This week, while recording my book for audible.com, I have been locked in a recording studio reading my book out loud. As I revisited my journey around the world, I was taken aback by the many experiences that reminded me to appreciate my life.
From nearly running out of air while tangled in an anchor line at the bottom of the red sea, to surviving brutal storms, I have been a lucky guy. I have learned to value the life I have while always striving to improve my life and the lives of others.
Probably the most significant near miss was, on a whim, escaping the wrath of the tsunami in Thailand. One day near Thanksgiving of 2004, while having a cocktail on deck, we began discussing plans for the Christmas holidays. We planned to anchor at Patong beach because it’s such a beautiful shallow anchorage where you can anchor very close to the beach and swim back and forth to shore. And, there’s always a big Christmas bash the night of the 25th.
On a whim, we decided instead to come home to California for the Christmas holidays. It was a change of plans that was unusual for us. In fact, it was the only time we changed our plans on a whim during the entire trip. Was it mere coincidence? Luck? Fate? That impulsive decision was the difference between life and death.
The tsunami hit Patong beach the morning of December 26 square-on, and so hard the town practically became a modern day Atlantis. Thousands were killed and the wall of water would surely have hit us too. All of those beautiful friendly people are gone… vanished. Thanksgiving will always remind me of how fragile life is — how much we should appreciate what we have — and to give thanks for life.