Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

T is for Time

Day 20 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad

There is one thing every long-term traveler has: time. It is the commodity – together with memories – that makes us rich, in a non-monetary way. What people on shore, living their super busy lives, grasp for in vain, always wishing they had more, nomads have plenty of. Time is at your fingertips when you travel indefinitely. But, keep in mind that much of what you want to achieve will require a big chunk of that seemingly imperishable time!

Time... it always goes fast, except at the dentist.

Time… it always goes fast, except at the dentist.

Since our sailing adventure is the one freshest in my mind, I am thinking back about what having time meant to us those eight years. Time allowed us to …

…make money along the way. Enough to maintain our basic lifestyle, at least the last few years.

…fix all our boat issues and make repairs ourselves, so we saved money not hiring “professionals”.

…do laundry and dishes by hand, without getting annoyed by it. And, we took long showers in the ocean, without time nor water running out.

…research every possible purchase in-depth, until we found the best prices and bargains, saving us money each and every time. We still do all this research, but with less frustration these days, or purchases needed. 🙂

…go with the flow, not have plans, and see where the wind and boat brought us.

…wait for better weather when making ocean passages or shorter hops between islands, providing smoother rides (as long as the weather forecasts were correct).

…immerse ourselves in countries and cultures visited, creating impressions for a lifetime.

…the flexibility to stay longer in a place we really liked.

…have happy hour with friends until we were tired enough to return home, even during weekdays.

…focus on the projects and sights we were interested in, every single day.

Even with that unlimited time, I still had trouble grasping where all of it went, every single day. I would go to bed exhausted, thinking back about my busy day, yet feeling like I didn’t achieve anything. Friends would ask “What do you do all day?” It was a difficult question to answer, because all I did most days, was keeping our life afloat on track.

Washing, rinsing, hanging and folding clothes by hand would take many hours every week. Dropping the dingy, getting it started, driving to shore, tying it up safely, walking to different stores and markets to buy food, carrying it all back to my mode of transportation, returning to the boat, hauling everything inside and storing it, would take much more time than grocery shopping on land. Baking bread and creating snacks would “cost” hours a week. Writing an email, but more importantly, sending it, would require a decent amount of patience, boat issues were a daily time sucker and never disappeared from the list, and moving from anchorage to anchorage with the sole help of the wind, was a time-consuming, frequent activity. But, we were happy with all that time, and often used some of it to have fun on shore or in the water.

Now that Mark and I live on land for a little while, theoretically, we have the same amount of time as on Irie. Yet, I find I have never enough of it in a day. For some reason, with our shift in focus, and despite our lifestyle being easier than on the boat, I never know what to do first and always wish the days would last longer…

Are you happy with your time management? What takes a lot of time in your life? What do you wish you had more time for?

If you like what you are reading, let us know in the comments or by liking our Facebook page! Tomorrow is a day off for us, hardy A-Z bloggers, but Monday I will be back with “U is for Unique”, as we all are.


  1. Jaye @ Life Afloat

    April 23, 2016 at 12:49

    Love love love this! We’re busier when we live on land than when we are actively cruising. But a year later, I find I don’t remember what we did, all those busy days. The cruising destinations, times, and people, I remember more. What does that say?

    • What does that say? Hmmm… Let’s go cruising? 🙂 You do get into a busy routine living the cruising life as well, but, you are right, the activities performed, the hikes done and the people met are more memorable!

  2. “There is one thing every long-term traveler has: time. It is the commodity – together with memories – that makes us rich, in a non-monetary way.” Perfectly said!

    Cheers, Stephanie

  3. I’m fortunate to have many hours each day that are basically unencumbered. I write, I think, read, listen to music. It is when I *work*, but not really working. Those morning hours are precious to me and I dislike sharing them. I often feel I waste some of them, which makes me sad, but I fear it is human nature to waste time.

    Also, I find myself wishing for more of those hours. Every day, more of them. More time to think, write, listen and read.

