The short answer is because I love this planet, and want to see its diverse and beautiful ecosystems while they’re still around. I want to share these experiences with those who are not as fortunate to see them for themselves, and encourage people to recognize the impact they have on our climate and ecosystems at large.
The long answer is more existential:
I come from a background where I was privileged enough to receive a first-rate education and thereafter obtain a somewhat lucrative job as a software developer. But the people in my field work a lot. 60-hour weeks were common, and the most-successful individuals worked their weekends. I was paid well, but at cost of time. I was trading the precious days of my “youth” for financial gain.
The truth is, I would have been a lot happier if I could work 3 days a week for 3/5ths the money. It would have been enough to live off happily, and still pursue many of my interests. I know this is true, too, as I spent 5 years of my life as a poor graduate student, and these were some of my happiest years. But unless you’re self-employed, most jobs won’t offer such a deal.
In my opinion, if someone is working all the time because they need to make a living or because they love what they do, then they are doing it for a good reason. If they’re working all the time because they want to make more money, then I question their choices.
I quit my job because I fell into this latter category. I took a look at my life and made several important observations: today I have my health, I have modest financial savings, and I have no anchoring obligations. If there were any time to pursue an adventure of a lifetime, it had to be now, for tomorrow I might have cancer, lose all my money, or, god forbid, fall in love.
So here I am, in paradise, on a small sailboat, with ambitions bigger than I yet understand.