Having it both ways

by on 17/02/10 at 8:30 pm

I don’t want to say that I am feeling cozy, particularly, because that’s really more a word that my wife would use and she would mean something completely different than I might mean by it, so it’s probably best to avoid it entirely.  Especially because right now men’s figure-skating happens to be playing on the computer we have set up semi-permanently atop our diesel stove for live streaming Olympics coverage while we are here in Vancouver, and I don’t necessarily want anyone reading this to think I am comfortable with that.

But there is a certain sort of satisfaction and well-being I am experiencing at the moment.  I’m warm, well-fed, and well-connected right now, snugged in at a berth in the middle of one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, during one of the premier athletic events of our time, and I suppose I am just feeling a little bit smug about it.  That’s all bound to disappear as soon as we pull out of here and I am cold, exposed, and nervous out in the middle of the Strait of Georgia in the winter, but right now it’s just terribly satisfying to me to be sitting here, watching the Olympics live on a laptop, with a bustling metropolis right out the window.  I don’t feel like I’m traveling; I feel like I am at home.

The boat is, after all, home, and sometimes it’s still a revelation that we can take that home to any number of fantastic places for whatever amount of time we can manage.  And it’s getting easier to manage all the time, as we structure our jobs to work remotely, and with gaps in connectivity.

I don’t feel isolated, I suppose, and that’s what is fueling the infusion of well-being right now.  It’s very easy out on the water to feel alone, at least at this time of year.  Sometimes that’s a great feeling to have.  But at the moment, I think it’s just as well to be here with the crowds, with a Starbucks every two blocks, McDonald’s every three, and well-stocked stores in every neighborhood.  Just having unlimited electricity and Internet seems a boon.

I think that’s important, because all that stuff represents something to get away from when it is time to get away, but it also represents something to come back to when it’s time to come back.  And if you can find ways to enjoy both, then cruising can be that much more fun, because you can look forward to both leaving port and to coming back in again.  I used to think it was only the first that was important but now I am beginning to think that to really enjoy this lifestyle, it’s just as important to appreciate returning.

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