    • Writers like to have time to themselves and reflect, undisturbed. I cherish those hours as well and get annoyed when disrupted. I think our biggest enemy of time is distraction. If we can keep that (things like Facebook, interesting looking blogs and articles) to a minimum, less time is wasted. Easier said than done, since the mind actually – secretly – enjoys wandering…

  4. While working a regular job, I never feel like I have any time! I commute a long distance, and am away from home for 12 hours a day. Get home, make dinner, get ready to do it again tomorrow. The weekends are used to recover, and get ready for another week. It’s a bit of a rat race!

    • Are you guys trying to leave the rat race, Lucy? I know you love your jobs, but those are long days!! And, now with the A-Z challenge, I am sure there is not much time for recovery either!! One more week… 🙂

  5. I find that I can manage to fritter away time no matter what my lifestyle 😄. Now I just spend my time on different things (boat maintenance and photography rather than a desk job and PowerPoint). Still, I wish I had more …but at least I am enjoying myself.

    • Glad to read that you are still enjoying yourself, Lisa. So happy you found photography as your hobby and inspiration! Leave the boat maintenance to the Captain! We all love our me time, once in a while, but you are just too popular and social to have enough time left! 🙂

      • I went to the ANZAC parade today and almost started crying because now I am so sad to leave. But you know how much I want to complete my journey, so I will be satisfied with my memories and move on. And I can always come back…on my second time around. And you are right…time always goes fast except at the dentist 🙂

        • Reading about ANZAC day, I have to remember last year’s in New Zealand, spending some time with you, Lisa. It is when I first learned about this holiday down under! Happy travels and happy returns!! xx

  6. blkbtslonglegs

    April 24, 2016 at 09:00

    I seem to be short on time whatever I do. I know where most of my “free” time goes – the internet! 😀 But it seems that I get on to look up something quickly, then remember something else that I was going to look at, then remember an email that I meant to respond to … and suddenly I’ve spent more time than I meant to. I suspect that if I could remember to do things the first time, I would find that I had quite a bit more time. But, then I find interesting sites, and always feel that my time there is well spent 🙂

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

    • The internet is to blame, I totally agree. Or, we and our distraction are to blame. I am with you, most of my free time goes to the internet for the same reasons you mention. Carving up a tight schedule might take care of that problem some, but, browsing sites is enjoyable after all, and much easier than actually work and get things accomplished online! 🙂

  7. I know that social media and blogging is my biggest “time suck”, and often complain about a lack of time to do everything that I want to do. But life is about choices. These are my choices. If I don’t like how I’m spending my time, it’s in my gift to change that! Life on the boat sounds a wonderful experience, but choices and situations change over time 🙂

    • You hit the nail on the head with the hammer, Al! Life is indeed about choices (let nobody say “you are so lucky”, when you decide on a certain way of life. I used to hate those reactions) and it is in our power to change them, instead of complain about them!

  8. Love this sentiment and so true, I have friends who sailed the world for 5 years and will happily listen to them talk for hours about this.

    In a *very* small way we experienced more of the everything takes time to do the basics when living in the middle of nowhere for a year, cooking was on a 40yr old range that was on it’s last legs, no shops if it didn’t work out, it provided the heating (if you had oil) and then it decided if you could cook or not… so meals took forever and lots of planning, life slowed down a lot during that year and I loved it.

    I’ve downsized my job dramatically a few years ago to cut back on the commuting and the hours and the stress, best thing I ever did – although I fill my time up with writing and making things so as busy as ever, but the balance is better, I’d love to drop some hours and simplify even more, keep working the numbers to see what’s possible 🙂

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    • That’s the best way to go, Mars! But, no matter what we do to cut stress and activities out of our lives, we somehow always manage to fill every hour of the day. It’s the joy and the curse of minds and bodies that are always busy, always excited, always curious, always want to try new things and get better at others, and never will be bored. 🙂

  9. I love the picture of you washing dishes! I have a similar one of me on our boat in New Zealand. People just don’t get that aspect of cruising 🙂

    • Doing dishes in a bucket, every day for eight years… 🙂 Can you actually believe I sometimes miss it, Ellen? No gunk in the drain and unlimited water, sitting comfortably on the cockpit bench, and the rinsing off inside with limited water out of a pierced plastic bottle was so satisfying!

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