Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Common Question


 "So what went wrong?" That's a question we've been getting a lot lately, and understandably so. Since the inception of this blog, the point has been to share our experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly. And although this isn't ugly or bad (for us), I certainly understand people's curiosity about no longer cruising, especially those who are considering going cruising themselves.
So let me fill you in...

First of all, there wasn't any one thing that made us decide to call cruising quits. This trip was full of fantastic experiences and surprising revelations, the largest being that we missed work...crazy right?!? About 3 months in we both were missing the purpose and drive that working (apparently) gave us and by 6 months we had the itch so bad that it was, without a doubt, a factor in cutting our journey shorter than planned. And right before getting to the clearest water and most beautiful beaches in the world no less- just in case you were wondering if we realized that.

We missed work. Wuuuuut?
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This journey was never about not working, but it certainly concluded (partly) because of it. So, if any of you have been, or will be cruising, you will learn things about yourself that have never, ever, ever come even remotely close to your wheelhouse, so get ready to embrace the discovery!
This. But on a boat. And not nearly as fast.
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Day after day of putting miles under the keel and moving on to the next town, it felt more like 'Go Dog. Go!' than when we were on land. More than once I heard Ron mention that 'cruising is ruining sailing'. Over time those repetitive 50+ mile days (yes, those are long days on the ICW) really left us yearning for those lazy weekends on Lake Michigan full of slow sails, sandy beaches, sunshine and the cutest little beach towns on either side of the Mississippi.
So.many.slow.sails.
Can't get enough!



One thing that 'we' never quite got over was the constant mental anguish anxiety that comes with spending money from a finite source with nothing more coming in. And I'd be lying if I said that cruising longer and coming back with less money in hand wasn't a very real concern. 

And let's not forget that, given my propensity to spend money when we aren't making any, our timing of coming back home worked out pretty well. Other than coming home just in time for the exact time of year I wanted to miss, we at least have the luxury of a pretty stocked bank account, which we've been able to use to our advantage. We've been able to use some of those extra funds to buy cars and live on for a few months while I look for a job and Ron delves into the world of entrepreneurship, both of which can be stressful, stress that would definitely be compounded by the addition of financial stress. Phew! Bullet: dodged. 

*If you're considering cruising I highly suggest that you over-budget money for 're-entry'. You may need a car to get to job interviews and get around. And you may need cash for it as lenders aren't keen on giving money to jobless individuals. Weird I know, but there you have it.*

The timing of our coming home, while at first was a big pill to swallow, has really worked out exceptionally well. Career prospects, getaways with friends and renewed priorities, on land and water, prove that life after cruising can still be exciting!
What a sweet reunion HB and I are going to have
once we get her back home!
It may look even worse than this :/

8 comments:

  1. Sorry we will not see you "down the road". This lifestyle we have chosen is not for everyone. We have often said, we do not sail for fun anymore. It seems we only raise the sails when we are en-route to another destination. We too miss the days of wafting along in light winds without a care about where we were or needed to be.

    It is better to realize this lifestyle is not for you early in the process rather than on the other side of the globe.

    Live vicariously through other people's cruising blogs. And, we shall have a vicarious land life via you.

    Best wishes in the job hunt,

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

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  2. Thanks for sharing this. I've had a lot of those kinds of feelings lately and finally realized that (after 1 1/2 years) I just don't feel like I'm accomplishing much cruising. Both Jeff and I fondly remember hobie cat sailing but get very little enjoyment out of sailing a cruising monohull anymore. I'm happy we set out but not unhappy that our 1-3 year outing will be less than 3 years.
    At the least, it's a great opportunity to look at everything in life and only choose to keep the bits that you really like. I'm overjoyed I don't own a house in the burbs anymore.

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  3. Really glad you shared. Seems like so many people are scared to admit it when they decide something isnt working out.

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  4. good luck on your new adventures! I know you'll both be awesome at whatever you decide to do. I throughly enjoyed starting our trips off together and hope you get a chance to get even by smoking me to windward one day.

    I'll be hanging out pretty close to home in Lake Superior this summer.

    -jeff
    s/v Meadowhawk

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  5. work? I know right! where ever I fall over just throw some dirt on me and that will suffice. my idea of cruising is to "motor" on my days off (21) then fly back to work(as a boat captain no less, yeah I know, huh! crazy)for (21). rinse and repeat! be well and blessings to you both.

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  6. Yeah, cruising seem to be not for everyone and you should be mentally ready for it. :)

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    1. I'm not sure you can ever be mentally ready for cruising. Sure, you can read and prep and practice for years but until you're out there doing it you never really know what will happen. We had our share of surprises (mostly good) but finding out that cruising long-term wasn't for us wasn't much of one. But not for a single second do I regret all the blood, sweat, tears and money we spent to undertake this adventure. Not one second, and I'm proud of that and what we accomplished.

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