This question can be difficult to answer within the short space of general conversation when asked, and we have been asked by many…family, friends, strangers…some get it, some don’t. Firstly, Ben has wanted to do this for a long time. A challenge, to be ruled only by the elements and your own limitations and feeling something other than being part of a pre disposed system of life expectations. From what at first didn’t necessarily draw me in like it did him – after all at times you are making life more uncomfortable and harder for yourselves- what I can genuinely say we share is a strong desire to live ‘off grid’ and attempt to experience a life that is a little different from the norm.
The eco/sustainability side of this venture is our biggest draw. We are trying to be as self sufficient as we can and being mindful of what we consume and the imprint we leave on the planet. Ultimately we are trying to distance ourselves from being part of the system that adds to the problems we, as a consumerist society, have created for the world we live in. Working with nature, not against it, is important to us and our liveaboard lifestyle. I make the majority of our cleaning products, and some of my beauty products, out of natural ingredients (see sister blog kitchenholistics). Buying mostly organic and local produce and cutting right back on meat and dairy has also been part of this sustainable journey, made more prominent when I trained in Naturopathic Nutrition. We use wind for travel, only using the engine when we have to so limiting our carbon footprint, and we have two massive solar panels to supply our energy needs. We’d love to afford a water maker but funds won’t stretch just yet, but we have fitted a UV filter in the galley which kills the bacteria that the carbon filter doesn’t, so at least we are able to drink the tank water whilst travelling, and we don’t have to buy bottled water (costly for the planet as well as our pockets).
So why we are doing this can be a tricky conversation because there is no short answer, it’s easy to sound defensive about a lifestyle and beliefs you are passionate about, or even that you’re way is better than others, and that’s when the point gets lost. Sure there are also times when I question why we are doing this, usually when things are uncomfortable out at sea, or as frustration gets the better of me when trying to learn something new and not having a natural tendancy towards it. However, these feelings are thankfully short lived and as we get used to this new life things are finding their flow as we learn the ups and downs of a life less ordinary.