We are in the final stages (I hope!) of finding our new home.
It’s been years in the planning. Ben first started talking about it nearly seven years ago. Back then I couldn’t/wouldn’t even contemplate it. Sailing? Never even done it. Living and travelling on a boat? Never crossed my mind. I’ve come from a Devon based farming family with their roots planted firmly in the fields, and with the exception of my dads fishing boat and occasional ferry trips I have barely any experience on the water.
Whenever Ben would start talking about his dream of one day sailing around the Caribbean I’d literally go mute. I didn’t know what to say – it scared me to tell the truth.
So for nearly a year I’d listen as he spoke to friends about it at the pub, how he felt he needed to do something that made him feel alive before he turned 40 (he was 32 at the time) and I’d not say much, even changing the subject if I was directly asked for any input. In my inexperienced mind all I could imagine when I thought of this great, big adventure of his was having to become a ‘yachty’ type (mainly consisting of buying a new wardrobe of fleecy tops, sailing caps and wet weather gear) and setting off across a vast ocean. And that I’d have to try and enjoy it. I hoped it was just another thing – something that wouldn’t materialise and I could carry on, with head in sand, with the life we had been building together.
After roughly two years of these conversations popping up once too often for my liking, I had to accept it wasn’t going to go away. He really did want to do this, and I would bloody well have to as well or find some way to let him whilst I watched on.
So. I gradually started to ignore him less and listen more. I even occasionally pitched in with a question or two. When I started to listen I realised his reasons for wanting to do it made sense to me too, we were on the same wavelength…I hadn’t fallen for a closet yacht nerd – hooray!
Also, as he explained patiently one evening when I voiced my worries, it wasn’t as if we were going to jump aboard and head for Antigua. It would be baby steps and lots (and lots as it turns out) of research before we made the move. We would live aboard in our local estuary and learn to sail over the next couple of years, gradually sailing longer distances up and down the coast, across the channel, spending the summers here living aboard and working and the winters cruising the warmer climate of the Med. ONE day we MIGHT cross the Atlantic. Phew! I could cope with that plan 🙂
It didn’t sound quite so scary after all…the best bit was when he said I didn’t have to suddenly find a huge love for sailing – to try and think of it as moving our home from A to B (I’d tried to explain my difficulty with not getting massively excited about it by asking him to imagine moving to Scotland or some random place and giving everything up to run a riding stables or some such thing he’d never in a million years consider before I brought it up….men seem to need things spelling out to them before they can experience empathy!!)
Anyhow, I’ve come full circle and even though I know it’s going to be a huge challenge, I’m sure it’s one we can live up to.