I wasn’t told how much of the cruising lifestyle has nothing to do with sailing. I’d assumed that since I was living on a sailboat and bringing that sailboat to any destination that I would automatically learn all a mariner should, just through osmosis. All the stories of the sea would be mine; I’d see every storm, relish every landfall, and find true love in every port. But three months in, all of these experiences end up being less romantic. Other simple things are the most vivid. As it turns out, the whole town is not abuzz when dropping anchor in a foreign port and the women aren’t lined up on the dinghy dock. Sometimes the authorities aren’t even that concerned with our little boat bobbing in the anchorage for a few days. “Come back mañana.” I’m learning that the cleanest beaches are the most touristy. Plastics litter the otherwise virgin beaches. And my Spanish is getting worse. Along the coastlines, the resort towns are used to seeing Americans, and their English is practiced. The goals of every day are different, though the rhythm doesn’t change. Describing what a typical day looks like for us could either fill a person with envy at our freedom, our unending vacation, or fill them with anxiety over our lack of “productivity.” Our days are pretty similar to that of a vacationer: wake up when you want, make tea, go to shore, eat, walk around, find wifi, eat, etc. Only we run on a tighter budget. Visas alone cost enough. Dock slips don’t even enter our thoughts. Continuing through the longest vacation of my life, I find myself trying to understand what is the purpose. My days are enjoyable and easy. Even days of hard labor on the boat, a frustrating project, these can be interrupted at any moment if it suites me. I do yoga most days, run, swim, and have the time to take care of myself. So why am I feeling this guilt and listlessness? It’s actually harder than I thought to push aside societal thoughts. The fact that I could be working, could be contributing, could be helping people, but instead we’re down here slowly exploring, living the life of retirees. But seeing the sun rise and set every day, swimming and exploring, returning to childlike joys–these all seem like the choices of a responsible adult. And we get continual encouragement: “Do it while you’re young,” the old cruisers tell us. But then again, I don’t think they are aging much either.
Posted by: Dylan Dwyer
Thinking of you! Spring is here and and we are watching for tornadoes and spring storms, soon we will be sailing.
How do I express a momma’s feelings after reading these last two posts? A combination of feeling like you’re right here just chatting with me and loving every word with the flip side of also hearing some of your sadness which of course I feel too. Love you and miss you so. Keep on exploring and writing and sharing your thoughts. And I’ll keep being the momma who feels happy, sad and bursting with pride.
So, you have made it to Belize already? That is great!! I suppose you are staying on the outer islands. Belive me, I do not think there is anything intereting to see in downtown Belize City. Hope to hear what you thought of Cuba. Bon voyage!!