What scares me, and why!
In yesterday’s post I wrote about the cruisers who have recently left their hurricane-season home of Grenada, or who will soon be sailing away. This is a time of “good byes” and “so longs,” even though many of us know that when we say “see you somewhere,” we’re unlikely to cross paths again. While there is always a chance that those remaining on the water will end up in the same anchorage as us at some point in the future, we have, on multiple occasions, had to say real good byes to those heading back to North America on the last leg of their cruising journey.
Some of the folks returning home only set out for a short sabbatical in the first place. Others returning to a life on land have been cruising for a decade or more, and are now looking for other challenges, or are being drawn back due to health concerns, theirs or that of family members. While, on the one hand, I am happy for our friends who are getting to do what pleases them, secretly, or since I’m confessing it now, not so secretly anymore, I always find these situations quite upsetting, and not only for the obvious reason.
Why upsetting? The most obvious reason is that I fear that we’ll lose touch with our friends, never to share a sunset or a cold beer with them again. Experience has shown that this fear is largely unwarranted though. With social media, keeping up with our cruising buddies in other parts of the world is quite easy to do. So, even though we’re not face to face, we can still stay in touch.
Why this scares me:
Perhaps the main reason why seeing our friends returning to land life bothers me so much is that it scares me! It scares me to think that circumstances may arise that force us to give up this nomadic lifestyle before we’re ready. And for the record, we are in no way ready! What could cause that to occur? Off the top of my head, I can think of a few things:
- Health: Since we’ve been out of Canada for so long, we are, and have been, essentially self-insured. I don’t know all of the details but I have heard that others, faced with serious medical conditions, and without private health insurance, have been drawn back home(?) to obtain the care that they need. This is a sad one!
- Money: This reason is easy to relate to. Without working, money is only going out of our bank account and not coming in to it. As anyone can imagine, that can only happen for so long before problems arise. Some people, when faced with a dwindling cruising kitty, revert to what they know best, their old careers on land. This is a smart thing to do for those with valuable trade skills. Do I have valuable skills? It’s questionable. See what I mean… scary! Other people, like we did running charters for example, look to make money while remaining on the water. In fact, our friend Genevieve just wrote a nice post on her blog about this very subject. Check it out!
- Challenge: This, for me, is the only positive reason. As I mentioned, some people that we have met have been cruising for a decade or more. That’s a long time to be doing anything, and I can relate to the need to be challenged. If we ever get to the point that we are no longer challenged on the water, even though I can’t imagine that happening, it will be time to try something different. Believe me, I have a long list of things to do if/when that situation occurs!
On a related but opposite note, I’d like to welcome our friends Carl and Carrie back on to the water! Due to a dramatic turn of events, they ended up back on land in the States, and while there, tried their hand at the land-yacht (motor home) lifestyle. It didn’t take them too much time to find that the water was where they really belonged, and are just now setting sail on their new boat. Check out their blog to read their exciting story.