For so many years, the thought of cruising was a far away dream, something that would happen one day. Even while we were boat hunting, it still felt like it would happen way down the road. It was not yet real. Then, all of a sudden, the dream becomes real and time runs short. We are now officially in transition.
Each day is filled with crossing off tasks on our To-Do lists. There are literally dozens of jobs, big and small, you must do before you leave home. Packing, registering the boat, talking to doctors about medical kits, supplies, and shots, change of address, getting together with friends, and all the little tasks you tend to put off until the last minute. Of course, adding more pressure onto myself, I am also trying to finish piecing and quilting Ethan’s boat quilt. ( See my progress on the right.)
You also experience a myriad of emotions that you didn’t expect. It’s a given that you are excited about the coming adventure and even a bit anxious about what the future will hold. Change, even good change, can provoke strong emotions for each crew member. For me, personally, the stress of all the changes has, in turn, caused insomnia. I know this is temporary, though, and soon resolved once we settle in.
It is normal to anticipate being sad at saying goodbye to family and friends, too. However, no one mentioned how heart breaking it is to watch your grandchild break down and cry at the thought of not seeing you for awhile. You get so focused on completing tasks, then, at unexpected times, the emotions wash over you when you least expect it.
Saying goodbye to the grandchildren is by far the hardest part of leaving. You know how fast they will grow in your absence, and are keenly aware of milestones you will miss. To help stay connected with our grandkids Jack (age 7) and Kate (age 5), we plan to Skype or Facetime, send them postcards from where we travel, and when they are able to travel alone, we look forward to have them visit on board.
On the flip side, the excitement builds day by day. You look at your partner, and talk excitedly about the adventures you will share together. The anticipation and learning curve of getting to know a new boat, adjusting to living in a small space, and the challenges that come along with the cruising lifestyle will be difficult at times, but you are confident you will persevere and thrive.
I hope you will come along for our new adventure. Some posts will be funny, some, like this, will be real. I plan to twist Joe’s arm to write about boat maintenance and projects, and have some tutorials on sewing things for the boat and boat hacks. Better run now to work on that To-Do list. 🙂