How did it all start? How did we find ourselves on this journey? And why… ?
Those were the questions racking my brain this morning as I drank my coffee and stared out the window. Well, those were the questions that ended up with the creation of this blog. But first came a series of random thoughts… The grass needs to be cut, I need to call the lawn man. The woods have been cleared out, I hate that. A new subdivision has been built, I can now see their houses. I wonder if they can see me, I think I’ll have to get blinds for the windows. I wonder what kind of people are living next to me now, do I still feel like I can enjoy life outside.. in my bikini.. ?
You see, up until a few months ago we lived in peace and quiet at the end of two dead end streets in the middle of the woods. Well, the woods took a beating when Hurricane Rita passed through and it seems civilization has been creeping up on us for the last 10 years and the last 3 months civilization has won. Our once sheltered yard, surrounded by woods, is now gone and a complete subdivision has been built behind us, full of manufactured matching homes. The grown over areas leading out of town to our home have been cleared and a series of metal buildings ready to be leased out to the first company that shows interest have replaced the trees and tranquility of “country life”. Okay, so it really never was country life. Just a few miles out of town. But for 30 years it has been quiet, secluded, and peaceful. Not anymore.
I guess that is why when my husband, who successfully built a fishing boat last year, told me he wanted to build a bigger boat, my wheels started turning. My CFO brain stared thinking cost vs. usability vs. practicability vs…. heck, is this just another toy? another accumulation of stuff? We tend to do that. We want to play golf, so we invest in top dollar equipment, play for a couple of years then our clubs start gathering dust. We want to play music, so we invest in top dollar equipment, play for a couple of years, then use the guitars for wall art. Name a hobby and we’ve probably spent money on it and then stashed it. So I was leary of a boat becoming another one of those projects (I mean, the fishing boat he built has only seen water a few times!) Again, practical money management brain steps in and begins to think. IF we built a boat big enough to retire on, then it wouldn’t just be a passing hobby, but an investment into our future. Plus, retirement is at least 10 years away, so we have plenty of time. And wow, that is all my hubby needed to take off and begin to find any and all boats to show me.
Well, the problem with looking at boats, is that it isn’t the same as being on a boat. I mean, I’ve been on lots of boats, but one big enough to live on? Nope. And I had no idea what I would want or need in a boat. And no matter how many pictures he showed me, I was just completely lost, I had no frame of reference to have a clue as to what I was looking at.
That went on for a couple of months. During that time we took a few trips on catamarans, since that is what we thought we would build, and I loved them.. until I had to use the bathroom (oops, the head). My claustrophobia kicked in and told my brain to run, I could never live on something that restricting, that narrow. Dreams smashed? Not for my resourceful hubby who then begin to send me countless images of sailboats.
I guess really up until that point, I don’t want to say I was just pacifying him.. but in some ways I suppose I was. He has a tendency to get a one track mind when he wants something. It’s like a challenge for him to find something he wants, research it, and convince me that he needs it, then convince me that we need to spend money on it. I guess some part of me just assumed that this was what was going on with him, but somewhere along the way I realized that he had me hooked too. I wanted this. I really wanted this.
I begin to imagine a life on a boat. No need to ever get out of my bikini, no need to put on shoes. It really already matched so much of how I wanted to live anyway. I just always thought I would retire to a little condo on the beach. So it was only a minor adjustment to my ideals, but such a big adjustment. I started to imagine what it would be like to live without all the “stuff” we accumulate. I started planning what we would keep, what we would need on the boat, what we would do to occupy our time. My guitar, my Pitching Wedge, my iPad for countless books to read, and my Bikinis. Is that really all I need to enjoy life? Then what the heck am I doing spending a fortune on crap every month? Maybe this is something we need to do now, not save it for when we retire. Can we move up our time frame and make it happen now?
Maybe. It’s like everything else. Just an idea. But I started reading blogs about liveaboards. I started reading articles about financing boats and the buying process. I started looking at our property value and what it would take to sell our house. I stared asking my children if they would like the idea of a living on a boat, attending different schools – we still have a 9th grader and a 4th grader at home – if we move up our timeframe, what does that do to them? What about work, we still have to make money, how do we do that? Yeah.. lots of ideas floating through my mind. Ideas, but no answers. No plans.
So, as I was drinking my coffee this morning, I look up to a quote that is on my wall:
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it is always ourselves that we find in the sea. ~EE Cummings
Am I lost? I sure feel like it. When I read all of those blogs about why people chose to liveaboard, I find myself in tears because it matches the way I feel so closely. Can I find myself at sea? If so, I sure want to do it now when I’m young enough to enjoy it, not when I’m old, hate the way I look in a bikini, and won’t be able to explore what the water has to offer.
Then I look up and out the window. My home, my retreat from the world, it doesn’t really exist anymore. Everywhere I look outside, my sense of privacy, of freedom, of solitude is being encroached upon.
And then it hit me. I’ve decided. It’s not a dream anymore, it will be a reality. And to make things reality you have to take action. So.. tickets to the Annapolis Boat Show in October 2015, flights, and hotel accommodations are made.
Step one. Identify our Boat. (afterall… we already have her name, but more about that next time)