Team Giddyup 4/03/2017
We answered the following questions after two months of cruising, one year of cruising, and three years of cruising. Often our answers changed, sometimes they stayed the same.
Now, we answer the same questions after one year on land.
Carol: Many things. First of all feeling like I was on a real adventure. Doing something that just a handful of people have the courage to do. Discovering the planet. Away from the tourist traps. Being able to share everything with Livia. Experiencing the unexpected - spending a few months in a house in Tahiti was a surprise. Obviously, we met some great, genuine people.
Livia: I've said this before but I felt like my everyday life was embedded in nature. Almost every day I was outside for large sections of the day, I admired the beauty of my natural surroundings, I soaked up the vibe of the non-human world. I miss that in my current life. You don't have to cruise to have this, as many people living in gorgeous natural surroundings can attest, but I don't experience that daily soaking up of the natural vibe right now.
What did you dislike about cruising?
Livia: Almost everything I dislike about cruising is a result of how we chose to cruise and so these are the downsides to the upsides we actively sought out. We wanted to be remote which meant we spent a lot of time doing without (this was easy) but our non-remote time was a mad rush to get everything bought and fixed before we went remote again. This was exhausting because we were usually very active when we were remote and then very busy when we were non-remote and over the years this began to feel exhausting and relentless. And yet, we could have chosen at any point to spend more time in those population centers and thus had less stress on that front but I would choose the same again.
Carol: Sharing anchorages with the charter fleet, the big rallies, and cruise ships. I felt it was ruining the vibe, the place, because the kind of people those things attract. With that said, obviously we met some awesome people in those groups too, and bad single cruisers, but in the big picture. I disliked being on guard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year - it can wear you down and it was a relief to let go of that.
What do you worry about?
Carol: My fear right now is to start again too late and to have the wrong expectations either because I forgot the bad about last time or because the world is changing and it will be different.
What (if anything) do you wish someone had told you before you started cruising?
Carol: It's the opposite. It's more what I wish they didn't tell me - what they said at boat shows when they were trying to sell me something and they were totally wrong. I wish I had met some of the people we met out cruising - but that we met them before we went cruising - to have a more open mind about cruising. With that said, it was a good thing I had a great wife that kept my mind open and didn't follow the crowd.
Livia: Cruising is whatever you want it to be and anyone who starts talking about "real cruisers" is automatically suspect to me. Usually those kind of people will define real cruisers in seemingly opposite ways (e.g., they cross oceans and see lots of countries but they spend a long time in one place and deeply experience the culture). Cruising isn't an attitude either. Avoid defining it, experience it, make it yours, do it your way, and respect that same variety in others. The fact that we all do it differently is part of the joy for me and I wish we would allow for as many differences between cruisers as we allow for differences in the cultures we visit.
What are you looking forward to?
Carol: Looking forward to getting back to more control over our time. We're doing a lot of fun stuff now but it will be nice to when we get back to a place where we don't have to answer to anyone else except Mother Nature, ourselves and the rules of the country we are in.
Favorite place recently was
Carol: Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas. Because of the type of climbing we were doing it felt like and adventure and I felt back in control of our day. We did what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it.
Livia: Terrebonne, Oregon. Love the vibe there, met some great people, hung out with some old friends, and the climbing at Smith Rock State Park was very fun.
Least favorite place recently was
A lesson learned is that...
Livia: The mentality I adopted when cruising has transferred fairly easily to my life on land. I notice the beauty in my environment more no matter where I am, I pay more attention to people and make more eye contact, I take my time, I explore, I avoid trying to change others and to appreciate the differences, and even though I was more of an "activities" than a "things" person before I left, I am even more so now.
Carol: To not let the fear of the future stop you from doing what you love. That it is good to have goals - obtainable, achievable goals.
Best gear award goes to...
Carol: Our Toyota RAV4 V6. Also, SAS Planet - it was a game changer for people who like to scope out new spots and kite spots.
our boat. We chose a sturdy boat that sailed well and we chose a boat we could easily afford and which left a lot of money in our kitty for upgrades and customization. All of those things decreased the stress and suck factor and increased the fun factor.
Worst gear award goes to...
Livia: Honestly, the worst gear toward the end was also the boat. She was the perfect boat for us when we set out but 5.5 years later we felt cramped living in her, cramped entertaining in her, and as we became better sailors we felt we could safely handle a little less sturdy boat for a little more performance.
Carol: Having a manual windlass for people like us who explore a lot, going to nook and cranny anchorages where we had to drop multiple times to be set in the perfect spot, or when we wanted to move for a short time, became a nuisance.
What is something that you read or heard about cruising, that you didn't find to be true?
Carol: What gear you need because in reality it all depends on you, your boat, your activities, your comfort level, and where you go.
Livia: I often read that the transition back to land was traumatic for people and for me personally, it wasn't. Cruising has its own schedule demands, its own work demands, its own social/community joys and dramas and I find being back on land to be different but with the same issues. I found selling the boat traumatic, but not ending the cruise. I was excited to do something new again. I also heard a lot about how cruising gets you into great shape and while that might be true for someone living a more sedentary life on land who suddenly is cruising and active, for me who had been very physically active on land, I found it tougher to stay in shape while cruising.
What is something that you read or heard about cruising, that you found particularly accurate?
Carol: You can go with any kind of sound boat and you don't have to wait to have the perfect boat. Any boat you go with will cause some limitations.
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