For many years we have had a traditional work life, punctuated by sailing weekends and long cruising holidays. For many years we have dreamed of starting a new season in our life, doing a sea change, and soon this dream will turn into reality.
Our sea change won’t be just a move from city to seaside. It will be a move from land to sea. We will become sea wanderers and live full-time on board Take It Easy. The change is significant, not something too many folks typically embark on. People we know are fascinated by our choice and somewhat perplexed at the same time. So over the next few months we thought we would write several posts about what is involved in making the transition.
Today our focus is “life afloat – a shared dream”.
The sea and sailing have been our passion for many years. Nature and “playing” in it together have long been a strong connection between us. A common hobby keeps you spending time together, having fun together, and working as a team. After a while you envisage that hobby as your life. You catch yourselves saying “would not it be amazing if we could do this full time… What if we did not have to come back, what if we could just stay out there, keep exploring”. The vision of life afloat has been clear in our mind for a while and it has given us a sense of direction. So we have dreamed it, planned it, and soon we will be living it.
Having a shared passion makes a huge difference to your ability to feel connected and close to one another. Doing something that is fulfilling, rewarding, energizing really sustains you individually and as a couple. We feel lucky to have this. If you ask Wade what he loves about cruising, he will tell you that he likes working with the wind and the weather, going to beautiful, tranquil spots, discovering new things and meeting people with similar interests. I love the closeness with nature, the sense of awe, discovery and adventure you get, and the periods of solitude and solace in the wilderness, away from crowds. For both of us cruising also brings a multitude of small challenges and achievements each day, a feeling of self-sufficiency, an opportunity for problem solving, learning, refining, finessing what we do.
Even though you share a common dream, you still have to work at the reality of daily life on board. You are after all in a tight space, and can sometimes be in stressful or uncomfortable situations. So we find we have to be very much aware of each other’s needs and be accommodating. It is important to treat one another with kindness and mutual respect to enjoy a harmonious life. It is not always perfect, mind you, but perfection does not really exist.
One thing we have always been conscious of is the need to maintain individual hobbies and activities because that allows you to keep some independence and have time to yourself. You don’t have to do everything together, in fact it is better if you don’t. Wade loves tinkering, always on the lookout for better ways of doing things on board and always fixing something! He is also the social one of us two, and will readily hop into the dinghy to go visiting other yachts in an anchorage. I love photography – nature, wildlife and seascapes are what I focus on and our lifestyle provides a wealth of opportunities to practise this. And I also love writing about our experiences through our blog and magazine articles. So both hobbies bring me hours of pleasure.
People ask us “how long will you do this for?” The truth is we don’t know, but envisage this will be our life for several years or until it stops being fun.