It’s our ONE YEAR boat-aversey! As we look back on the good, the bad, and the amazing! I gotta say it’s been easy sharing all the fun times and pictures of beautiful white sandy beaches and palm trees, because they really are some special moments that we’ll never forget! But what if I told you to imagine boat life as being woken up at 4am to heavy rain leaking in on you or the sound of your alarm letting you know your anchor is dragging, or that another boat put out too much scope and they’ve just hit you? Yup. That’s #realboatlife. Boat ownership is sorta a love/hate relationship.
It’s also easy to forget about the realities of living on a sailboat even more so with social media – you rarely see that other side. But as full-time cruisers the reality is life keeps going inside of our tiny home and we still have bills to pay, severe weather, laundry, disagreements, and unexpected events thrown at us. It’s a lifestyle we chose no doubt and we wouldn’t trade this experience for anything because after the storms pass and the skies clear, we get to sit back, crack a cold beer and enjoy the sunset again and again and again. However, it’s important to be honest about live-aboard life and full-time travel. It’s an awesome adventure, yes, but by no means a vacation.
Allow me to lift the frolicking on the beach with a coconut curtain and let you in on the highs and lows of living on a sailboat after one year. I’ll start with the lows so that we can end on a high note, in no particular order.
Lows of cruising:
- When its raining – When you have hours or days of heavy rain, boat life is a real drag. We like going ashore, relaxing outside, hiking outside, and eating outside. All boat activities are done OUTSIDE. Your not generating any solar power those days (no sunshine) so you gotta go easy on electronics and you’ve already played 10 rounds of Uno, and checked for leaks…it starts to feel like cabin fever.
- Corrosion – My personal rule is, if you really really like something don’t bring it on the boat. Especially items that aren’t replaceable. Just about everything on a boat wants to rust, including the straps of a cute new swim suit, shoes, sunglasses, zippers, lights, wine openers, etc. Grrr…We had to throw away a good amount of stuff last season.
- When you want to be with friends – Guess what? Our friends aren’t here… Unless barracudas count. Thank goodness for FaceTime dates. When boredom sets in you miss friends and family. Homesickness comes and goes and your going to miss out on some things like birthdays, special events, etc.
- The small stuff – Adapting to a smaller space involves some cuts, bangs and bruises that I hadn’t anticipated. Whether it’s bumping your head on the headliner or our boom, that one got me pretty good – mother%#*@$! or missing a step coming down the companionway too quickly expect to get a little beat up while you find your way through a new (tiny) living space.
- Motion in the ocean – A rolly anchorage or marina makes for the worst nights sleep – ever! There are times when it’s so awful you can’t sleep at all. It could be due to high winds or boat traffic causing waves to crash onto the side of the boat, knocking you and your stuff around. Either way, your guaranteed to feel like crap the next day.
Highs of cruising:
- Freedom – Overall, the best part of this journey has been time. Along with living where you want, for as long as you want, and not being confined to the typical tourist trap vacation is exciting. We get to see things that majority of the people traveling to these islands don’t get to. Eating different foods, and immersing ourselves in the local communities awakens your senses and gives you perspective on life before cruising.
- The world is beautiful – Crystal clear waters, lush green scenery, brilliantly red and orange sunsets, and sand that looks like powder sugar. I could go on and on but there’s been moments throughout this year that I’m so thankful for the gift of sight. It’s amazing how many times we have said WOW did you see that! Or this is cool! The world is full of a lot of beauty, charm, and adventure. The inspiration behind the Seek To See More name and I hope we never stop searching for it.
- People – We’ve all chosen this lifestyle so it’s nice meeting like minded people you can relate to…were all in the same boat 😉 and bond over the common joys and problems of full-time cruising. People are always willing to help, watch out for you/your boat, and offer up advice and expertise when needed. You’re never alone and that’s a good feeling.
- Adventure buddy – “So your together 24/7, in a small space, and still like each other”? Yup! We do! *heart eyes* Are there times when we get hangry or stressed the hell out while docking, yes! And I’m not saying that we don’t take any “me” time. But we genuinely enjoy the day to day of being together in some beautiful, crazy, and hectic situations. Team work makes the dream work! We believe our travels have only strengthened our relationship.
- Less junk – When you live on a boat you have to live small. We really like living a minimalist lifestyle. It’s eye opening how much stuff you really don’t need and once it’s gone you don’t even miss that box of DVDs stashed at the bottom of your closet that you thought you couldn’t live without. There is literally not enough space to move around if surrounded by useless stuff. So, we got rid of 90% of what we owned, left a few items behind, and took the rest with us.
Happy one year to us! Cheers!