Day 19 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
Readers of my blog during the A-Z Challenge have probably noticed by now (as friends, family and loyal readers of Roaming About have long known :-)) that Mark and I were living on our own sailboat Irie not too long ago. The summary can be read elsewhere on this blog and the whole eight years of our cruising life is documented on my other (sailing) blog It’s Irie, but, this is the gist of it…
A sailboat is the perfect way to travel to remote places (like tropical islands in the middle of the ocean), inaccessible – or exorbitantly expensive to visit – with other transportation methods. As a way to get around while having your home with you, cruising in your own vessel provides a unique opportunity to see the world. But, that was – initially – not the reason I committed eight years to living on the water. It was something Mark had dreamed about doing for a while, and it sounded exciting to me.
A first attempt to set sail long-term on a monohull with Mark and his two dogs, back in 2005 in California, failed. Instead, we drove south in a camper (much easier). Our second attempt, on the east coast of the US and with a catamaran this time, was more successful. The four of us left Annapolis in the fall of 2007 with the plan of sailing to the Bahamas, from the moment I would receive my Greencard (another interesting story, but unfortunately there is only one letter G in the alphabet).
In January 2008, with the little greenish card securely in my wallet, we left the US of A from Florida. A few months of amazing water colors and pretty white beaches later, an important decision had to be made: return to the US, or sail on to the Dominican Republic to sit out hurricane season. We kept going… and going… and going… to the Eastern Caribbean, then west to Panama. We continued through the Panama Canal (why not?) and ended up all the way in Tahiti, where we called life on our Irie quits in June 2015.
There are a lot of sailing blogs on the internet. Beginning sailors document their experiences step-by-step, experienced cruisers offer a lot of great tips, and the people out there right now share their sailing adventures around the world. We used to be among them. While the newbies, antsy to set out and start their trip, are excited and full of anticipation – yes, they even enjoy diving into boat projects and into the water to scrape the bottom of their boat – seasoned cruisers see things more in perspective and show the good with the bad.
Traveling by sailboat is a very unique method to explore this beautiful and intriguing planet and there are many experiences that can only be had this way (serenity at anchor, wildlife encounters in the water, blissful sailing conditions), but it is not an easy life, on the contrary. The boating lifestyle is challenging and oftentimes uncomfortable, but as long as the positives outweigh the negatives, all is irie (hunky dory, good). From the moment that the scale is tipping the other way, it is time to stop… and start house and pet sitting, or get a camper. 🙂
Here are some interesting blogs of people living or cruising on their sailboat. Some of them I have found through this month’s A-Z blogging challenge, others are friends of ours. sailing the oceans as we speak:
Have you ever sailed before, or set foot on a sailboat? Do you dream of going cruising one day? Where would you like to go if you had your own sailboat ready to leave?
Thank you for visiting! Feel free to like the blog, leave a comment, or follow us on Facebook. Tomorrow, T stands for Time in my A-Z blogging challenge as a nomad.