I once told EW that this lifestyle seemed a bit aimless to me. What is our purpose? During a recent conversation with a family member, I said that taking off as we have done is a bit selfish. He disagreed and said we were living our lives and following our dreams.
That’s true, but traveling away from friends, family, neighborhoods, and organizations that we’ve supported requires us to let go of some “shoulds”. Friends help friends move, provide a shoulder to cry on, and open the champagne for celebrations. Family members go to doctor appointments, take care of kids, gather for holidays, and for bake beans for funerals. Good citizens volunteer, serve on boards, and stay involved. We’re no longer available to participate in person, and there have been months when we aren’t available by phone. As one girlfriend said during a call today, “You are happier when you are connected.” No kidding. (I love Puerto Rico, in part, because of U.S. ATT on the iPhone)
We miss our friends and family, I’ve found that easier to cope with than knowing how much they miss us. Having us leave wasn’t their choice, but they must deal with the consequences and that makes me feel selfish. Our son, Mo, lives across the country and he’s a sailor, adventurer, and traveler so he was the easiest person to tell. Our parents had passed away, and that makes this easier for us than it is for other boaters. One woman told me that her otherwise independent mom cries every time they talk on the phone. These folks are going to store their boat during hurricane season and immerse themselves in friends and family for four months. Two different boaters who have built homes in Luperon have moved their 90-year-old moms to the island with great success. When we bought our boat, one of my mom’s dear friends congratulated us and said, “I think this a great thing, but I’m sure glad you waited until your mom was gone before you did it.” No kidding. My sister and her husband, as has EW’s sister, immediately recognized the boat as our home. My sister made this for us the Christmas after we moved aboard.
Whether we travel by boat, RV, or plane, those of us who have opted for this lifestyle understand that we are giving up daily and weekly contact with friends and family, and it’s important that we understand that those same folks are making sacrifices as well – but they didn’t get to make the decision. Are you traveling far from home? Have you moved to another country for your retirement? Do you sometimes feel selfish? I’d welcome your thoughts.
This weighs more heavily on me than it does on EW, but he’s a nice guy and doesn’t diminish my feelings. He hugs me, and we call everyone we can when we have cell coverage. We’re sorry and we miss you, but we are loving this life.
This plaque was a going away present from my college roommates and their families – my honorary nieces and nephews. This kind of support makes the journey possible for me.