Land Ho(me)

When folks asked us how long our that “trip” would last, we always said “we’ll let you know when we decide!”.

Well, folks, we’ve decided.

It’s official: we are settling back in Austin.

We’ve bought a car, put Mother Jones up for sale and we’ve begun our search here in Austin for a new home (like the kind with indoor plumbing that doesn’t move in a storm).

Truth be told, we’re really happy: we’re back amongst our family and friends and look back upon our traveling & sailing adventures over the last three years with sheer satisfaction.

We’re so glad we took the time and took the leap to make our dreams come true. We are left wanting not.

(In fact, if you gave me $50,000 to go back out for another couple years RIGHT NOW, I wouldn’t take it, seriously – I’m just not interested in moving more; I’m interested in settling in. — of course, I’d also ask you to hold on to that offer so I could take you up on it in another 7-10 when we’ll likely start this cycle over again)

While this chapter of our lives will soon come to a close with the sale of our beloved home, Mother Jones, we’re excited to have started drafting the next one (stay tuned!).

While we’ll seriously be sad to see Mother Jones go, we look forward to her next chapter with someone who’s ready to take her on new adventures – something we’re just not ready to do right now.

If you know of anyone looking to start their own sailing adventures, we highly recommend our vessel and would be grateful for your help in spreading the word that she’s looking for a new Captain. Info about the sale can be found here: Mother Jones is for sale!

See y’all around town!

Sailing sabbatical

When most people say they’re going on a sailing sabbatical, I think they mean they’re taking a sabbatical from “the real world” and going sailing. Well, our “real world” has been sailing – and it’s been grand! (but, like any lifestyle, it’s not without it’s “other side of the coin“.)

As young cruisers – and not independently wealthy young cruisers – we’ve decided to take a wee sailing sabbatical. That is, taking this season off to recharge our batteries, both financially and otherwise.

We’re excited to have an income and solid financial future again – one that Suze Orman, my mother and I would all approve of.

And, we’re SUPER excited to have normal, down-time, regular opportunities to see friends and family. Some of the best-friend time I’ve experienced in my life is those “boring” trips to Target to get toothpaste or chats with my girlfriends while we fold clothes on her bed. I’ve missed those times and am really looking forward to being present for them.

Also, even though we’re not travelling on the boat right now (I’m actually typing this on the boat, which is now more of our coastal weekend cottage), we are still travelling.

In lieu of travelling to “exotic” places, we’re thrilled to join our friends in DC for their wedding this month.

We’re also able to visit my father, my amazing step-mother and my truly amazing 93-year old Grandmother in California.

 

And, we were able to see them AGAIN when they came to Austin when they come out to see us for Thanksgiving.

None of this would likely be possible if we were “out there”.

Also, while 3 years of travel can sound AWESOME to some, it’s also a lot of work (even while traveling with our home, there’s still the matter of where the home is). And, we got a bit “travel weary” after a while and stopped appreciating the newness of everything. Truthfully, we wanted some old familiar back in our lives – at least for a while – and we think  taking a break is a-ok (luckily, these guys agree and that makes me feel smart ;). Not only has it been important to give myself permission to walk away from “a yacht in the Caribbean”, it’s been important for me to recognize that just because I can do something challenging (like finding a new place to lay my head each night), doesn’t mean I have to.

Speaking of which, we came back into Austin and dove right into some amazing, challenging and demanding work. That ended, and I dove right back into my old consulting work (which involved taking on multiple clients at a time – often times at a “we needed you yesterday” pace). And, the pace of it all + my can-do work ethic compromised my health & well-being and I’ve ended up sick & tired.

Sadly, this isn’t a new place for me. I’ve definitely been a bear caught up in “the glorification of busy” trap. As a campaigner turned consultant there’s definitely always been a push to squeeze even more out – before the looming, un-moving deadline of Election Day, or whatever deadline seemed equally as (self) important. I went along like this for a long time. And, I would get sick & tired from doing all that + all the “other stuff” which actually made my life whole (being a “good” friend, sister, daughter, wife and 90′s woman). In 2008, I was so sick & tired that I actually had to go to the doctor – a rarity for me. Luckily, he’s a great one who considered my whole heath when giving me the following diagnosis: “I’m not giving you drugs, I’m prescribing you rest and this perspective: remember, Laurie, that ‘The cemeteries are full of indispensable people’. Best.prescription.ever.

