Photo caption: Dreams change
Two months to go.
You know that saying, “Time flies when you are having fun?” So true right? You know when else time flies? Any time. Looking at your phone, watching movies, texting, talking, googling anything, fixing anything, working on anything, “getting ready”, at the bar, even sleeping, or worse, snoozing. When you are focused, time just flies, period, no matter what.
And just like that, the great one-year mark became the OMG-two-months-left mark. Where have the last 10 months gone! We have been so busy busy!! So, where are we now?
We did this post a little differently. We separated everything into topics for ease of reading and authored it jointly. The person in blue is the one speaking. Click the tabs below on the topics that float your boat. *commence eye rolling…
Where our heads are at...
Mind: I’ve had a lot on my mind and I should because these decisions are lasting ones. They have real consequences and are not easily undone. I have made a lot of progress but still have work to do. I need to leave with a clear conscience and know I did everything I could to make this transition work for everybody. To date I’ve sold almost everything I own, prepared a business to run with me not present, and completely commissioned a boat. Each one of these has felt like a full time job, soooooo stressful.
These decisions also affect my daughters. When I first told them of my plan they pretty much freaked out at the idea that I am going to buy a boat and sail around the world. It’s just not the norm to sell everything and head out on a trip around the world without a plan to return. They wonder why I’m doing this and think I’m being “extreme.” My kids want me to have a house in a place that they can come home to, like all their friends have. It has been a real struggle. My home is a boat now.
I’m pretty sure at this point they understand they will have a place to come anytime they want to visit and think/hope possibly/maybe they are secretly looking forward to us all meeting at the next destination. I’m hearing less of concern and anger and more excitement and this will be fun, an adventure, which is encouraging. Believe me, I get it, this is my dream, not theirs. It has been difficult without my daughters full support. I just want them to understand that I am a person and also their dad.
Body: I fight getting older everyday by making good solid choices. Eating healthy is a great way of life for me, for anyone.
Because it will be just the two of us mainly, it is also important that we are both able to perform the tasks on the boat at all times, so we made a commitment to get our asses to the gym. It wasn’t initially my idea, but I am glad I went along with it. I got the results I was looking for. I leaned out and got stronger.
I have had some serious problems with my back that I have been working through for some years now. It’s beginning to feel a bit better with stretching and regular workouts. I’m hopeful with time as I continue, they just fade to something I don’t think about anymore.
Look out for tips on staying healthy on a boat.
Spirit: My spirits are high. That’s it. It is Emily’s idea to write in these categories and I don’t know what else to say here. I haven’t had much time in my life to think about my spirit. Looking forward to having time to discover it.
As a couple: We enjoy our time together counting down the days until we depart for France. We have been living in a small trailer and are looking forward to getting out of here and to the new boat. We contemplate about what life will be like and what we will do once we actually arrive. We both want to take the time to enjoy the process of life.
Can’t wait to enjoy the simple things life has to offer like making coffee each morning or afternoon tea. We are ready to just see where each day takes us with no particular plan day to day.
Where the boat is at...
Matt: Buying new.
Deadline has passed for all factory options 4 months ago.
Believe it or not, we are almost 2 years in and we are still fine tuning our final aftermarket equipment. There are just way too many things to decide when buying a new boat and too much time to 2nd, 3rd, and 4th guess yourself. Since inception, we probably have added 100 items, deleted 70, only to add back 40, plus an another 25 different ones.
To add to it, things are becoming more expensive as the dollar continues to lose value against the euro. We will have to make some adjustments to our cruising kitty and try to avoid unnecessary expenses. All I do is hope we have not missed something important. What if there is something we still need, a forgotten widget perhaps??? I can only hope no stone was left unturned, but that is unrealistic.
It is just days before Sea Odyssey leaves the factory for Uchimata in La Rochelle. There they will add some bling, solar panels, GPS electronics, fuel polishers and a few more tid bits. I’m pretty sure the guys helping us will be glad to see us depart. I’m sure they are as ready to move on as we are. Soon this all will be behind us and we’ll forget about what we went through to get here.
