Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sailor or Traveler?

So I’ve joined a group of bloggers called the “Raft-Up”.  It was the brain child of Dana (svnorthfork.blogspot.com) and it’s kind of a chance to sit back and think about a (pre-selected) topic, do a little soul searching, and share it via our blogs.  There are 11 of us posting right now and it’s completely open.  I feel like it’s almost like a long distance book club of sorts – a fun way to get a bunch of different perspectives.   At the end of this post you’ll find the rest of the writers and some other great blogs to follow if you are interested….

Since Brett and I haven’t actually left yet, I am the newbie writing from the “getting ready to go” perspective and this month’s topic – Are you a Sailor or a Traveler? – had me doing some serious thinking.

When Brett and I first started dating, I had done enough traveling to know I wanted more – a LOT MORE. So when he expressed his dream to go cruising on a sailboat, I found myself thinking – people actually do that?  Are you kidding?  Where do I sign up??? 

The bottom line is that I love to travel, but I can’t stand living out of a suitcase and having to pack up and move to a new spot every couple of days.  While it’s wonderful to see all the sights and visit the locations that everyone says you should see, I have always wished I could stay in places for longer periods of time.  I find the idea of making friends with people in a location, meeting their kids, learning about their life and getting to know the land really appealing.  What is their life really like? 

Add the ability to do it from the comfort of my own home, without the constant packing and unpacking or airplanes and it sounds like a dream come true.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand that it’s really all about boat repair in exotic places – but I’m pretty sure I’ll get to do some looking around between repairs.

So yes – initially it was about the travel.  But after almost 10 years of preparation, I have definitely discovered a love for being on the water.  And while boating with your parents as a kid is great, boating with the man you love as an adult is WAY better!  Once you get past the (ahem) “communication issues” that all couples have when they first start boating together (another blog topic???), I can safely say that many of my favorite moments with Brett have happened while we were out on our boat together.

Leaving one’s comfort zone is definitely tough and somewhat overwhelming – that’s why it’s called the comfort zone!  Leaving all our family and friends will be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  But the travel, the sailing, meeting new people and experiencing things I could never even imagine – I can’t help but feel it will be worth every moment of the fear and uncertainty I will face.  I want MORE.  I want to feel the peace I felt on my one and only “real” passage from New Zealand to Tonga.  That feeling I had while just sitting on the deck, no land in sight, listening to the rhythmic sound of the water against the hull and watching a stray bird perfectly skimming the waves.  I’ve never felt so completely alone, but totally at peace in a moment of time.  I can’t wait to experience it again. 

But for now, prior to our departure, I just want to see, feel and experience everything I can while we are still here in Seattle.  To spend time with the people we care about, to experience all of the things I love here, to sit in our cockpit and watch a King Fisher catch his dinner, to be at anchor with good friends, to live in this moment, while still thinking about the adventures waiting just over the horizon.  And while I originally thought it was more about the travel than sailing, I’m beginning to see it’s really about both.