In case you missed it on Instagram, Sea duction has sold! Bittersweet *sniff sniff*
Our full-time cruising lifestyle has had it’s ups and downs like any other way of life. So, in the interests of providing helpful information to those just starting out or considering whether they should toss every thing they own and sail off into the sunset. I’ll start by saying that there are so many wonderful things about sailing and full-time travel; your universe is dedicated to personal pleasure and flexibility to do as you please. Yet, there are some things that made me lose my damn mind and scream out: “I just want to go home!”
- Being held at the mercy of the weather. From the outside looking in people may think you have total control and freedom of your time, when in fact it’s the exact opposite. You can plan, plan, plan but reality is your decisions are based off of what mother nature wants you to do and when.
- Inconvenience. The smallest of task take twice as long but nothing like the teeth clenching, hair pulling frustrations of hauling your laundry for a mile in the heat to pay an arm and leg for a washing machine that doesn’t work or fully dry, marina showers that have no hot water and places that you trek far to only to find that they are not open “today”.
- Being uncomfortable. Deep down, I’m a homebody. I love comfy, cozy, homey things, and even though we filled the boat with all of our personal comforts. It never quite felt like “home”. After a 24-hour passage, just bashing straight into it, you are mentally, physically, and emotionally drained. Going to a (non-moving) home and collapsing into a couch or blanket to wrap up in was like my go-to fantasy. Instead, reality was salt water had leaked onto the bed, it’s hot, your sweaty, and mosquitos are about to attack.
- Speaking another language. This actually makes both list. It is fun but also exhausting. Practicing what you’re going to say in your head before every order or interaction and then still being starred at with a confused look because you totally butchered the accent. Sometimes you really, really, just want to communicate in English for a bit. It’s a good thing we didn’t need medicine or a doctor … can’t image preparing that speech.
- Grocery shopping. Putting your groceries into a car and driving them home is such a luxury I think majority of people take for granted. I know we did. We hauled a lot of grocery bags in the heat and rain. Sometimes we miss American foods (mostly brands or specific items like sour cream, tortilla chips (not $8 a bag), craft beer) and miss living in a country where groceries are so easily accessible. We’re all for local but you can’t always trust the ground beef in the local markets. Sometimes, it’s great; sometimes, not so much.
**Haha, that second picture – I was so nauseous and sleep deprived.
- Fooood. We can say pretty confidently that, “American cuisine” is truly garbage! Yeah, we still crave those guilty pleasures like Taco Bell but there is nothing better than having local, fresh, authentic and home cooked meals in its country of origin. We are forever ruined! Number one goes to Dominican Republic, so amazing! Crispy, juicy, flavorful chicken, rice, beans, yuca, and empanadas made to order, fully stuffed, and so big its takes both hands to eat.. Second goes to the French islands. Colombo, Bokit, Accra’s, meats, cheeses, baguettes…the list goes on. We have such an appreciation for good food and admire the dining culture. Every dish we ate always felt like it was prepared with a lot of love that had gone into it. In the islands it’s meant to be enjoyed and shared.
- Keeping up with foreign languages. This might be a different one than most would list but we loved immersing ourselves in the culture of each island. Not only was it a necessity in order to get around and interact but we really enjoyed learning the language. Brent took on Spanish and I, French. We made this a priority before we started cruising and as we continued to cruise. Duolingo is such a fantastic app. It’s something I’ve tried to keep up on post boat life. However, the best teacher is just getting out there and using it with native speakers. They also really appreciate the effort no matter how badly you mess up.
- Our People. Any cruiser will tell you that it’s the people you meet, as much as the places you go, that make the journey what it is. Genuinely some of the most interesting, warmhearted, pleasant, crazy people we have ever met. Each of whom we’ll never forget; the young adventurers, budding film producers, hopeful rockstars and of course, the avid party animal. They were all meant to be on the same path (if only for a little while) and to play a part – big or small – in the whirlwind that was our sailing journey. Friends, we are so thankful for you and that you were along for this crazy ride with us. It has been the highlight of our lives and we will never forget it, or you.
- Not being held at the mercy of other people. Lines, crowds, traffic, noise…Blame it on the surplus of fresh ocean air but we’ve been on Island time for too long. But seriously, where do you need to be in such a rush, people?! With a slower pace of life, you come to notice the beauty in the simple things – Soaking up the sun, drinking a cold beverage, laughing with friends, and living your best life on the island. Plus, you can walk around carrying a machete and cut down coconuts to drink and nobody will think that’s weird. lol. It’s a lesson we’ve taken from our roots in larger cities that carries immeasurable value when it comes to leading a balanced post boat life.
- Watching the sunset everyday. We saw the sunset every single evening. And it was magical! At the end of each day, we would cook and hang out in our cockpit with a beer in hand while watching the whole sky turn into a shade of gold. It was such a privilege having the time and opportunity to stop and enjoy beautiful moments like these. That also meant we could wake up to see the sunrise from our bed and enjoy the views through our windows.
Boat life is a rollercoaster! Like most things in life, good things don’t come easy. Traveling by sailboat can come with all kinds of challenges and not everyone’s experience will be the same. Adjust your expectations, be mentally prepared for things to go wrong, and don’t compare your experiences with what you see on social media. There will be days when you feel absolutely on top of the world, and days that are more challenging.