Emily: Yes, Matt is stressing. To his credit, he has done an absolutely amazing, beyond amazing, job of researching the boat and finding that option that is right for us. His number one priority is keeping us safe knowing the limitations of a crew of two. He has painstakingly taken the time to research every product from every system on the boat to find one of good standing and then goes on even further to get the best price for it.
I mean, honestly, he has tried his big heart out to simplify tasks where he can, improve quality to help prevent failures, have contingency plans, create those redundancies, and price shop. The man is a wizard right now, idek. He totally has set us up for success. I am 1000 times impressed.
Where the house is at...
Emily: House decision… we needed to sell the house. That’s that. When was the question. We are leaving in June 2018. Matt was hesitant to sell too early because we would be displaced for a 9 months and it would be just as well to wait, but I was in the mind to move forward. Living in the smaller space would be way more economic and most of the downsizing would be done. I was just imagining so much to do in those last months that anything we could get done, we should get done. Plus, selling early would also be good if we needed try the market again for a second time.
The house sold within a week to a lovely couple, Brandon and Steve <3 High fives and hugs!
Let me tell you something folks, that project is behind us. No more thinking of its plan B, C, and D and their possible outcome trees. There is a lot to be said for that. When you are dealing with a life change of this magnitude, there are tons and tons of tasks and projects. Any one these could become a barrier and stop you from moving forward. You have to be ready to move with a plan B to keep things going. Otherwise, you are stuck until its resolution. That’s a big reason why big projects are so difficult to accomplish… time.
Matt: Happy to have the burden of needing to sell lifted. Honestly there are a lot of things to do to get ready, so this was just another I’d be able to scratch off the list. Plus we have been able to save about 5k a month living in a trailer behind my office. It felt great to cancel all the utilities, not have to maintain a house, although a trailer is some work too. For one, I got a little taste of freedom from the American Dream of home ownership and it feels good!
Where our stuff is at...
Emily: Yes, we decided to ship our stuff there. It will save tons of time and the stress from guess work. We don’t know the language (tho I am brushing up on my French, yes!!). It seems that wouldn’t be a big deal but it truly is. It is everything actually.
We noticed during our France trip just how hard it was to buy anything in another language. Something recognizable like Tylenol doesn’t exist there. I’m not all that comfortable taking a pill from a box I can’t read. The box could literally say anything, like made from bird beaks & brains and we wouldn’t even know it. It could say only used for animals. We wouldn’t know it! That example is scary but mostly it will be stressful having to choose from what you don’t understand.
Just even finding the stores was an issue. Once we found a store, we have no idea what kind of store it was without going inside. We don’t speak French to read the sign! Is it poor quality or good? Don’t know, can’t read the labels.
Can you imagine provisioning for a whole boat, top to bottom, driving around and around only to guess for every single item! And the time! We are on visas!! This is supposed to be fun!
Our whole culture is about buying, so we know how to shop, like really work that system and research. We know which store has what and how much. So for our own good, we will bring our own stuff.
Matt: So now we are preparing our shipment of belongings to France. Our 7x7x4 wooden box ships out in 3 weeks. It’s been a bit of a last minute shopping spree here… Like Emily said, anything we can gather up here will save time not needing to go shopping there.
We don’t know the brands of goods like we do here and we have no car to run around in. Almost everything is more expensive in France, except the wine. We will load the boat with beautiful French wines once we arrive in La Rochelle and a ton of other shit I’m sure. There will be no escaping.
FYI: You need to hand carry electronic items with lithium batteries. They are forbidden to ship overseas.
Where the fun is at...
Emily: Matt had a great idea, which then grew to a fabulous idea. We live in a place called “The Grove.” It is a large closed off loop with several loops and cul de sacs. Matt had the great idea of inviting the neighbors on Friday night for a little sneak peek. The idea being, neighbors could put their name on things if they wanted and come the next day during the sale and pick it up.
