It’s been almost a year and a half since we sailed off. In a couple weeks we will have been in Mexico most of the time for a year. Today, at anchor, I’m looking back at what we had and looking at what we have.
What have we lost? The main thing that I’ve lost is racing. I loved racing sports cars. It was hard hard work, very time consuming, and plenty expensive. The truth is, it was too much work. I miss it but not enough to go back.
We’ve lost the absolute excess of consumer goods. Gluttony. I don’t want to buy very much anymore. I haven’t seen a TV commercial for a couple years. I don’t have any magazines. I don’t see many ads. I don’t miss what I don’t see.
We’ve lost some really great food. It’s sad, but I miss In & Out Burger. I make a reasonable facsimile but it isn’t the same, exactly. I miss tri-tip. Big hunks of beef crusted with oak smoke, there’s nothing else like it. We can’t get oak here. Maybe apple wood, but no oak.
I miss some people. Quite a few actually, and quite often. We meet a lot of people. We cruisers make friends quite quickly and easily. We automatically have a lot in common, generally. The only people that we don’t always hit it off with are super conservative, well heeled, and they still have a house to go back to and a nice investment portfolio. The others, those that are like us, worried about money and who jumped in with both feet, everything on the boat, we all hit it off all the time.
Disneyland. I miss Disneyland. Tamiko & Eli can take it or leave it, but I truly love Disneyland. We’ll just have to go to Disney World after we get around the corner to Florida. Have I mentioned that we’re most of the way to the Panama Canal from where we started?
Security. We’ve lost the perceived security of a normal American life. That didn’t really exist anyway. I had this great job, Tamiko’s business was really taking off, and withing three days that was all over. She got hurt and three days later Reid fired me. Security gone. We had this decent little house, Chase Bank swindled us out of it like they did thousands of other people and nobody would help us even though what they did was illegal. When Tamiko go hurt, Worker’s Compensation was supposed to take care of everything, right? Not exactly. That was six years of hell. The insurance company was almost worse than the injury. Just one highlight. They wouldn’t pay for a wheel chair because it wasn’t medically necessary. They actually said that she could just use the wheelchairs at the doctor’s offices and that I should be able to carry her around the house and to the car. It took two years to get reimbursed for the wheelchair. Two years! Every time I’ve ever called the Police, they’ve explained to me how they can’t do anything. So no security there. When Tamiko was attacked by a tweeker on a bus bench in Honolulu who punched her in the face and told her all about how he was going to rape her and kill her, the Police filed it as harassment. She had to run and jump into somebody’s car that she didn’t know and beg them to get her away and that’s harassment.
Thanks, but I’d rather depend on my own skills and my own tools from now on.
What have we gained?
Freedom. Huge freedom. Bigger than you can imagine. We can, by tomorrow night, leave here for anywhere in the world. We don’t have a landlord. We don’t have bosses. The school can’t tell us what to do. County weed abatement isn’t likely to show up and recommend that we trim the grass. Law enforcement is sparse. We follow the rules of seamanship, and of common sense, and of weather and physics. What do you want to do today? Well, we get to do that, whatever it is.
Beauty. You can’t beat our view, ever. 360 degrees of beauty most days. Your 180 degrees of view is half what we have, sorry.
Resourcefulness. We make it ourselves and we fix it ourselves and we carry it ourselves and we clean it ourselves and we figure it out ourselves. We must.
Each other. We spend almost all of our time together, the three of us and the dog. That’s really good for dogs and kids.
Kindness. The Mexican people are a lot more kind to us and to each other than Americans are. Just one example. How many times have you heard an American exclaim “LEARN TO SPEAK ENGLISH!”? That attitude just doesn’t exist here, Mexicans are delighted that I’m trying to speak their language and they get joy from helping me learn.
Food. I know that I whined about food earlier but the reality is that Mexican food is the best food on earth and it’s cheap. Done.
Nature. Sea turtles. Barracudas. Frigate birds. Blue footed boobies. Flying rays. Whales. Dolphins. Lobster. Pelicans. Iguanas. Flying fish. Coconuts. Bananas. Mangos. Papayas. Mahi-mahi. Phosphorescence. We at least see half of these in their wild state every day.
Is it worth it?