The Only Trip You Need In Life

by Lisa Baird

Nora Ephron once said, “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don't take it off until you're thirty-four.”

I haven’t been able to get this off my mind.  Regret hounds us.  Silent, relentless, it whips around every corner, follows us down every alley, and never runs out of breath.  It’s a clever little fucker, and indefatigable, too.

The endless chase isn’t all bad, though.  Running from regret is precisely what landed most of us in the kickass social positions that we currently enjoy.  Where would legions of IB associates be without a touch of the old regret to drive them into Dartmouth, HBS, and beyond?  Manhattan island would have a population of exactly eight if there weren’t some people outrunning regret, and Elite Daily a readership of four.

But still.  It’s a bit uncomfortable, no?  Lurking.  Knocking.  With every birthday, getting louder.

YOLO is an indisputable fact, but it contains some nuance that deserves mentioning.  There are specific slices – tranches if you will – that sit side by side in the continuum of your earthly life, and there are corresponding limitations for every single one of those tranches.

In this sense, YOLO is a call-to-arms that is steeped in much more urgency within each tranche than as a mantra overall.  But how does one condense “you’re only 28 with disposable income, limited responsibility, and a valid passport once” into a meme?

Fortunately, those with the capacity to regret aren’t idiots.  There’s an inverse correlation there that we’ll save for another post, but suffice it to say mamma didn’t raise no fool.  If there’s a way to crush regret, we’re on it like white on rice.  We are, after all, a generation that knows how to live.

Which bring us back to the bikini. The bikini, in all it’s bright, tiny wetness, is a metaphor for that utterly free, insanely fun, and incredibly transitory luxury:  youth.  It’s the scarcest of all luxuries, and if you believe classic economic theory, the most dear.  So don’t fucking waste it.

On that note, there is one – just one – trip that you absolutely must take now if you have any real intention of hoodwinking regret.  That, my friends, is flotilla yachting.  There is nothing like it in the world.  Don’t roll your eyes.  This is for you, yes you – the one that thinks ten weeks with a backpack and a “Tuscany” journal is enough.  This is for you.  This is serious.

A few weeks ago, Elite Daily writer Sophie Winckel wrote about “Yuppies & The Yacht Week” in this fine publication.  Go ahead, search for it.  Every single word she wrote is gospel.  I myself am an alumna of TYW Croatia 2012, and without rehashing the glory of that epic week, let it be known Ms. Winckel speaks the truth.  It’s like a summer camp 15-year reunion with money.  It’s the fleet.

I implore – beg – every single thinking person reading these words to go right now and enlist in one week of flotilla yachting in the Mediterranean this summer before it’s too late.  Before the relationship bog (despite best efforts of Mr. Paul Hudson and Mr. Preston Waters to deter you).  Before the management bog (because you’ll get promoted much sooner than you think).  Before the torn ACL/MCL on both sides bog (since it’s a numbers game, folks; you can only ride so many mountains until the unthinkable).

In the interest of full disclosure, my experience in Croatia last year inspired me, two of my crew, and two of The Yacht Week skippers to join forces as a fivesome and establish our own flotilla yachting company, YachtLegend.  Same exact concept, just a luxe version that sails around Ibiza.  I really don’t care which one you pick, as long as you promise, me, yourself, your pride, and all of your unborn progeny that you will not fail this tranche.

Fucking do it.  I am passionate about this.  I am proselytizing.  If you do this one trip (just once!), you will never live another moment in doubt, and you will never, ever regret.

At least not on the travel checklist.

Lisa Baird | Elite.