WATCH: Sailing around the world in five years...or more

THE longing to leave everything behind, to disappear on a boat with no final destination in sight, this feeling seems to be felt by everyone, but it's only the few who truly embrace it.

It's a scary thought- to disappear- to leave everything and live with minimal provisions, minimal worries and many would call this madness.

There's one woman, a sailor, Anne Pilcher Gough, 64, who is adamant that anyone and everyone has the means to dive into the unknown.

"These windows I've found in life just open up, and people ask me 'would you like to do this?' and if you've got a partner that wants to go with you or give you the freedom to go alone, just say yes," she said.

Growing up on the waters-edge in Sydney, Anne was inspired by her grand-father who was a master mariner.

"I didn't get into sailing properly until I was in my teenage years," she said.

"I think I got the sailing bug through my grand-father though, he would tell me about the rush of climbing to mast and releasing the sails."

Now having sailed for more than 35 years, Anne is circumnavigating the world as a semi-retirement.

"I decided to do the circumnavigation because I've done various parts of the world but not the whole world and there's always more to see," she said.

"Maybe five years, who knows how long it's going to take, the joy is there now and I've always loved sailing so I just can't stop doing it."

The journey began one year ago when Anne and her New Zealand partner left from the bottom of the South island of New Zealand from Riverton.

"We've got as far as the Solomon Islands, having gone to Vanuatu and then we left the boat in the Solomon's before flying to Australia," she said.

 In 2007 Anne had the opportunity to sail through the north-west passage of Antarctica.

"You've never seen anything like the wildlife in these high latitudes," she said.

"It's all in your face, there's life and death all around you.

"Hundreds of whales every day, hundreds of penguins, hundreds of seals."

These amazing opportunities to sail in high latitudes Anne credits to yacht delivery jobs which she started doing 18 years ago.

"I got paid for the interesting things and the interesting places I got to see," she said.

"It's a way of travelling round the world, a wonderful way to do it, just meeting people from extreme areas and not many people want to travel in the Arctic or the Antarctic."

It's a life that many would envy, sailing around the seas with the world's treasures at your fingertips, but it's one that's quite achievable, if one has the courage to just say "yes".

"Because I've been able to say yes, once my son had grown up, I was free to go off and not be a mum all the time," Anne said.

"The whole world is there for all of us to explore, and I do love travel and obviously I'm still doing it, it's a like a busman's holiday this sailing around the world."