Hello there. It’s been a little while. I still exist. So does Katie… and Reggie, and believe it or not so does Louise. I still have two legs, two arms and walk upright. My torso is still short and I remain 5’2” on a good day. My blonde hair has faded brown and my brown skin has become transparent. The freckles on my face got bored and took off but the moles are here to stay. I don’t eat like a cave woman anymore, but I kind of still dress like one. I am delighted every time I log on and reminded that I have a job to do – to entertain. It would only be fair for me to provide my readers with more chapters because like you, I don’t want it to be over.
You may appreciate a little insight on land-life and how it has thrown both of us for a loop, and not a “great” loop, but a lesser great loop without navigation or guidebooks. Wind and waves still come from every direction but instead of floating with the elements I am at an awkward stand-still. Which leads me to the big question. Who do you listen to when you are incapable of making decisions and you can’t hear yourself think? I don’t have a clue where my indecisiveness stems from and it is beginning to piss me off. I try and listen to myself but I can’t find my ears. When trying to make decisions everyone always says “follow your heart”, but I seriously can’t find that either.
There is so much noise. It doesn’t matter how quiet the room is – it never truly feels quiet. I use this word broadly. Noise is this computer. It is my iphone. It is Netflix. It is the bar down the street. It is my social life. It is my family. It is running errands. It’s the gym. It is material items. It is paying rent. It is bills. It is health insurance and taxes. It is the rat race. It is trying to keep up. All of these are unsolicited voices that manage to construe my thought process. It’s funny, the whole time I was boating I thought I was looking for answers. Like Christopher freaking Columbus. Well I wasn’t looking for Christopher, but for something…anything. Whether it was a place, a person, or to potentially fall off the edge. Now I can’t help but see the obvious, the exploration was about myself and nobody or anyplace else. It was a journey out of selfishness, and curiosity. Here I am back home, in a beautiful house, still feeling selfish and curious because I now know what can come of allowing yourself to be nothing but those two things. Magic. Maybe selfish isn’t the right word, or maybe it is. Lets call it “self-serving”. There is an appropriate time in life to have these traits and even though I feel as if mine should be suspended I want them to last forever. But that’s not how the world works.
I looked up the definition of “Millennial” today. This cracks me up.
“Millennial optimism is entering into adulthood with unrealistic expectations, which sometimes leads to disillusionment”
When I read this sentence I can’t help but replace the word “Millennial” with “Jessica And Zevalkink”
“Jessica And Zevalkink’s optimism entering into adulthood with unrealistic expectations, has lead her to severe disillusionment”
FUN FACT: My middle name is not “And” but when I was little I thought every person had a first AND last name. My middle name is actually “Anne”. Get it? Every time I heard my full name I thought they were saying “and”, not “Anne”
Which brings me to another thought, one that consumes my mind more than most subjects. Why doesn’t my generation know about “America’s Great Loop”? How has this trail of waterways not become the new Pacific Crest Trail…the new Camino De Santiago… the new Eurotrip? Is it because it involves a boat? Do boats scare people? My generation is adventurous. We are wild. We are constantly dissatisfied and reaching for the possibly impossible. People jump off cliffs in squirrel suits, kayak across oceans, bike across countries, walk pilgrimages, backpack foreign countries alone, climb mountains, you name it. We want the highest, the fastest, the longest, we want to break records, we want to be remembered. We want to feel, and often putting ourselves in danger is the greatest way to feel because overcoming fear is one of life’s highest rewards. Some of us choose to never conquer it and are happy inside four walls. Those of us who choose to look it in the eye, become addicted. So back to my original question – why isn’t “The Loop” a known revelation? Is it not wild enough? Is it because It takes place right here in America? Is it because it involves moving at five miles an hour? Is it because it involves a boat? Why is this unknown by my peoples?
I have been working closely with Kim Russo the director of AGLCA (Americas Great Loop Cruising Association). She is wondering the same thing. There have been very few 20-somethings to complete the Loop. We are trying to understand why us millennial’s have yet to catch on to this incredible odyssey, and how we can increase its’ awareness. My selfish side wants to keep it all a secret. My curious side wants to share it with the world and is eager to get other youngins on board. This is “Not your parents trip”.
Sure, there are some obvious answers here about why so few are interested – Finances, lack of experience, fear, etc. But those are common ground hurdles that we share as a population. The only difference is how we individually deal with them. Those three hurdles were a part of our every single day, for two years. But we adapted to those hurdles. Our legs became longer and the leaps became hops. We learned how to budget and how to become minimalists. We got experience by experiencing. We overcame fear by feeling it so often we confused it with excitement. Anyone can do this. Anyone.
I am no motivational speaker but I am certainly motivated to bring awareness to the Great Loop and to help encourage others to consider this an option. I invite you to join me for an AGLCA seminar Saturday, April 18 during which I’ll share the why’s and wherefores – why Katie and I traveled the loop, how we did it, how we financed it, our scariest moments, the good the bad and the ugly, and most importantly how we have changed because of it.
Come hang out. Have a beer. Pick my brain and I’ll pick yours. It will be great.
- I still reside in Traverse City, MI. Working part time as a personal trainer. Part time bartender. Part time wedding photographer. And when I am not working on being all of those women, I am working on being the other one I want to be… a cave-woman, who sits in front of her desk and writes till a book is born.
- Katie moved to June Lake, California. Together with her handsome boyfriend they have four dogs. Yes Reggie is one of those dogs. Captain Reg & Katie are very happy to be back in the mountains, where space is unlimited and you can pee anywhere. She will be working at a charming coffee shop & hotel at the entrance to Yosemite National Park. Most likely spending all of her free time running around with four legged creatures and saving birds n’ things.
- We recently met up half way in between CA, and MI and spent a few days in Colorado together. We are still best friends, and understand every single thought that goes through each others head. In fact this entire winter not only were we dealing our own adjustments, indecisiveness, and decision making, but each other’s as well. It was like double estrogen. Awful right? I didn’t realize how much we had been feeding off of eachother. I texted her recently and said “I say this in the nicest way possible – “I am so glad you’re gone because I can finally think for just myself. I didn’t realize how much work this was.” We laughed. She completely agreed. Katie and I live parallel lives. Doesn’t matter if I’m here and she’s there. In fact when we met up in Colorado we had the exact same sickness (razor throat ) at time of arrival. Not long before that we shared insomnia on the same night. And in no time we will be buying donkeys for a trek across America. Because America is really cool.
- A few months back, we went to an audition in Detroit for “The Amazing Race” One of the weirder things I have ever done.
- I am continuing to write my series with “Cruising Outpost” So keep buying issues!!!!!
- Also keep an eye out for the May/June issue of SAILING magazine, you will find us inside and we are beyond flattered to be a part of this one !!!
- Louise has moved on to new ownership. I will have an entire story about this in the near future, but please stay tuned because not only did they buy Louise to DO THE LOOP, but they are also bringing A DOG (OR TWO) !!! The Louise legacy continues !!!!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU TO EVERYONES WHO KEEPS COMING BACK, AND TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN HERE SINCE THE BEGINNING. WITHOUT YOU I WOULD BE….. I DONT KNOW WHAT I WOULD BE…. A HOT MESS.
PLEASE EMAIL ME IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE UPCOMING EVENT. I’D ALSO LOVE SOME FEEDBACK ON WHY YOU THINK THE GREAT LOOP IS AN UNKNOWN ODYSSEY AND HOW WE CAN HELP CHANGE THAT.