Luckily, I’ve finally landed in a great role (Operations Manager) with a great organization (a mental health project within the University of Texas). I get to put my logistical skills to great use for a do-gooder project I believe in while reaping some great benefits with some great people = win/win/win!

And, D, K & I moved out of the RV park* (*just a few super-generous friends + 150 feet of extension cords) . . .

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notice what’s missing from this “RV spot”? (hint, it’s us!)

into a little cottage near our old house in the ’04:

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Even though we’re indoors now (the water comes straight to your house!), we still wake up to nature with this great view from bed:

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We’re happy to be where we are and happily figuring it out (still).

Public Appearance 10/8! Come on down to REI!

Hey everybody!

If you’re looking for an opportunity to get an overview of our So Many Beaches adventures in person, you’re in luck!

Yours truly will be hosting a travel class, in partnership with REI and Hostelling International, about our travels in Central America and the Caribbean, focusing on our mid-career break.

It’s this Tuesday, October 8th from 6:30-8pm. Spots are filling up fast (for real!). So reserve your space today!

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We look forward to meeting all y’all curious cats and hearing about your upcoming adventures! See ya Wednesday!

L & D

(everyone’s favorite sailor aboard Mother Jones, Mr. K, won’t be joining us on Wednesday. Alas, he has a big job that night: keeping the cushions down at home)

Extra, Extra!

In case you missed it, we were recently featured in the Austin American Statesman in the lifestyle section!1-DandL Statesman I’m working on getting the story (appropriately) available to all y’all who may not have a Statesman account (it’s behind a paywall). But, in case you do have an account, or are interested enough to spring $.99 for a day-pass, here’s the link to the story.

I can’t thank the author, Helen Anders, enough for making this a great experience for us to participate in – you’re welcome aboard, anytime Helen!

the best part of “our trip”

“What’s the best part of your trip?” We get that a lot.

While it’d be easy to spout off a laundry list of beautiful islands we were able to visit, the truly best part of our trip was that it wasn’t a trip.

Semantics? Maybe. But, hear me out:

Most times I’ve taken a “trip” it’s had a clear beginning, middle and end. This one didn’t – and still doesn’t.

I s’pose “The best part of my trip” is that this “trip” gave me the perspective that “trips” don’t have to end.

~

Lamar St. Bridge At Rush Hour, Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX

©Al Braden, www.albradenphoto.com

Years ago I had a contract – a very well paying contract – that I hated. Every Tuesday I crossed over the Lamar St. bridge on my way to a weekly all-team meeting.

Inevitably, I’d look down to the water below where I’d spot canoers and kayakers spending their morning not on their way to a job they hated.

There they were: enjoying themselves. They were just there, taking time out on a Tuesday morning to be on the water. I hated them.

Like most envy-inspired fantasies / grass-is-greener jealousies, I conveniently ignored the healthy perspective of “ya never know” what’s really up for those people – or that I could have that, too (maybe?).

Instead, I just hated them. I loathed them for what they represented to me: a sense of freedom & the discipline to prioritize their own sense of freedom and well-being over contracts they might hate even if those contracts made them a lot of money.

And, I used them: The Tuesday Morning Kayaker became the reminder I needed to fuel – and fund my dreams. The Tuesday Morning Kayaker reminded me to stop buying $12 salads, keep working the contract I hated – which filled my cruising kitty – take advantage of my circumstances and put it all on the line in search of one-day becoming my own incarnation of the illusive Tuesday Morning Kayaker.

~

Back in Austin, in addition to people asking “what’s the best part of your trip?”, we also get  ”what’s next?”, “do you feel different?”.

Seriously guys, what’s with all the questions!?! Just kidding. We have them, too.

Whereas “what’s next?” (like practically), is still a mystery to us, whether I feel different is obvious: yes, of course I do; I am. But, rather than a drastic change, it’s more like the values I’ve always held are more practiced and closer to the surface.

I’ve had a lot of time to live in the world of the Tuesday Morning Kayaker; prioritizing a relationship with myself, my partner and with the natural world over the money that morning commute brought me. And, I’m very grateful for the experience of “my trip”.

But, just because I’m no longer on the water and am literally and figuratively crossing that bridge over and again while working here in Austin, doesn’t mean my “trip” is over. At least I’m trying real hard for it not to be.

Like that smartypants, Annie Dilliard, says ”How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

I’ve just got to try my darnedest to bring the practice, perspective and discipline of The Tuesday Morning Kayaker to whatever daily life we design next.

Here goes nothing!

