Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The longest trip



My longest trip was not a sailing trip but it's one back home to Macau. As our families and friends know, I have to be back to work for short period and let the captain of s/v Dee alone with our baby and dog on board. It was our first time being apart since we live full time a board.

A month before my trip, we were busy about fixing and painting our “Dee” while we haul out the boat in Carriacou. The day before my trip was incredibly fast. After we celebrate Joao's Birthday, his second birthday on “Dee”. Then the next day was my longest trip.

I flew from Grenada to Miami then Newark, Hong Kong and finally Macau. The trip that bring me across the globe home was lonely and for me it seems like it was taking forever. More than 24 hours from the connection flight to flying time, everything was slow and it's just the first day I left my family. Finally, I arrived safely after 2 days traveling.

The first step I had in Macau made me feel home. The humidity, noise, and crowd were my environmental shock! After almost 2 years where I had an eternity skyline, fresh breeze, sunlight and sunset are not replaceable. In the begging of my adjustment living on sailing boat, I was crying to go back where I call “home”. Every minute, I miss my daily life, my friends, my job, my car, our house, and my comfort zone. I die for to have my city life back because it was so hard for me to adapt to the simple and frugal life which I was not used to. I fought with my husband all the time about I wasted money that I work hard on a second hand boat that there are millions of things to fix and maintain. I don't feel secure as I read in many cruising website how dangerous is to fall over board. And I lost count on how many times I asked my husband to get divorced!

But today, I'm back here, Macau, where is my adopted home and where we built our own family after I was out of my parents roof. I don't feel the same!

It's not only I'm far away from my better half, my only child and my loyal four legs friend but my feeling was changed. I don't seem enjoying the city life anymore. I couldn't see the sunset as the tall buildings cover it all. I couldn't release my sweating by jumping in the water any time I want. I have to walk but I walk among the crowd and traffic not among the local people who say hello to me or try to sell me some foods. I went shopping for simple food in the supermarkets where they offer much more choices than what I have in the Caribbean but I don't see the use of it. I had dinner with old friends but I went back home with remaining food that no one care and I look around all the tables are full of leftovers that people don't seem to care. It's because there are fresh markets, supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops everywhere, just around the corner, that for them it's easy to find food. I didn't change to be stingy but I see the value of it because I realize how hard is to find food, how hard is to live without income but you need to buy food, how lucky that I have so much variety of food here in the city.

The environment itself makes me stressed. I need mobile phone in order to communicate with friends and far away family but seem that most of the people just look down and never leave their sight of the phone to look around themselves. I need to be early in order to avoid the traffic. People rush to get in the bus without giving a hand to the ones in need.

Today I look back and I realized I had a privilege and the life that many people want which they call quality time, family day or whatever they call. I can spend full time with my family, with the little girl who's growing everyday in the place where many of them call heaven.

Anyway, I still tell all my friends when they asked me the same question that “ How was your life in the boat?” I would say “it's not easy but it's better”. It has never been easy, expensive, difficult but it's worth to have. “Why it's not easy?” It's because no technology to make our life easier like people who live on land. We have no iron machine, no washing machine, no dish washer, no hair dryer, no rice cooking machine, we have limited power and only have gas stove and oven, the most important appliances for the whole passage. When I just give them the example if they can wash cloths and sheets by hands and in the same time they have to save water on their limited water supply... all my friends start saying “whoa”, or “oh”. And “why it's expensive?” Sailing and living on a sailing boat themselves are not expensive but the fixing and maintenance are far than that. Usually when we need to wash the air condition at home will cost around 300 MOP (equivalent around 35-40 USD) but to call the technician to fix something in the boat they will charge 50-100 USD per hour at least excluding parts that we have to pay.

It's not easy and different but we worth it!

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