It’s been almost two months since we parked Happy Dancer on the dry in Malta to travel overland instead. In hindsight – and with only two days left till we fly back home to Sydney – for us boat-life worked well until we fell pregnant with number 3, whereas travelling overland long-term-ish hasn’t, mainly due to the lack of grounding and having, albeit little, but a home to fall asleep in every night. Here’s some reflections and comparison – hopefully helping the travel-dreamers of you to figure out what could work best for you.
Pros of travelling on a boat
- No packing! You’ve got your home always with you. Nice grounding in between all the moving and travelling.
- Arriving by sea to a new place is always more magical than being freighted in with hundreds of others by plane, train or ferry.
- Being at one with Poseidon with the right wind and exactly the right angle in the sails under a star covered galaxy is just unbeatable. Having said that – all the perfect conditions combine rather rarely.
- Your kitchen with you at all times. Whilst tasting local foods is a wonderful part of discovering the world in itself, if travelling is your life, it can also be exhausting. Sometimes I simply want a non-dairy, non-gluten, veg-filled day with Chia-Shake in the morning and simple green veg soup with lin-seeds for lunch. When living on a boat, you can get the best of both worlds/cuisines – your own, and the country you are travelling in.
- Potty training made super easy. Most times of most days the boys are either naked or in their swimmers. Plus weeing over the reeling has always seemed much more appealing to our two year old than having to go to a bathroom, take off your pants and boringly sit down on a toilet with no view.
Pros of travelling overland
- No need to worry about the weather. All you do if it rains or storms is change your plans to visit a history museum or old castle, instead of going for another hike.
- No need to worry about the anchor. Whatever house you are renting is most likely not to drift away at night.
- Enjoying local architecture. All the places we’ve lived in since parking the boat – from cosy country houses, over super luxurious modern apartments, to ancient fairy-tale riads or remote basic and cute mountain lodges – they’ve all given us, not only an additional insight into local cultures and traditions, but also provided bits and pieces of inspiration for the day we’ll build our own eco-friendly country house – somewhere, somehow, some day;)
- Digging deeper into local culture. Not heading back to port every night somehow has given us the opportunity to dig deeper into local culture, whether that’s been by interacting with ancient folks from the most remote mountain villages, travelling further afield than most other visitors do or getting a glimpse into hotel staff’s lives.
- No storms at sea. Weather on land is just so much more manageable.