Photo by Eneka Stewart Photography
It’s now been a full month since we left our homes on land and started living the dream of sailing aboard a 56’ yacht. My husband, 3-year-old daughter (almost 4 now!) and my cousin, Loryn, have travelled from Gibraltar to Malta, via Algeria and then onto Sicily. Since arriving in Sicily, we’ve been to Marzamemi and Syracuse.
Our next port of call is Catania. Originally our only reason to stop over in Catania was to get some repairs done, but we’ve made new friends that live there so I’m hoping the visit will be a social one too!
So, what do I make of our first month?
For the most part, I’ve been on a serious high. Each day I seem to blank out for a few seconds, perhaps forgetting where I am, and then I return to my present reality and think, ‘Someone just pinch me as this can’t be true. I truly am living in a dream-world!’
The new boat, the new and amazing sights and all the new smells are forcing me to be present much more than usual. I’m definitely not sleepwalking on automatic pilot through my days anymore. I think, however, every once in a while I have to blank out just so that I don’t explode with new stimulus. Hahaha – sounds funny, but everything is new and it’s taking a lot of attention.
I think the whirlwind is starting to slow down a bit, but just a bit
At first, everything was so new. Not only the country we were in, but the boat too. Everything was strange. There was no routine, no known comforts and very little that was familiar. At least now, we’re all starting to feel familiar with the boat – we know where most things are and we feel more settled.
For example, all our foods are stored in particular places. We know where to find water and the cupboard that holds the cereal. We also know how to use most things – the toilets, showers, water maker, washing machine and so forth.
Making coffee in the morning is no longer hit or miss. We know exactly how to make it in our special Italian coffee maker and how to create our individual desires…Sim takes a ½ cup of the coffee, a quarter of the cup with hot water and the other quarter with cold milk. Loryn and I take ½ coffee and ½ hot milk.
Aside from knowing where things are and how to use everything, we’re starting to develop a loose routine. We all wake up in the morning so that starts things off! Around 7:30 to 8:00am we’re all up drinking our coffee. Sienna is having her rice crispies, corn flakes, milk and honey combo while we’re eating our amazing creation from Loryn – beetroot, raw parsnip, raw carrot, apple and cinnamon salad. Who knew that raw parsnip tasted good?!
Around the breakfast table we discuss our plan for the day. If we’re leaving port, we’ll discuss the ETD (estimated time of departure), what needs to be done and who’s doing what. If we’re staying put, we’ll decide what we want to do and see. Usually there’s a bit of time for Loryn and I to do some typing and Simon to fiddle around on the boat. We also have an hour or so with Sienna doing numbers and letters or helping her with an educational app on the Ipad.
Regardless of what we do, the days seem to fly by. Every day I say, ‘Simon/Loryn – can you believe it’s 5pm already?’ and they responds, ‘No it’s not!!
No comprendeh – I don’t understand Italian!
And I must say that I’m even becoming more comfortable with being around non-English speaking people. At first I was afraid to approach foreigners for fear of them not know what I’m saying. Now I give it a go and usually I end up with the desired result. I’m discovering that anything done with a smile tends to end up with a positive result. Go figure!
Just yesterday, we sent a FB message to one of the new friends we made when first arriving in Sicily asking where the Supermarcado was. We met 6 Italians – only one could speak English. The woman, Nella, that we sent a message to did not speak much English but over FB and the Internet you can use translation buttons. Further, Nella was from the town we were in so we thought she’d be best to ask.
Not only did she tell us where the Supermarcado and marcado (market) were, but she took us to them! I must admit that it was difficult to spend a few hours with someone non-English speaking trying to chit-chat. Loryn and I would ask simple questions, like the name of a flower we wanted to know or to say that Italian drivers were insane.
Trying to sound Italian, I’d just add an ‘O’ to the end of words. I’d point to an insane driver and yell out, ‘Crazy-O’ or ‘Stupdid-O’. I know that I probably sounded like a complete nutter but it was the only thing I could think of to do.
Nella is so kind and so beautiful and we wanted to ask her so many questions. We wanted to get to know here more – perhaps find out what she does with her time, how she met the others and discover what she likes/dislikes…but it was such a struggle to say anything with much depth. I felt so terrible not knowing more words in Italian.
One of my email friends, David from Calabogie, Canada, sent me a few links to some translation apps. I must download one the next time I’m in a wifi area! We’ll see Nella again when we go to Catania so I’d like to make an effort to prepare something to say and ask. One thing is for certain, being around non-English speaking people forces you to FEEL rather than to HEAR.
I could feel that Nella is a beautiful person – so full of light and energy. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so conscious of feeling a persons energy before?! Does that make sense?
No matter what, however, we have the ability to get to know our non-English speaking friends on FaceBook. I can simply push ‘translate’ below their comments on FaceBook and low and behold, they’re changed to English. It’s an amazing world we live in – isn’t it!?
Life is more about now rather than the past or future
My life is so interesting right now that I don’t have time to think much of the past or future. I’m too busy enjoying and loving where I am that I’m very much in the present. I’m not sure if I’m use to living life this way?
Reflecting back, I think I spent quite a bit of time worrying about doing something wrong in the past or speculating about my future. To just enjoy life as it’s playing out is amazing. It’s so refreshing. It’s so different. It feels right, that’s for sure.
I have no idea where I’ll be in 5 days time, let alone where I’ll be in a month. I don’t know what country I’ll be in or what I’ll be doing. And you know what? It doesn’t really matter – I know that we’re going to see new sights, meet new friends and grow closer as a family.
Yes, I do have times when something breaks and I think, ‘Oh know, how are we going to afford to keep doing this?’ I do worry occasionally about the fact that we’re using our retirement funds to sail around the world, but overall, I push those thoughts aside and remind myself that the universe is looking after me!
Everything is going to turn out great…and the journey to get to great is going to be great. The time has come to let go and trust that life is playing out just as it should.
Perhaps it’s time to go from Doctor Kim or Chief Kim (see previous posts) to Guru Kim. Hehehe. Only joking. I just feel a bit more enlightened today than usual. I’m sure tomorrow I’ll think the sky is falling. Well…we’ll most likely be moored up under Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, so perhaps I should be careful about I write about. Hehehe.
So, that’s me for one month after taking the plunge to live the dream. So far, it’s been absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing. Wooooo wooooo!
And as for hubby, this is what he has to say for our first month living the dream of sailing around the world
Read my next article entitled, Sailing to Catania in Sicily – dolphins and disasters included!