***

Alrighty, y’all, because you’ve been so sweet to read to this point, here’s some of our fave destinations:

How to *not* live on your boat

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Mobile Meth Lab? Nope! It’s Mother Jones, prepped for storage. FYI – it’s real hard to take non-blurry, low-light photos on a boat, even in a calm slip

After 4,000nm and 2 years out of the US, we’re back in our home state of Texas. After an exhaustive search into the safest possible place to store Mother Jones on the Texas coast while we work (200 miles away) in Austin during hurricane season, we are super happy she is tucked away in her new home – 3 miles up a winding waterway, behind a 60 foot flood gate on a floating dock- at the Freeport Municipal Marina.

And, tucked away she is!

It’s actually a ton of work to properly prep a boat for storage – and even more work to prep a boat for an oncoming storm. It’s something commuter cruisers do every season before they leave their boat for whatever their commuting to. But, fortunately we never had to do it, before now.

Luckily, the good folks over at Windtraveler and Zero to Cruising each published lists of what they do to “de-commission” their boats. This gave us a HUGE head start on our boat storage prep (thanks, y’all!). Of course, every boat and its conditions is different (their boats are both on the hard and out of the hurricane zone). So, I used their info as a guide to create this this master list of “how to prepare Mother Jones for storage and storms”.

who me? merge a bunch of lists into one giant, coded spreadsheet? yes. what can I say, it’s a gift.

You might be wondering “do you really have to do all this stuff?”. Maybe, maybe not. What you “have to” do depends on you, your boat, your climate and what condition you like to keep your boat in. We’ve decided to take a fairly comprehensive, conservative approach to storing Mother Jones given our boat (aka our home) is in a new environment, in the hurricane zone and we’re not around to check on her on a daily basis (we do visit every few weeks for a long weekend as a pre-caution* and as a retreat).

It’s worth noting we’ve opted to use damp-rid instead of using an electric de-humidifier because I’m more afraid of fire than I am of mold. And, instead of hauling stuff back and forth on our weekend trips, we’ve elected to keep a small amount cooking of staples onboard the boat (olive oil, spices, popcorn, etc) which could tempt pests and science-experiments.

Finally, while I once thought we’d prep Mother Jones like a Cat-5 storm was rolling in tomorrow (because I like to “set it and forget it”), we smart’d up and realized this isn’t necessary, it’s a lot of extra work for a “just in case” scenario and getting all that extra line, etc is expensive! So, in terms of everything extra we’d need to do prep the boat for a major storm, we figure we’ll just cross that bridge if and when we come to it.

of course, I did include and code those items on the master list “just in case”

Speaking of which, “just in case” you’ve got any items for the master list we should be considering or tips for using your boat as a commuter cruiser vs. a live-aboard, please do get in touch!

*Sure, Mother Jones is probably fine on her own. But, things change and break on boats. While living aboard does add wear to systems, it also provides an awesome opportunity to notice when small things are leaking/rusting/problematic before they become a BIG problem (if you’re around, you’ll notice “it” needs work). think: a small leak onto a mattress, which flows unchecked, in a closed up boat when it’s 100 degrees outside with 90% humidity for 2+ weeks before you’re around to notice. or worse . . . That’s a huge reason we prepped this well and come check on her. Plus, we love running to the coast and hanging on her every chance we get!

We got a new yacht!

a land yacht . . .

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leave it to us to class up the joint: RV in vacant lot? check. Pitbull in tow? check. Bikini t-shirt & promotional vodka sun glasses? check, check. uh, oh . . .

 

It’s not ours, but merely borrowed from a friend, parked on a private lot (borrowed from another friend) in an awesome location near Barton Springs and our temporary office in the ’04.

We’re super grateful to have the opportunity to call her home for the next month or so as we fill up the ol’ cruising kitty here in Austin. What luck! It’s pretty amazing that we’ve been able to find a little space to call our own and check out the RV lifestyle while we’re back. It’s definitely giving us ideas . . .

And cause for concern? Nah! well, maybe . . . I’m not sure where the line is between living creatively and being a hobo, but I think it’s fair to say we’re riding that line pretty close.

Hey, at least we’re not living in a van down by the river . . .

Ex-Expat 1st impressions

Well, it’s been two weeks.

We have settled are settling in. We have phones, we have jobs, we set alarms and pack lunches. We throw things in the dryer and take showers inside.

Things are familiar and strange all at once.

People keep asking how it feels to be back. I keep answering “I don’t know, ask me in a month”.

