If you've ever dreamed of severing ties with your day-to-day life and taking off on an adventure to points unknown, Andrew Sullivan would likely be more than happy to give you a few pointers.
About 11 months ago, the Seattle native decided to quit his job, sell his possessions, and head west with his 30-foot sailboat into the open blue of the Pacific. There was no destination in mind, just the appeal of adventure, the fear of the unknown, and an overriding desire to explore.
"My goal in sailing around the world was never to simply end up where I started … rather it was to find 'something' that I think most of us are looking for," Sullivan writes on his site. "That 'something' still remains a mystery, but I would like to think I am a little closer to finding it."
After a photo showing him having covered more than 10,000 miles went viral on Reddit, Sullivan took to answering questions about how he pulled off his life's greatest pivot.
"I bought a sailboat to live on while I went to college and I worked at a marina at night. I basically taught myself to sail during those years and vowed that I was going to sail the world when I graduated ... and here I am," he wrote, adding that he saved up $15K before his journey. "But to be honest, I never would of thought I would of actually followed through. You just keep sailing west ... and eventually you're 10k miles from where you started."
Sullivan shared that he purchased his $27K sailboat with the severance pay he received after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard. As anyone who has ever owned a vessel can attest, the costs of repairs, fuel, dock fees, and other maintenance expenses can quickly add up. "It's sort of a reverse retirement," he wrote. "Although I am quickly running out of funds."
To make sure he has enough cash to make it around the world, Sullivan has been earning income from his website and YouTube videos, as well as efficiently reducing his expenses to only $500-$750/mo.
"You pack a lot of non perishables, but also raw materials such as flour, sugar, butter, eggs so you can make almost anything from scratch," he wrote. "My boat carries about 60 gallons of water which seems to last me about 1 1/2 months."
So far in his adventure, Sullivan has met incredible people, experienced great loneliness, and explored pristine regions of world rarely seen by outsiders.
"In Asia, I try to venture where there are no tourists," he wrote. "I just spent a month in Borneo and sailed up the Rajang River Delta which was amazing. There's absolutely nobody there, just you, your boat and this awesome jungle."
As shown in the video below, he's also experienced first-hand the wrath of Mother Nature and the ever-shifting moods of the oceans.
As for the future, Sullivan has plans to meander his way west, with stops in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and a larger goal of hitting South Africa by Christmas. Wherever his sails take him though, it's clear that the decision to leave his old life behind has been completely worth it.
"I feel that the biggest way that it has changed my life is that I am more confident than ever to pursue almost any new venture in my life," he wrote. "As this last year has shown me that almost anything can be possible as long as you are brave enough to fail."