But after thinking about it a bit, Matt was like, well, we have a few extra bottles of champagne. Why don’t we offer champagne while they look around and we’ll hangout a bit. Great idea. Then he was like, why don’t we get a keg, lol, and put it in the kegerator. O.O ← Matt’s eyes.
That’s when it became a fabulous idea. So we handed out flyers to all the neighbors in our little neighborhood to invite them to our little peek n’chill.
Let us just say, meeting the neighbors was definitely the cherry on top of all this moving crap. Just something sweet on top of something that already was sweet. Everyone was so friendly and supportive. So sad to meet everyone and then have to leave tho!! Matt and I really wished we had passed out flyers for a party when we first moved in.
Advice: Do it! They’re not all bad! Only the coolest ones come out anyway.
Three great neighbors not shown here, Lane and Yvonne & Jerald. Lane, you’re awesome buddy, missed ya on our way out. Yvonne and Jerald, thanks for the ‘good luck, have fun’ gift. It was wonderful… Cheers to you all!
Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement. It truly meant a lot to us. <3
Mr. Rogers <3
What has happened...
The Annapolis Boat Show was super. Last year we had no idea what we were looking at. This year was a whole new ballgame and we hit it out of the park. We spoke to nearly everybody including all the “crazy” inventors. We met some friends and made some friends. We were invited to some parties and we crashed some parties. It’s all good. There’s always room at the bar in Annapolis! No matter how tight.
What will happen...
Emily: In a couple weeks, Matt and I are off to the Caribbean to meet up with some friends we met through Atlantic Cruising Yachts. We fly in to Guadeloupe and sail to St. Thomas on Barry and Mary Ann’s Lucia 40, Knot Normal. We couldn’t be more stoked about it. Sailing with some cool people in the beautiful blue, warm island waters sounds perfect right about now!
Barry has been blazing the trail ahead of us for about 4 months. In that time he has taken ownership of Knot Normal in La Rochelle, France, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and now sipping mai-tais on some island somewhere with his lovely wife.
Matt: Looking forward to refreshing my sailing skills and learning the boat systems, as they will be similar to Sea Odyssey’s.
Finally it’s time to get a tan, relax a bit, and sharpen up my fishing skills. No more party boats and hired crew to help you get your fish. It’ll will be all me baiting, reeling, gafting, killing, cutting, and cleaning. Dreaming of sushi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Got some new snorkel gear and not from Costco this time.
Looking forward to becoming one with the ocean but not within the food chain, sharks stay back please….
Emily: Yeah, what he said.
Yay, you guys will have an amazing time. Can’t wait to see you out on the water when our paths cross at some point!
Totally! Crazy! what a trip… So excited and nervous, we don’t even know what to do with ourselves! Congrats on your new sweet ride! 😉 See you then!
Best of luck with everything, it sounds like you are ready for whatever comes. As far as figuring things out in French, making an effort to speak in French – even a little – makes a big difference. The majority of the world outside of America teach their children English from elementary school, so trust me, they most likely do speak English and will be willing to help you if you attempt to be courteous in French first. I lived in Germany for 4 years and London for 2 and have traveled to 22 countries, and part of the fun is communicating when you don’t really speak the language. For Tylenol look for paracetamol, that’s the closest equivalent most places have, and most likely you will only be able to get it from the pharmacy (apothke in German, I’m blanking what it is in French) as they don’t really have over the counter medicines and things are very strictly controlled.
Above all, while I have no doubt about the challenges, I think this will be the best and biggest adventure you will ever have, and I wish you both the very best. I look forward to following along!
Thanks Andrea! So cool of you to write a message! I love speaking French. I hope to really become fluent. That would be amazing. I totally agree with it is fun trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak the same language. Who doesn’t like charades!! Love it. Thanks for the Tylenol tip and the good vibes. Much appreciated! <3