Reflexions on travel, and the dream of a nomadic life.
The following thoughts are reflexions on travel, and the dream of a nomadic life, that float around the Twitter-sphere lately, compiled after a year of living on a sailboat across the Canadian, American and Mexican Pacific coasts.
My first encounter with a nomad was during my stay in Prague, as Santiago, I had just met my Fulcanelli. There was a time in life when I may have felt homesick. But from then on, home was anywhere but here, a vague concept that existed out there, forever fleeting.
The office is no place for multi-disciplinarists, and Japan was where I last fought this loosing battle. My desk, not the medium onto which I would acquire the array of skills I longed for.
Living on a sailboat was not picked amongst other equally enticing ideas. It was, at the time, the only pragmatic solution. It would at once, align with everything that I believed in and wanted in life. In that, it might not correspond to your meaning of travel, or even be replicable.
The monthly rent of our beachside Tokyo housing was nearly 1.5K$USD, and this thus implicated some serious downsizing. Within 3 years, our 20K$USD sailboat would be paid at the rate of 600$ per month.
To think that, at the time, the most heart-breaking things to let go were instruments, old consoles, books and some camera equipment — when the truly hard things to let go would be my habitual bath, tap water and reliable internet connection.
Everything costs more than expected, takes longer than expected and Amazon doesn't deliver to your desert island. Surely you did not do all this travel for the travel alone, you had passions, habits and goals when you left.
The wind rocks the habitat sideways, keeping you up at night. In the morning, you get to spend your day writing, anchored in the most beautiful bay, you go for a swim.
You forget about tap water, don't mind the warm water from the plastic jugs, you wonder why people take showers every day and time away from Twitter really does make you feel better.
Suddenly, it's business as usual. You get back to building things, only now, when you look outside, the upmost gorgeous sunset precedes the darkest of night.
Over a year, we managed to sail 3000nm from Victoria to La Paz, while creating games, music and art.
We learnt how to fix sails, repair a toilet, create electronic systems, maintain an engine, live without a fridge and power.
We have seen every sunset and almost every sunrise, we have sailed with dolphins, we have climbed mountains on desert islands, and we have met the most amazing people.
Being nomad is trading the things you think you care about, for things you didn't know existed.