Friday, December 13, 2013
Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes: Re-Entry
But the strange thing is this: I actually do not miss the Caribbean.
Okay, that is not entirely true, of course I miss the warm weather, not having to put on so many layers of clothes every morning, and the fact that - on the boat - my daytime clothes easily double as pajamas. I miss the water and beaches and the boat and I am really missing my tan right about now (how quickly they fade!). But I'm not missing these things as much as I thought I would, which is kind of interesting.
Maybe it's just self preservation. A mentality shift that is forcing/allowing me to just be present and embrace where I am right now, instead of longing to be elsewhere. Maybe it was time for a break to re-charge and re-calibrate after all? The fact that we spent the last couple weeks on the boat sedentary and in a marina definitely made this transition easier because living on a cruising boat that is dock locked is significantly less-fun than actually cruising. There is a huge difference between the two. Whatever the reason, this "re-entry" isn't as hard as I imagined... Spending the vast majority of the past three years living on a boat on the water in tropical climates has certainly primed me for appreciating the finer things that land life offers: washer/dryers, unlimited running water, private showers, fantastic grocery stores, big beds with down comforters, super fast/reliable internet, ability to make phone calls to my hearts content (though I am not much of a phone person to be honest) and pretty much every other convenience that can be imagined from the abundance of space to the profusion of choices that face every new day.
I have a huge appreciation for these things and am happily reveling in all of them. But the best part of being back ashore, without question, is being near friends and family. I am sure this comes as no shock to anyone who has ever spent significant time away from "home". Missing loved ones is the single most consistent grievance among cruising sailors. The fact that I have been coming and going from mine for a nice chunk of my adult life means it's nice and kind of refreshing to be slowly settling into some pattern of consistency. I can get an invite for a party in a month and know that I can go because I will be here. I can contemplate signing up little Isla for a swimming lessons or a dance class because we're sticking around for more than a few weeks. I don't feel the need to rush like crazy to see people because we have time on our sides for a change. Isla can bond with and learn from a plethora of local playmates - from my best friends kiddos to her cousin who is only four months younger. The islands will always be there. We will undoubtably go back to cruising, back to our boat... But these special moments in time with family and friends? These are things that do not lie in wait. Kids get older, people move away, families expand and milestones are reached. We need to catch the moments while we can, embrace them and savor them, and being right, here right now is allowing us to do that.
Living on a boat and traveling is an amazing life (to us, at least), but there is definitely something to be said for staying put for a little while. The other day I got a library card. I've invested in a winter wardrobe that consists of fleece lined leggings, boots, leg warmers, hats and gloves. My friends and I are scheduling regular play dates with our kids to ward off cabin fever. While I could definitely do with a few more degrees and a bit more sunshine right now, I think we are in the right place - for me, for our unborn babies, for Isla, for our family. It's definitely different and there is still a lot of change on the horizon that will take some major adjusting to, but with a change in latitude comes a change in attitude. I say "bring it".