I'm one-hundred percent sure that if now was
the the year 1800, I would be packing my Conestoga wagon and heading
toward the setting sun to explore the western expanses of North America.
In my first sixty years, I have owned two Toyota Landcruisers, five
Defender Land Rovers, three monohull sailboats, and one catamaran. All of
these conveyances were my 21st century Conestoga wagons that made it
possible to live my dreams.
My catamaran made it possible to sail around the world on the ocean of my
The Landcruisers made it possible to explore Mexico, all of Central
America, and Puerto Rico. The Defenders made it possible to explore Saudi
Arabia, Oman, the Emirates, and the outback of Australia. I still have two
Defenders ready to drive from Cape Town to Cairo and from Buenos Aires to
For me, the dream is all about adventure, freedom, and being really alive.
Although I like seeing the sights wherever we go, I think it's the sense
of adventure coupled with the freedom to do what I want to do with my
life, seasoned with a pinch of adrenalin that makes it all worthwhile. It
doesn't matter whether I drive down a hundred foot sand dune, sail through
pirate alley, or voyage across an ocean, I still get the feeling that I am
really alive and am accomplishing something that's important to me. I'm
living my dreams, and although it's a lot of work, costs lots of money,
and spends the currency of my youth, that doesn't matter, because I'm
doing what I want to do with my life as I live without regrets.
On the wall in front of my desk, I have a graphic emblazoned in large red
Those letters mean, WHAT
WOULD STEVE DO?
I've always admired Steve Irwin from the Australian
Zoo and his outrageous ability to get the most out of life. Whenever I
feel like chickening out and surrendering my dreams, I look up at my
WWSD sign, and I remind myself that if
Steve was still here, he would be living his dreams, and that there's no
reason that I shouldn't be living mine.
It's my dreams that get me up in the morning and keep
me going all day long. It's my dreams that keep me sailing, and someday
will take me around the world in my Land Rover Defenders. Every time I go
out sailing on the seven seas and travel in my Defenders, I can feel the
freedom bubble up in my heart and mind.
Once you have a taste of freedom and live your dreams,
you are hooked for life, and nothing else will do.
HITTING THE JACKPOT
Take a look at our campsite in the Empty Quarter. We're camping on a sand
ramp in the setting sun, and life is good.
Sand ramps like these make it possible to travel against the grain in the
massive dunes of the Mundafin. It's impossible to drive up one-hundred
foot slip faces if you want to travel against the dunes, but if you are
patient and have plenty of fuel, every four to five kilometers you can
find a sand ramp that will let you ascend up the front side of a dune.
Camping in the Mundafin is like hitting the jackpot and winning first
prize. Just being there makes me a winner. I am one of a select few who
have ever been privileged to explore these remote sands.
I hear a lot of talk these days about violence, war, gangs, drugs,
corruption, and politicians who are unresponsive to the will of the
people. I can understand why people question whether life is really good.
If there's any question in your mind, let me put your doubts and fears to
rest. Life is good all the way to the bone.
Life is all about focus. If you focus on all the muck, mire, and dross,
then you will have a miserable existence. But if you focus on all that's
good, your life turns into an unforgettable adventure.
I've thought about this a great deal, and I've tested it in the crucible
of life. God made a great world, and He populated it with life. When he
was done, He pronounced his creation good. Not only did He make a good
world, He gave you a good mind, and if you focus that mind on good things,
you will end up living your dreams.
Life is a gift, and being alive makes you a winner from the day you arrive
on planet earth. You won the lottery of life, and the good news doesn't
stop there. There's no limit to how good your life can become. As long
as you focus on good things, you life will get better and better.
When I sit behind the wheel of my Land Rover Defender, I can feel the
freedom start to bubble up in my mind.
The instant I climb into my Defender, I'm no longer in New York, Paris,
London or Phoenix. I'm suddenly transported to another place and time.
It's as if Scotty beams me to the plains of the Serengeti or to the
endless sandy vistas of the Arabian Empty Quarter.
Every time I return to work, I negotiate an emergency agreement with
life. This agreement allows me to buy an off-road 4x4 vehicle, and that
vehicle becomes my survival capsule. It's my way of keeping in touch with
the freedom that I miss while working in metropolis. It's not that I
don't like my profession. Rather, it's that I love my freedom more. I'm
hooked on freedom, and I'm ready for another tidal wave of freedom to
sweep through my life.
When I drive my Defender down a city street, I have a "Near Freedom
Experience." Although I'm not land cruising in the Arabian sands, I get a
flash back to those adventures of yesteryear, and I can see that there's
hope for more adventures in the future.
Talking and dreaming about freedom are a poor substitute for the real
thing. Until you can feel the freedom, you are not really free.