Nine Months In…10 Things I’ve Learned

Friday , 10, March 2017 9 Comments

Wow….it is coming up on nine months that we have lived aboard All In.  These past months have taught me so many things about myself and my family.  This is not an experience you can ever really be prepared for, but instead you launch into it with a wild leap of faith and take in every single moment with an open heart.  I guess this is the first lesson that I have learned….always be prepared for the unexpected and learn to accept it.  We began this journey back in June and 3 weeks into our new life, we were back off the boat wandering around the east coast by car….never would I have expected this turn of fate but it happened, we accepted it, and moved past it.  Since this time we have had our share of mishaps that I never even had a chance to write about like losing our dingy in a storm and miraculously recovering it, diving into swampy alligator water to get a rope untied from our prop, and of course the “exciting” times when the engine started smoking, hurricane prep, and our running aground that was made into a blog post.

Now as we prepare for our real first offshore crossing to another country, the fear and anxiety is on the rise (at least with me), but the excitement of another adventure is also running through my veins!

So, what have we (I) learned in the first nine months aboard?

  1. I have learned that daily showers and makeup are not necessary to be happy.  I rarely wear makeup anymore…..something I would have NEVER done before.  And hot showers in a public marina every couple days are a luxury and better yet is a hot shower off the back of the boat from the solar shower in a private anchorage.
  2. Protecting yourself from the sun and staying healthy is vitally important (another post about this in the future).  You have one body, so you better take care of it and protect it.
  3. Plans are overrated.  In my past life, I planned EVERYTHING.  I loved planning and still do, but it does not drive my life.  I have learned to take each day as it comes.  The beauty of each day is so unexpected either with the places we visit or the people we meet.  I have learned to take a deep breath and let fate lead us which has required letting go of control.  When living on a boat, there is little control that we have since mother nature points our direction and decision making many times.
  4. Bryan is becoming a decent diesel mechanic and handyman of all boat stuff….plumbing, electronics, cooking, navigator.  He is constantly fixing things and if he becomes stumped, he researches and figures out how to fix the problem.  I am so proud of him.
  5. Happiness does not come from things, but from people and experiences.
  6. My kids challenge me daily, but give me more in life that I could have ever hoped for and I am so lucky to be able to spend everyday experiencing life together and and learning from them.  This transition to a boat was not easy many times, but they ARE adaptable and I love that I can snuggle with them, teach them, and learn from them daily.
  7. There are other ways to make a living rather than a traditional 9-5 job.  Branching out and trusting in your own talents and abilities can provide lots of satisfaction.  Part of the fear of this type of lifestyle previously was letting go of the “traditional” way of life and lack of income.  My eyes have been opened to many different options of ways to support our family that I would have never known before releasing the bowlines (first reference ever on a post regarding the title of the blog!)
  8. Embracing uncertainty…..ok, I’m still working on this one.  Uncertainty and fear are part of living but can lead to some of the most wonderful  experiences.  Once again, taking a deep breath, and be accepting and open to uncertain times and knowing everything will “work out” the way it is planned.
  9. An inspiring majority of people we’ve met, from all walks of life, are incredibly kind and friendly and helpful.  Even from our limited travels so far, we’ve gained an overwhelming sense that we humans are all in this together and really just want to be happy.  This is one of reasons we are continuing to make our Blessing Bracelets.
  10. Our family moves really SLOW…everything we do is slow from making our way off the boat to traveling to our next port.  This is just US and how we roll at this point in our life.  Being a punctual person by nature (the anxiety rises in me every minute I am late to something), I now do not make many plans with a timelines because I know I cannot make it.  The one, actually two, exceptions to this plan are to be back for my brother in law’s wedding in June and a trip with our friends in July (without kids).

That is my short list to this point.   Currently, we are prepping for Bahamas which means waiting (for the most part) for the perfect weather window and accepting what our family is comfortable doing at this point in our cruising life which is short passages.  And of course, relying on mother nature and accepting uncertainty.  Hoping the next post will be from the Bahamas!

9 thoughts on “ : Nine Months In…10 Things I’ve Learned”
  • Linda Peronto says:

    Really enjoy reading about your brave journey.
    My friend Diane loves her bracelet and had it on when I went for a haircut Tuesday.
    Sounds like you are learning to relax and treasure the experience.
    Keeping you all in my prayers.

    • Laura says:

      I’m so glad that she likes her bracelet. We have had lots of fun making and sending bracelets across the country! Thanks for following along.

  • Janice says:

    Love to follow your blog. Make sure that you stop st Hope Town and Man o war, my 2 favorite islands in the Abaco’s.
    Make sure that you bring plenty of coffee and of course, peanut butter and crackers. Fruit isn’t always available. Bring fruit that doesn’t go bad quickly and lots of sunscreen!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Janice!! Those are two stops on our list….I appreciate the advice about food. We are getting ready to do a big provisioning trip this week!

  • Helen says:

    I agree with all of those points. We spent a year traveling on our boat with 2 kids. Now that we are back in Ireland again doing the 9-5 I look back on those times and miss it all so much. Enjoy those moments!!! (Going to have to start planning our next adventure) Safe travels Helen

    • Laura says:

      Thanks Helen…it has been such a great learning experience. I hope you get back out there soon and maybe we will cross paths one day!

  • Aunt Susan says:

    A once in a lifetime experience!
    Your posts are so fun to read. I try to imagine what’s it’s like on your floating house!
    Be safe ! I love you all and miss you❤❤

  • Bob Peronto says:

    It is amazing what you can do if you just “release the bow lines.” It sounds like such a great experience for you and the kids. I’m a bit jealous.
    Have a safe crossing to the Bahamas
    Wishing you calm seas and favorable winds!

  • […] lesson I have learned in the past nine month of living on a boat, is you only have one body, so you better take care of it.  Not only does skin cancer run in […]

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