Thursday, May 29, 2014

Slow pace life sailing

I, born and raised in the city of the river of kings (Chaopraya River), Bangkok, was used to traffic jams, crowds, and fast pace life. Thailand is the travel hub of Asia. We have several convenient international airports, delicious world-famous food, various shopping places, fantastic beaches, equipped ports for cruisers and friendly people as it called “Land of Smiles”. When I moved to Macau some years ago, China tourism market was not yet much open, Macau was still quieter than Bangkok. Then, little by little, Macau developed and, in the last ten years, was growing very fast. More visitors from all over Asia start pouring into Macau for gaming, leisure, shopping or just to visit the World Heritage sites. My life seems not to be so quiet since the beginning. But, that doesn’t mean that was not good. I just got used to that lifestyle. We could find everything we want and in our reach both in Bangkok and Macau.

The first month of living aboard, starting in the Dominican Republic, was of “culture shock”. It also doesn’t mean that was not good, it was just different! I think is the same feeling as people from the “developed World” visiting developing countries and they call it “Third World” just because they don’t have what the “developed World” has, however, what they have can be luxury for local people. Yet, the “developed” people may think they are underdeveloped because they see others with much better quality of life. We can’t judge what is better or worse if we came from a different background. Just like I said, it’s different. I never say that living aboard is better than on land or vice versa but I always see it as a good opportunity which not many people have. The differences are good for us to learn! I still miss my land life while I’m enjoying the wave and peace on the boat.  

While we are spending our life aboard, we still receive news from our friends and family about the curfew in Thailand, manifestations in Macau and big soccer match in Portugal. However, the good thing about living aboard is that we are not addicted to the news. We have limited social life, news or communications, we don’t wait for emails, calls or see many missed calls, we don’t check Facebook or read newspapers all the time but we do all of that when we can. Presently we don’t have easy access to many things, however, in the other hand we appreciate more what we have and respect more what is around us.

We are in Puerto Rico for more than a month and more than ready to set the sail again but we can’t just go! Sailing teaches me to be patient. Even we have full food supplies enough for our family for a month and full fuel tanks but we can’t leave if the weather is not good! Like people usually say, the sea never sleeps and the rain and clouds are unpredictable. All of this applies to sailing life. We have nothing to rush, we have no plan, no deadline, the only schedule we have is the hurricane season that is approaching and following us day by day. We all know how badly the Typhoon season is in Macau or Tropical storms in Thailand are, that’s why we have to respect the nature.

Flexibility is another important thing I learn. I can’t keep insisting to go to the places where the weather conditions are not good. The route must be negotiable anytime. Like us now, from Puerto Rico in the initial plan we would visit the Spanish Virgin Islands before heading to US Virgin Islands but since we are very late for the hurricane season now, the weather is getting bad and we meet many people who are ready to hook themselves and wait for the hurricane season to pass we must change our route or wait and see the weather. At least we don’t have boat jams here!

I often make a joke with my friends about living aboard saying that I don’t know if I can live on land again. I’m enjoying life without calls, no rush hours, fresh air with the Sunrise giving the alarm in the morning and the Sunset telling me that is time for us to have dinner!

2 comments:

Nice article, any fishing going on? By the way I bought Viva, it's now called MARAVILHA

Good to hear that :) happy sailing

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