22 February 2017

Where is Home?

Recently I left the warmth and sunshine of our cozy harbor in the Caribbean to fly back to the frigid northeast.

Captain Linda Perry Riera

In conversation with my Bostonian friends, I found myself responding to questions with "...I will fly back home Thursday", or "It's been a great visit but I look forward to returning home". It dawned on me that despite living happily in Boston for nearly 12 years, it is not really home anymore. Home is now wherever Argon is.

Antigua home

Montserrat home

Saba home

Les Saintes home

Virgin Gorda home

St. John home

It has been two years since we sold the house, purged most of our possessions, and moved aboard Argon. Some of our preparations and process of downsizing our lifestyle is chronicled in a prior blog post, The Three Year Plan. We were proud to have retained only one small 6x10 storage locker but now we know that most of what was saved in that small space was not necessary.

Moving on to Argon in Boston 18 months prior to departing for our trip allowed us to focus on preparations. The warm months were much more fun than winter. Our home during this time was located at a slip on D dock and our neighborhood was Constitution Marina.
Pulling our home away from home 6 months ago at the onset of this one year trip.

I love our presumably impermanent semi-nomadic cruising lifestyle jumping among Caribbean harbors, islands and countries frequently... often deciding day by day where we will go tomorrow (this has been a much needed contradiction to my type A personality). Figuring out where (or if) to go, how to get there, and what are the options once there is part of my regular routine. However, driving around the familiar streets of Arlington, Lexington, Boston, and North Reading recently felt, well, comfortable. And easy. I forgot how relaxing it can be to not have to constantly study maps (or charts), to know where to arrange to meet up with a friend for a nice dinner, or pick up fresh produce. Being able to visit with my son for long or short visits, scheduled or ad hoc, across several days was heaven. Having WiFi or mobile data all the time. To have a car. Catching up with many friends over coffee, wine, or just chatter filled my yearning to keep these relationships alive. I guess my recent time back in Boston was just... normal. Do I want normal or do I want adventure?

When a nor'easter came roaring in just as I was scheduled to fly back home (which at that time was Soper's Hole, Tortola) and delayed my return, I enjoyed an additional day with a dear friend as we curled up on her sofa watching and discussing movies as the snow and wind whipped outside.

Back Home on Argon

  • How long will we have this mobile, floating home?
  • When will we have a conventional land dwelling again? Where will it be?
  • Do we return to our lives before later this year as scheduled with a land house and crazy jobs?

Although there are still many months ahead for this sailing trip, I find myself pondering these questions frequently. Argon's track is generally (and somewhat hesitantly) northward these days as we weave through the British, US, and Spanish Virgin Islands, and soon off shore to Turks and Caicos, then on to the Bahamas. Then back stateside. I will keep considering these questions... but not too much just yet.

Recent view from the family room (aka cockpit) at anchor.
Pre-dinner evening stroll around the neighborhood. I was probably pondering the questions above a bit while paddling. But not too much.

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