How do you know you’ll love nomad life cruising on a boat or traveling by RV before you try it? The answer comes when you ask yourself why you’re interested in doing it at all. In other words, do you want to change your life? Or just take a vacation?
Living The Dream
Every summer we return to Cambridge, Maryland located twelve miles up the Choptank River from the Chesapeake Bay. We stay in the municipal marina next to a downtown park.
Sitting in our cockpit, just feet away from the joggers and dog walkers, we hear the same comment over and over: “You’re living the dream, eh?”
Would they say that if they saw us racing a squall on a rough Georgia sound? Or hanging upside down in the engine compartment tightening a stuffing box? Or worst of all, fixing the v-berth sheets on a 100-degree day?
Of course not. The dream of cruising or full-time travel in an RV is enjoying adult beverages as the sun goes down in a stunning setting.
Is that your dream?
Why I Chose The Cruising Life
I didn’t grow up sailing. Heck, I didn’t even grow up camping. Or doing any kind of outdoor recreation.
What led me to think in my mid-40s that I’d like to live on a boat?
Well, for one thing, I relished the challenge of learning something entirely new in middle age. When I read about sailing, I felt like I was learning a new language. What the heck was a broad reach, jib, or halyard?
If I could learn all that, it would surely keep my brain strong.
Second, I loved the idea of living outside nearly all the time. This despite the fact that it has rained every time I’ve gone camping in the past 35 years. Yes. Every. Single. Time.
Nothing feels better than just being outdoors.
And finally, I thrive during a challenge. When things get too easy, I start to wilt. Emotionally.
Learning to sail and moving onto a boat ticked all the boxes. And it still does.
Different Versions Of The Dream
I’ve met several couples who sold everything and moved onto their boats just to put the boat up for sale a year later.
On a Facebook group I participate in, I could feel the frustration of a woman on her RV exhausted by constant rain and mud who asked, “Does it get better?”
And when I ask people why they gave up their dream, they reply with some variation of “it’s just too hard.”
But I’ve also met plenty of people who have embraced a life of adventure. They start out traveling by RV but learn to sail and set out on the water. Cruising couples increase the adventure by having children.
I even met a cruising couple who after sailing around the world twice, sold their boat, bought a camper van, and shipped it to Asia where they’d continue exploring over land.
Why do some people find nomad life too difficult to sustain while others love it?
It’s because everyone wants to live the dream. But each person’s dream is different.
The people who love it love it even though it’s hard. Or maybe even because it’s hard.
So it’s time to ask yourself the question that will help you know if nomad life is for you.
Why Do You Want To Be A Nomad
Are you dreaming of lazy days on the water, cocktail time at sunset, and watching wild animals out your window?
Yep, you can have all that in the nomad life. But there’s a tax you have to pay first.
The tax is the learning curve, bad weather, and mechanical breakdowns.
So if you’re looking for a beautiful and relaxing experience, maybe you’re looking for a vacation.
But if you’re looking for a challenge, want to test your relationship, or just see what you’re made of, maybe you’re born to the nomad life.
You can test yourself before you set out (I’ve developed a list of ways you can try the nomad life before taking the plunge; sign up on the home page to get it for free). Or just answer one question for yourself: why do you want to live the nomad life?
Because the answer will tell you if you want a change of life or a vacation.