Living in the moment

by Margie on May 17, 2009

Living on a boat is interesting. Drew and I usually find ourselves to be one of few couples, or groups, in our age bracket that have chosen to spend this time in our lives sailing. Most people whose waves you cross out here are closer to our parents age and this has been their dream for as long as they can remember…often times longer than Drew or myself have been alive. We constantly try to remove our feet from our mouths, having to say “oh…we didn’t mean it that way” when we refer to the older age bracket of most of our fellow travelers. There is never an ounce of disrespect in our words. Just blatant fact. It’s okay mom and dad…god willing, Drew and I will be listening to our kids do the same thing one day.

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However, believe me…there may be a few more years notched on their belts but whatever the age, be it 40, 50, 60, or even 70…EVERYONE OUT HERE IS YOUNG AT HEART.

Truth is…whether you’ve had this dream for thirty years, or ten, there is a connection you find amongst yourselves, no matter the age difference, unlike that of anything I have ever experienced. The more I learn about sailing the more I’ll be able to participate in conversations but for now, I mostly sit back and listen to Drew and our newest companions (usually males) talk about types of engines, outboard motors, dinghys, satellites, weather patterns. All the while laughing to myself as they each try to hide behind their polarized sunglass lenses when the occasional female walks by on the dock or glides by in in a boat. And even though I might not understand it all just yet, my heart is happy because there is never a time that Drew’s face lights up more than it does when he is talking about his pride and joy, Dosia

We often get the questions that you would normally expect people to ask us–how are you able to do this at such a young age…how can you afford it…what do your parents think about you being all the way out here…(the inevitable) how did you guys meet (we always have fun telling that one)…what about jobs…are you nervous to go back at the end and basically start all over…

We cant, and won’t lie, that returning back to the states after our journey is over (whenever that shall be) is scary. We pretty much know our life as far as November and even that is not set in stone. After that’s its an open book. Drew does his best to keep us in a position where we will not go home to nothing but you do find yourself faced with the fact that according to the “norm” we should be settling down, focusing on careers, saving money, etc.

I have not had the pleasure to meet the couple below, Antonia and Peter, just yet, or their one and a half year old son, Silas, who has joined in their journey and is now on their boat with them. Drew met them in the boatyard in Ecuador. They are now getting ready to leave New Zealand and move to Fiji on their boat. And we want to introduce you to them because she is hands down one of the funniest and best blog writers we have ever come across. I wanted to correlate this blog in with one that she wrote and it all has to do with the many questions we face spending these years in our lives on a boat. I have never heard it said better…

“The first time I decided to go sailing, it was 1999, and everyone who knew their way around a computer was busy making their first million, while I savvily decided to drop out on a sailboat in the Caribbean. This earned me a net profit of zero dollars, though it did set my life on a fairly consistent path of seeking more boats on which to drop out, spoiling any long-term career ambitions I may once have had and ensuring that any money I ever made would quickly be squandered on marinized stainless steel and underwater epoxy.

But now I’m thirty-four years old, a real grown-up, a mother. Silas is just learning how to walk. I should be shopping for the best preschool, working my way up the corporate ladder, saving for college and retirement, buying a home and a better car and acquiring a mortgage. Or at least, that’s what the pictures on TV tell me I should be doing.

But one day ten years ago, while sailing through the Bahamas, I leaned backwards over the lifelines and I saw: the pink sky at dawn over a rose-tinted sea. The sun glimmering over the horizon and the moon, watchful in the heavens. I had the sensation of skimming over the surface of a water-washed planet, a human with a place in an intricate cosmos.

That’s what I want to give my son.”

Cheers to that.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz May 20, 2009 at 5:48 am

you know, just because something is “the norm” doesn’t mean that path is right for you. you make your own way and live your life how you see fit. seems like you guys are on the right track to me.

love the new pics!

Emily May 20, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Hey Margie!
It’s Sarah Bell’s older sister, I’ve loved living vicariously through your blog! I was browsing y’alls links the other day and read that post you just quoted. I made my husband come over and read it too. That pretty much sums up what I think life should be about! Y’all have a blast!

Melinda May 28, 2009 at 6:58 pm

I could cry… I left Australia to live in Italy for 4.5 years when I was 22.. I came back a few months ago and everyone is either married, trying for children, have their house/s, Cars and great paying jobs. EEK, I have nothing but the clothes I brought back with me… I have been trying to fit back in to society but I CANT!!!! All I can think about is where I can go to next… Yet everyone keeps telling me I should be looking for a good job, finding a house to settle in, buying a car… THANK you for putting up a blog like this – It really set my mind at ease to confirm that life is not all about those materialistic things and not everyone is set on a path to become the executive of a corporate company! Im so envious of you both – So much that I am going to book the next trip… =) Ciiiaaaooooo

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