One year ago this weekend, we officially traded in what most people would consider a comfortable life back in Nashville for life aboard a 35′ sailboat. I wish that Chris were here to celebrate our “first cruising anniversary” together, but he’s helping to deliver a sailboat from Bermuda to the Chesapeake, so it’s just me and Jet.
How quickly a year passes, yet it feels like a lifetime ago…
I was utterly giddy with excitement last May as we loaded most of our worldly possessions onto our new home. Not only were we moving aboard, we were sailing from her dock in Panama City Beach to the Chesapeake Bay for the summer which is a pretty long trip, especially for our maiden voyage on a new boat. As excited as we were, however, we had spent enough time on boats to understand that there would be many non-glamorous aspects to living aboard full time so we agreed to give it a year, thinking that would be enough time to settle in, figure things out, and really see how we felt about it. Now that a year has passed, well, I can’t speak for Chris, but I don’t think you’ll ever get me off a boat.
I’m a different person now. I’ve grown. Since stepping outside of the comfortable bubble that I had surrounded myself with before, I’ve been rewarded with more wisdom, awareness and strength. I’ve developed a deep appreciation for simplicity and a more minimalist lifestyle. Chris and I have both shed our skin, so to speak, and while it leaves us raw and exposed at times, we become stronger in the end. There are times, such as losing my Mom, when I wouldn’t have been able to hold myself together without the strength acquired through this journey. We’ve made lifelong friends in our travels – I mean, some of the best friends you could imagine having, and we’ve become closer as partners, lovers and friends this past year than we’ve ever been. When Chris and I first met in 2006, he introduced me to sailing and we had these romantic talks about one day moving onto a sailboat and just traveling around together. It seemed like a pipe dream way back then, and now… here we are. I can say that all in all, through the triumphs and in spite of the trials, it’s been the best year of my life.
This morning I came across an old poem I wrote in those early days, before I had ever even sailed on an ocean, before I called a boat my home, and reading it makes me more excited than ever as we get ready to leave Ft. Lauderdale to go out to sea again on the way to our next destination. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it a thousand times… I am so incredibly grateful for this life.
Would you carry me
Where time is but a word
Where the sun becomes my friend
Where the wind holds my hand,
© 2006 Melody Puckett