Sailing is a wonderful sport. Whether you’re sailing competitively or not, there’s very little that can overcome the experience of being on the sea, filling the sails with energy, harnessing nature’s strength and depending on your skills and expertise. Here are a few important pieces of advice that sailing has taught me throughout my years spent out on the open seas.

  • Sailing is the solution to avoiding crowds

Over-tourism is an increasing concern, increasing the gap between tourists and residents, and turning dream encounters into living nightmares. This summer, the gills are filled with locations like the Greek Islands, and there are no avoiding selfie sticks and filthy visitors. Guess what – the only way to escape all this is by sailing! Chartering a yacht allows travel to remote beaches, hidden coves, and even secret islands – and you’ll usually have the opportunity to stay in stunning places after the day trippers are gone.

  • There’s something extremely unique and beautiful about the ocean

I can’t stress this enough – the world is just so much more beautiful when you look at it from the sea. Imagine sleeping under an endless starry sky, waking up with the sun rising from the ocean, and a whitewashed Greek village visible in the distance-this will be your daily life while sailing. It has become apparent to me that being in the ocean and being able to travel in the fashion that our ancient ancestors have for millennia is nothing short of extreme personal fulfillment. For those who love the ocean and navigating it, sailing is a way of life, and a beautiful one.

  • It’s rarely a linear path from point A towards point B

One of the first things you learn when you’re sailing is that you can’t always get to your destination in a straight line. If your desired endpoint is upwind, you must navigate to an alternative point for a long time before you point back to your goal — this maneuver is called a tack. There are parallels to this in business and in personal life. It is a rare occasion when one’s goals are easy to attain and come in a quick straight line. In sailing, often taking the course less traveled results in winning the race. Such strategic planning in life or career offers the same effect.

  • That control is an illusion.

The word “free” is being used a lot these days, and it deeply disconcerts me that otherwise intelligent adults seem ignorant of something that has certainly been discovered by anyone who has sailed away from the sight of land; the world is not safe. It can’t be made safe. It is as true as it is irrelevant that we humans wish it to be safe. The sea is a vast and impossibly powerful adversary that we in no way shape or control. Does it sound like futility? It’s not. I’m not expecting the universe to be safe. I expect it to be exactly what it is. It’s up to us to learn to survive.

  • Freedom is never to be taken for granted

Often times we think that sailing is mostly about being on the water with the sun in our eyes, the wind on our backs, and nothing but a carefree life. But then we experienced the hurricanes, and for some reason we no longer like sailing anymore. So this says a lot about our own independence, we seem to like it until life’s storms ravage it, then we doubt its importance and role in our lives. I’m not talking about freedom from tyranny or slavery, I’m talking about freedom from ourselves. Every day we seem to be trapped by restricting or maintaining our true desires, our goals, and our aspirations in life.

Sailing taught me that storms will always be on the horizon, not to be avoided, but to be accepted as part of the journey that takes us to the far shore. We know we will always survive the storms in life, because in these storms we are free to be who we really are.

Photo by Maël BALLAND from Pexels

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