The cruising books that do so much to lure you in to the dream of tropical locations, warm waters, sunny skies, for example, do not prepare you for the “emotional impact” of deciding to go cruising. You see, you dream about this for years, then when it is actually happening, the stress of all the transitions run wildly amok at times.
It is “good stress,” but it is stress nonetheless. The change of going from a working career to retirement. The boat buying process. Moving across the country onto the boat. All the myriad of details to take care of- from what to do about the house (rent, sell or something in between), deciding what to bring and will fit on board, leaving loved ones behind, and saying goodbye to the old life, including comfort of living we build and expect everyday. Personally, I am going to miss my master suite bedroom with my corner jacuzzi tub the most. When home, I use it almost every day.
Even good stress can affect you in negative ways. We understand that it is transitory, so Joe and I talk about it with each other, discuss how to lower our stress, and then focus on the end goal, which is moving on board and getting the boat ready.
There are certainly positive ways of dealing with this stress, including exercise, sharing your feelings with a loved one, eating healthy, meditation, relaxation exercises, listening to music, or whatever strategy works in your own life.
Discovering that Joe and I were both feeling stressed over the impending life changes, and that most of the cruising books had really glossed over this aspect of the sail cruising lifestyle, I thought I would share that this is something to anticipate if you one day choose to sail off into the sunset, sipping a fruity rum drink as you do. If you plan for cruising transition stress, then when it happens, you will have your relaxation strategies at hand to use.