Today doesn’t only mark our first Christmas Eve back home in 2.5 years, but also one month since leaving London for Sydney, since putting a final line under the long-term sailing chapter with little kids and shifting the focus onto new projects, since trying to readjust our systems from sailors’ lives to landlubbers. Needless to say that it hasn’t been easy and, not surprisingly, it’s not the things you expect, but those you don’t that shake your life like in a pepper grinder and spit it out – somewhat different at the other end.
After thirty days I finally get the feeling that my Soul has arrived too. Souls never travel at plane speed, but cruise at a more natural rhythm. While waiting for it to arrive, all the ‘visible’ things in life went the best course we could have dreamt off: Week 1 – Pablo got his old job back, I started booking in some yoga classes, we felt super warmly welcomed by our great community here in Sydney. Week 2 – half of us came down with a nasty gastro virus, leaving us depleted, but also somewhat calm, cleansed and ready for a fresh start with no old nostalgia, resentment or even anger sticking around. Week 3 – bought a massive family car with huge boot for camping or extra seats, bought an new red Vespa to honour the good old times and moved from our initially fabulous city apartment into more-our-style beach pad with garden in Bondi. Week 4 – prepped for Christmas setting up a little tree with the boys etc, re-signed up to local libraries, re-launched our parenting support payments (300$/year for single income families – TA, is this a joke???) sent out invites to our no-stress Christmas day BBQ (anyone who’s around and didn’t get it – pls come anyway!), enjoyed more fun time with old friends and started cooking my Dini-style healthy food again which is big part of really making me feel that I have arrived.
Throughout all this there wasn’t only the internal cleanse from the gastro, but also lots of emotional, energetic and spiritual cleansing through various old and new fabulous experts I realized I had missed throughout our year’s at Sea more than I would like. Reluctantly I admit that there is a whole plethora of advantages to land-life that constant travelling at Sea can’t get you:
Having the best chiro, midwife, energetic cleanser, massage place, Ayurvedic clinic, yogi inspiration and much more at hand whenever needed; the easiness of knowing exactly where to go to find things like the freshest and cheapest box of coconuts, the most amazing food – from Asian, to South American, African… you name it, Sydney’s got it!; the best beaches at your door step (ok, to be fair that, we had on the boat too); friends to hang out with without having to say farewells; washing machine, dish-washer AND what seems to me like a massive fridge; more structure for the kids which they love and which gives us more free-time to ourselves; no freak-outs when they are playing hide-and-seek knowing that they can’t have dropped in the ocean but are merely in the wardrobe or garden; all that SPACE!!!; the easiness of living in a house (no water tanks, pipes, thru-hulls and battery states to worry about)… Sure there’s also the not so enjoyable things of city life like stressed people, bills and – well, no sailing views etc – as well as the more ridiculous things, like three RBTs (Random Breath Tests by road-side police) in less than 24 hours.
It goes without saying that I have many moments of missing Happy Dancer, the amazing places we saw, delicious people we met on the way, dolphins who I could talk to for ours on our bow, exhilaration of constant adventure… But having done it once, it has left me completely calm, knowing exactly what to do when the urge gets too strong again. I got my eyes on the Pacific in ten years – either by myself then, or in a massive boat with a whole bunch of friends as community living was always part of my big dream and I so, so, so rejoice being back with and right in our old and amazing community. Also it’s not fair to expect everything from your partner, while isolated at sea, and that’s what you are forced to do when there are no friends, nor constant social support network around – and that’s what’s been a big part of our journey, in going, in being there, and in coming back. Now it’s time for wonderfully normal Christmas times, Aussie style – with BBQ, friends and beach time. Namaste, tranquil and peaceful Christmas days and a 2016 full of dreams to dream and reams to live!