stock photography firm, a production photographer and retoucher at a marketing firm, as a studio manager and a photographer’s rep.

It’s only been recently that I have been settled enough to actually pursue some possibility of an ongoing photography business. However, all I can think about is the day we can untie the dock lines again. I am hoping to continue this “sailing away” series as we make plans, decisions, and ponder our future as a family living on a sailboat and traveling the world. I am not talking about getting on a boat for a few weeks to island hop in some nearby archipelago. We have no desire to go to the Caribbean or any expensive offshore tourist trap when we do go cruising. Our hopes and dreams lie in escaping to Mexico, South America, French Polynesia, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Australia, New Zealand and beyond (my husband dreams of Aqaba). We hope to take the kids when they are at least 6 and 9 which is only a couple of years away but the financial needs of taking a family of four around the world are quite a bit more pressing than when Jim and I went as a couple.

Although we live very frugally, we know that we will want luxuries we did not have on the last trip: refrigeration, a radio, a water maker and a healthy bank account to come home to.

It’s a scary thing to have such big dreams. There is so much chance for it to all implode. Each one of us truly believes that we will do this trip. The kids wonder why we aren’t just getting on the boat and going tomorrow. But Jim and I live with the fear of failure daily as we constantly face work, family and life challenges.

If you have a dream you are pursuing with your family or someone special, please comment here. I would love to hear about it and I will keep you and your pursuits in my thoughts for success. Every little bit of support and accountability helps as we build our castles in the sky.


  1. Reply


    April 1, 2012

    Mu lifetime dream is for you to have your dream and a happy fulfilled loving life for you ad your family.- Just wait til we’re gone to sail away — you have time.

  2. Reply


    July 3, 2012

    Kristianne, I am loving reading your blog and listening to your dreams… we as a family are so lucky in so many ways that our whole family life has been lived in counties not our own and that we’ve managed to travel fairly extensively because of that – but we still have a bigger dream, one to cast off in our own way – to travel and see, and experience properly for a year, or 2, or more, without the confines of work and school and the daily grind – we hope that this will be in 2-3 years, definitely before the kids reach high school and I live every day until then counting my blessings that the life I have now enables me to dream these dreams… I really look forward to reading and seeing more of yours