So, maybe I should wait a few more weeks and write this post then???

nah, I’ve never been one to practice patience. So, here goes some 1st impressions:

  • people are awesome! We are so blessed with and grateful for amazing people in our lives. It is so good to see you - and the little people some of you have made while we were gone (they.are.talking.now – whoa). Also, we are completely blown away by the generosity of our community. Y’all have pitched in to make our transition all that easier: just the other day, I was talking on a phone loaned to me, while sitting in a car loaned to me, with all new-to-me clothes on my body – including a “city bra” (aka not a swimsuit) and some undies (they were actually new but still gifted).
  • people are (too?) awesome On the flip side (diamond.shoes.too.tight), I had a total meltdown the first weekend in town because I was trying to figure out how to see EVERYONE ASAP with the annoying limit of the # of waking hours in the day. So, I “compromised” and stopped sleeping, basically. That was no bueno. My mood – and my social skills — suffered. I was told, kindly, that perhaps after a few years in the wild, I ought to domesticate myself a bit. My oldest, bestest friend totally busted me, “I can feel you being busy from my house”. And, then, I yelled “I AM NICE!” at my sister. Yup. It was clearly time for a break(down). No biggie. I knew this breakdown was coming. And, come it did. Once I admitted the challenges and limits I was facing, it was actually kinda funny. Perhaps it’s the way we’ve been living (9pm is known as “cruisers midnight”) or just a simple fact of getting older. Turns out I prefer my slow-pokey life of going to bed before 10pm to my old life in Austin of going out at 10pm. I’d rather visit with you in the outdoors for a walk’n'talk or swim and be able to hear what you’ve been up to than pound shots at a smoky bar. Perhaps placing quality over quantity has it’s downside: our visits may take longer to schedule or be fewer and far-betweener. But, not “squeezing in” my time with you, awesome person, is a risk I’m willing to take – and I hope you’ll understand and perhaps prefer it this way, too.
  • work is fun! aside from the awesome opportunity to hang with friends and family in Austin, we are also refilling our cruising kitty. Both of us have the good fortune to work with Fantastic Fest - where they actually pay us to create an amazing festival with super-talented and creative people. You know that cliché, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? Well, there’s a reason people say it. And, bonus, we made the first DEPOSIT in our bank account in a very long time. That was fun!
  • Kemah is just fine. You might just be checking in because you want to know how everyone’s favorite Mother Jones crew member is doing. Well, Kemah is fine. He took everything in on his first car ride in two years from Freeport to Austin (squirrel! cow! train!). He has been loving going on walks (but I think he does miss swimming). He does have a bit of separation challenges but luckily, he loves hanging out with his Grandparents when we are out and about. Also, he had a super funny adjustment experience his first morning: in bed at about 8am, in Austin, we pulled the sheets off his face and he looked around, wild-eyed, at the walls and ceiling (!) in our bedroom. he had a look on his face like a college student the morning after a tequila binge that said “where am I? how’d I get here? and who am I in bed with?”. Luckily, he seemed to piece it together. And, that’s been the worst of his adjustments (so far, so good!).
  • walking distance is totally relative, car culture rules & it’s just automatic: I immediately noticed upon arrival that Freeport, Texas is the 1st port we’ve been in since leaving the States that didn’t have normal living stuff* in walking distance or cabs readily available to whisk you away to the local market or chandlery. We tried walking the .5 mile to the local hardware store but were stopped by our dock mate who kindly insisted upon giving us a ride. When we went to close the back hatch on his SUV, he was careful to instruct us not to do it by hand or we’d break it – umm, okay. You just push a button, of course. (because that’s totally natural) *speaking of what’s totally natural, the only thing in walking distance from our marina is the Dollar General & the “by donation” bar. Think it’s any coincidence that the cheapest, booziest spots in town are the closest thing to the saltiest, live-aboard dock (our dock) in town???
  • also relative? humidity. It feels soooo dry to us (like 3 extra ooo’s dry). Like fish out of water – we’re gonna drown from the lack of water in the air dry. But, I get that other people don’t feel this way – ’cause they haven’t had as much practice wearing a sweat-suit in the sopa that is Central America. I’m enjoying wearing my hair down, going on pleasant walks in the middle of the day and feeling the difference between standing in the sun vs. standing in the shade (there’s a difference!). Also, I’ve answered the question of “why do I have all this lotion on the boat!?!”. So, that’s a bonus.
  • also relative? problems. I know, I know: every person’s problems are unique and real. But, they’re also relative. And, I’ve been noticing some “problems” – big and small – I haven’t been exposed to in a while. Like traffic (while sitting in a car). Like how people have so much (new) stuff but complain about the mess, debt and waste. Like how you can drink the water out of the tap – but people complain about the chlorine they don’t want in it. Like how we were told “the government takes all your money here!” by someone who went to a public school, while we all stood inside a store built to code, alongside a decent road, with regular garbage service and a fire department that will come if you’re in need . . . hmmm.
  • shoes are for the birds! actually, that makes no sense whatsoever. Which is coincidentally how I feel about straightjackets for feet, which is what every store seems to sell. On a related note, apparently going barefoot for two years has made my feet really, really strong aka really, really wide. Like, I had them measured and they are measuring between a wide and DOUBLEWIDE. Lord help me.
  • we’re not anonymous any more. part of the fun of being away from home is discovering new places and people without any pre-conceived notions. In other words, things are new – and so are you! While travelling, it’s super rare and super weird to hear your name called out from down the street – after all, no one knows it. But, just two weeks back in Austin I’ve actually had a couple situations where I’ve heard my name called out from a passing car or from across a room. That’s new – and fun. And, cause for me to wear more mascara and stop picking my nose in public ;)
  • old patterns are still there. here’s a fun fact about me: I can’t sleep at night unless the closet doors in my bedroom are closed. I forgot that until I slept in a bedroom (not cabin) again. That is the tip of the Old Patterns Iceberg.
  • we are so fortunate and so grateful. my mama always said there’s a difference between being lucky and being fortunate, as in luck is random and fortune implies choice (+ luck?). I’d say she’s right (because she is most certainly reading this). We are so lucky that we have the opportunity to live the life we do: everyone in our family (including us) is in good health and supportive of what we do. In contrast, we know folks that would love to take off into the wild blue yonder but have family obligations (which they are lovingly providing) which keep them from starting – or staying – out. I also consider us to be very fortunate: we have worked hard to stretch our luck and right wrong choices (like racking up debt or yelling at sisters). We think and (try to act) creatively about how we want to design our life. Also, given our experiences (which haven’t all been good) we choose to bring a sense of adventure, optimism and play to our lives. This has made our time “out there” as opposed to “at home” not “opposed” but rather chapters in the same book. At least, that’s how I feel right now (on our boat, on a weekend away from Austin, while writing this) . . .

