Vive la Difference!
25 January 2017 | Gosier, Guadeloupe
It all started with a blog. Someone was talking about why they had no desire to circumnavigate. This blog was answered by someone else in THEIR blog declaring that those who didn't circumnavigate were somehow lesser people or something along that line. This was brought up in an FB group.... And that is when it was all brought to my attention. And this got me thinking some more about "cruising". I had plenty of time to just think, as we were pulling a couple of days of travel.
I am pretty sure that I have stated before that we have no interest in crossing oceans in our boat. I have actually come to the realisation that I don't actually enjoy the act of travelling (a point brought up in the first blog that got this snowball rolling). Airplanes are a necessary boredom, and while I enjoy living on a boat, the slow travel grates on my nerves. While we are underway, basically the only activities are talking, thinking, looking for obstacles, and maybe a little strength workout (although I did polish some stainless once). Our cockpit is too open to chance having a book or tablet out, and my propensity to seasickness makes this a generally bad idea, anyway. So I stare at the horizon a great deal, and I think, and we talk. Being somewhere is good, getting there is the painful part for me. As for Ken, a long trip tends to fatigue him, and it can take a day or two after a relatively rough trip to feel "normal" again.
We have had friends extoll the virtues of long passages, and trying to encourage us to go farther than the Eastern Caribbean, telling us how much we are missing by visiting the same islands again and again.
We just ran into some cruisers that have followed our blog for a while, and we've corresponded a bit about cruising. They are doing the south run for the first time. We've given them lots of local information, and generally helped them by not making them discover everything for themselves. The first time through is the hardest. Even with a good guide book, figuring out where to go, where to provision, laundry facilities, and all of the day-to-day operations can be overwhelming. As one sticks around longer, it gets easier, and it is also more amenable to actually exploring where you are. We feel less nomadic, and more comfortable, and I might even say, at home. We know where we like to anchor and base ourselves, and we don't have to waste too many brain cells on the basics. We are open to going out and seeing more of where we are, whether it is within walking distance, or if it requires transportation.
Another friend said "going around the world doesn't mean you have seen the world. You just see where you have been." And if you have to keep moving, how much have you experienced? This isn't to say that those who circumnavigate the world, or zip around the Caribbean, are doing something wrong, it is just a different way of doing things.
We've met people who have circumnavigated who seem to come back just as jaded as when they left. We've met people who have travelled the world with a kind of restlessness as if they are seeking something intangible, and they still haven't found it, because it can't be found. If you are travelling to escape your demons, it doesn't seem to work. And not everyone has their horizons expanded by constantly moving.
We don't feel a need to have to do everything, everywhere, all at once. The "Fear Of Missing Out" is not a concern for us. But we know those doing what we call "the two year bounce" who are constantly going, going, going, afraid to miss any experience or Happy Hour sundowner chance, or pot luck, or barbecue, or.... They need to cram it all in. Again, if that is what makes you happy, enjoy.
We see ourselves as weather refugees, not as adventurers, although I won't turn down a good hike if I can help it. We can be quite happy sitting in the same place for a while. We are pretty good at finding peace with where we are at the time, once we find a spot that is comfortable for us. And we now know where those comfortable spots for us are.
Lots of people like to ride a bike, but that doesn't mean they want to ride across Canada or tour Europe on a bike. Not every runner wants to run a marathon. Not every cruiser wants to go around the world