Don’t Let Your Ship Set Sail Without You!

Posted June 18, 2013 by Lisa Niver Rajna in Inspirational Stories

Many people “lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them” (Henry David Thoreau).Will you say yes when the experience of a lifetime is offered to you?

Torre DeRoche, author of Love with a Chance of Drowning, says: “I don’t know why I’m afraid of the ocean, but I don’t think there’s anything in the world that I’m more scared of. It’s so dark and creepy.” He, of course, turned out to own a boat, named Gracie, and planned to sail around the world.

DeRoche shared her neurotic impulse and great sense of humor with her first impression of Ivan, “He’s a man with wild ambitions. I’ve never met a real-life adventurer before; I’ve only ever seen them on the breaking news report, generally being dragged from catastrophes.” As their love deepened, DeRoche contemplated facing her fears to join Ivan’s sailing voyage, but still there was trepidation.  Ivan encouraged her, “Just don’t forget to live in the moment. Life is about making yourself happy in this moment.”

Eighteen-year-old Tania Aebi who sailed alone, saw new countries, and made new friends inspired DeRoche. But it was Ivan’s response to DeRoche’s fears of dying during the trip that finally convinced Torre, when he said, “Some people die of old age without ever having lived their dreams. Some people die without ever having loved… If something happens on the ocean, we’ll die as two people in love who are living a remarkable adventure.” DeRoche then decided to “take this risk for love.”

After leaving her city life behind to move onto a 32 foot boat, Torre found courage and encouragement from an older woman named Angie, explaining, “Women of her age don’t usually climb masts for a living. I watch her in awe, hoping that one day, I’ll be half as courageous as she is.” Angie told her, “You’ll never regret it, just go.” And so she did. With each new experience on the Pacific Ocean, DeRoche expanded her belief in her capabilities and the scary nightmares evolved to stunning sunrises. Another experienced sailor, Carol, whose actions showed DeRoche, “that even experienced adventurers are not always fearless. They just don’t run from fear.” These women help DeRoche evolve and feel confident that she cannot only survive the passage but also thrive in the often-challenging circumstances.

In The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, author, John Izzo, asks “What chances would you take if you knew you had only one year to live? Are you playing your life safe, hiding under the desk or standing by the window just watching the show? If you look at your life from the perspective of an old person sitting on a porch—what will you wish you had done?” I highly recommend you read DeRoche’s exhilarating memoir and believe her choice of the enormous escapade will inspire you to have tales to share when you are the “old person sitting on the porch!”

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About the Author

Lisa Niver Rajna

Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed. is an accomplished travel agent, blogger, speaker, science teacher and member of the Traveler’s Century Club, a unique travel club limited to travelers who have visited one hundred or more countries. She writes for National Geographic, the Huffingon Post, Jewish Journal and Technorati. Follow her sabbatical year in Asia with George on their site, We Said Go Travel.

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