Thanks for hanging in there with us while we bumble around in and out of Austin, on and off the seas. I’m looking forward to keeping up with our “So Many Beaches” blog, even if we’re not so close to the coast. Y’all in?

MX-TX passage notes

Our passage from Isla Mujeres, Mexico to Freeport, TX was a blissfully uneventful 755 miles covered in 6 nights and 6 days.

We had GREAT weather, due in part to being patient and working with the amazing Chris Parker to plan our passage. We were able to sail for about half the time, and motor-sailed the rest of the way.

We were surprised by the lack of traffic (only saw about a dozen cargo ships); perhaps this was due to our route to Freeport, not Corpus or Houston.

We were also surprised by our lack of luck fishing! This was also the only passage were we have not caught a fish – such a bummer!

We were thrilled to have some longtime friends join us for the trip and that made it all the more easy – and fun!

Of course, what happens on passage, stays on passage ;)

But, here are a few photos fit for the ‘net:

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our last sunset at sea

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we’re not in the islands anymore . . .

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Freeport floodgates

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crew, united

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safely and happily in our new slip

Making our way home

Daily weather analysis? Check.

Hulls cleaned? Check.

Provisioning? Check.

Ditch-bag stuffed? Check.

Course charted? Check.

Crew orientation? Check.

All the rest of the boat chores? Check. Check. Check.

We have a weather window and we’re leaving TODAY!

Now, all there’s left to do is . . . make our way home.

In contrast to how I’ve felt about passages in the past, I’m actually really looking forward to this upcoming 4-7 days at sea. I’m excited about my star-filled, night-time watches. I can’t wait to watch the sun light dance in white-lighting streaks of the deep blue sea. I’ve got batter & cabbage ready for some awesome fish tacos made from a nice, big mahi we hope to land underway.

In short, I’m so ready – for the 700 nautical miles between here (Isla Mujeres, Q. Roo, MX) and there (Freeport, TX, USA).

In contrast to this well-charted course, there’s everything else which lies beyond.

Like re-entry. As ex-expats.

Which is mostly (thankfully?) uncharted.

