When 44-year-old Barbara Singer walked away from a life that had become increasingly difficult, she did not walk directly aboard a boat. She took a road trip from Pennsylvania to Alaska and back before signing on as paid crew on a sailboat in the Caribbean. It was an excellent time for a midlife reinvention. Her only kid had gone off to college, she had divorced, and she’d fallen in love with a man who had suddenly died.

Singer’s journey became what she calls an “Eat, Pray, Love” experience. As she listened to tapes by Neale Donald Walsh and Deepak Chopra, and read books by Brian Weiss and Shakti Gawain, she began awakening. “Not waking up like I am sleeping, but wake up my soul like it was asleep . . . knowing what I want is the only thing I have to do and then let the universe handle the rest.” She made 3×5 cards to read each morning and night. Affirmations. Judgment keeps us from joy. Life is always a result of our thoughts. Expectation makes us unhappy. She assures readers that anyone can have an “Eat, Pray, Love” experience, can re-engineer their own lives.

The first two weeks of island hopping aboard the sailboat led her to learnings, a bit of re-engineering of thoughts about sailing. Not quite what Neale & Deepak teach, but legitimate learnings nevertheless . . .

  1. You must really love a dog to have it on a boat.
  2. Weather forecasters lie.
  3. We don’t sail, we motor.
  4. We don’t go fast. I can run faster than the boat.

Singer is selling the “You can do this too” line prevalent in those who have recently sailed off into the sunset, perhaps a bit more directly than most. Her second book is already available to teach you how to follow in her wake. Readers need to confront themselves, she says.

  • Would you rather have a plane ticket or a mortgage?
  • Would you rather have freedom or a paycheck?
  • Would you rather have a backpack or a walk-in closet?
  • Would you rather live your dream or watch it on reality TV?

She offers a series of tips on how folks can free themselves from life ashore: Liquidate your home. Sell your car. Get healthy. Forget about security and responsibilities. Then, Happy Happiness Search!

Living Without Reservations: A Journey by Land & Sea in Search of Happiness By Barbara Singer (Hear Me Roar Press, 2010; 436 Pages)