Jackie Parry – author

Excerpt

With an intimidating selection of equipment to buy and fit, we found ourselves immersed in several dozen projects at once. With travelling and learning about a new boat, we’d had no time to reflect on our achievements or what we were doing. It’s rare that Noel and I suffer from homesickness; family and friends drift in and out of our thoughts, but the intangible force to move is more powerful; it’s irresistible.

Travelling makes sense to us both. We’re most content when we have a home that can move and relocate anywhere. Entering a new port, we’re filled with the excitement of exploring, learning, and meeting new folk. But when it’s time to leave, we become edgy and fidgety with thoughts: will the weather help or hinder? And when it’s time to go, there’s no controlling the urge – an invisible force pushes us along. On the one hand, we are lucky to have the same drive, inquisitiveness, and sense to explore; on the other, I wonder why we are so unsettled. We are malcontent with letter boxes and a home that doesn’t move. We find contentment in being unsettled, where nothing is the same, where locating the right shops is a skill (and figuring out how to get there), the language changes, the culture challenges.

Being nomadic is not often about being foot-loose and fancy-free; romance plays a minuscule role. Frustrations, costs, and the hardships of uncertainties and fickle weather are all part of the story. But the flip side is immense: a life that’s kindred to freedom, confronting each ordeal to reap the rewards of seeing the world, and meeting people from such far-flung cultures that teach you so much. Luck plays a tiny part – it’s mostly about making it happen. It is an extraordinary life, but it isn’t easy. We split ourselves from our family, friends, and the comfort of day to day income and services. We can be up night after night in bad weather, bored listless on anchor watch, petrified of what’s around the corner, and boat bound due to unsafe ports. But that’s what makes it enough. The highs are the foundation of the lows. If we don’t have something to look forward to, something to push our bodies and stretch our skills, complacency replaces joy. We choose this roaming lifestyle because of the challenge and rewards – whatever path we choose, we have to deal with crap; the particular garbage that comes hand-in-hand with travelling is the stuff we can deal with. Noel and I are woven from the same cloth, and I thank my lucky stars we found each other.

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