What we do know – and are very much grateful for – is that we have (short-term) jobs and housing* lined up.*a friend even offered up her RV for us to stay in, which seems like such a more normal transition for us than a “house” – I mean, it’s small and it moves, feels like home to me.

We have an amazing bevy of family and life-long friends whom we can’t wait to see. We will have an “income” again (which we are so looking forward to!). And, there are all the “little things” I’m looking forward to, like eating *all* the spring rolls, swimming in the amazing, spring-fed, FRESH water springs that abound in Central Texas, and getting a new, actually well-made, cute, supportive bra (one without rust or mildew, bo-nus!).

A few days ago, a newly-arrived, on-a-two-week-sailing-vacay crew member/guest of the boat in the berth next to us swung by to say “I here you’re going back to Texas. I’m sorry.”

What? some people, eh?

I was 100% sincere when I replied “we’re not!”.

This is our third year “on the road” y’all. We’re ready for a change. And, by “change”, I mean familiarity. A home-base. “Normalcy”. (ok, so that might be a bit of a reach)

But, you get the picture.

Shortly after arriving here in Isla, we were fortunate enough to meet up with some awesome sailors from South Africa. They were a young-ish couple, and like us, they were burnt out. Even though they had significantly more miles under their hull (they’ve been out for 8 years), we noticed ourselves nodding along to each other’s sentiments of “we’re not appreciating it anymore; we went to town today and didn’t take 1 picture” and “we’re not retired; there’s still stuff we want to do – on land”, “boat life is hard – it’d be nice to not maintain all these systems for a while”.

Could it be true? Is So Many Beaches beached out!?! Not so fast.

We’re not ready to sell our boat, our home, our MJ. But, we are ready for a change – at least for a while.

As it stands, we’re grateful to have the opportunity and excited to “try on” living back on land for pinch. We figure we’ll take our time, likely sit out next season and just experience life back home for a while.

Speaking of “life back home”, just as we know what we’re excited to come back to, we also know there’s another side of the coin. I’ll miss having so much privacy (the Dr. Jekyll to loneliness’ Mr. Hyde). I’ll miss sleeping in a swaying bed with the stars as my ceiling. I’m not looking forward to the fast-pace of the (awesome) city we’re returning to and the consumer-culture of America in general (spring rolls & new bras being obvious exceptions). I know K will miss his daily salt water swims. And, as much as I can’t wait to catch up with everybody back home, I fear it’s inevitable that there’ll be mis-communications and other awkward adjustments as my fish-out-of-water path merges with others’ on land again.

These are just a few of the things I know to expect. But, what about what I don’t know that I don’t know?

Yikes!

These little – or big – surprises are coming. Ain’t that a peach!?! ummm . . . yes?

I got a little preview today: while in the middle of final prep for our passage, I got uncharacteristically confused, indecisive and overwhelmed. And, I was angry and snappy about that. So, I was angry and snappy with D.

I stormed off down the dock to take a break – and realized, while sitting on the beach, under the palm trees, with a clear view of my boat in the gin-clear Caribbean waters, that this was the last time I’ll have this spot in the sand, in the sun with a view of MJ on the water- at least for a while. Because, of course (reality is sinking in) I’m coming home. Or, at least making my way.

And, perhaps that’s just a bit stressful. For anyone. And, anyone includes me.

Doy.

It hit me: I’m stressed. From turning my life upside-down. From going from everything I’ve known for the past couple of years to something else (familiar and un at the same time – weird, right?). Apparently, I have thoughts and feelings about that, lurking not so subtly beneath the surface. Who knew!?!

There I sat, in the sand, I literally bowled over with emotion: it came right out of the front of my face in thick, salty streams. Along with laughter.

I’m such a type-A dork, I thought. I’m totally adept at the practical, list-making side of things: if I can excel-it, I can do it! But, turns out my emotions don’t fit so well in those little cells – I don’t care how much you “wrap text”. (told you I was a dork)

After some deep breaths and a great call home to an old friend, I surrendered to the full circle of the choice I am making (for everything it is and everything it isn’t – including the  stress of change). All of the sudden, the freedom to just own my stress was funny: I signed off “love ya, thanks so much for listening. but, I gotta go . . . cry on my boat some more!”. And, he, my amazingly wise friend, didn’t hesitate: “Good for you. You’re not gonna get to cry on your boat for very much longer. So, live it up.”

~~~

As we make our way home, across the Gulf in charted waters, you can follow along here: http://www.somanybeaches.com/where-in-the-world/where-we-are-now/. See y’all in the US!