Five years is a milestone and often the end of cruising or the realization that this is the best lifestyle forever. I fit into the later, after 5 years i have more certainty that this is how i want to live. My trips back to the US have only reconfirmed this view. I have found my destiny.
This year put another good amount of hours on the boat and me. As much as i love cruising i am starting to yearn a bit slower pace. I can see longer stays in a few places in the future.
My health is great, a few back aches and pains but all and all i am fit and healthy, for which i am very grateful. Age, experience and the cultures i live in have had a calming effect for sure. I am rarely angry and then very short term, tend to worry less and have developed a generally positive look on life, a common affliction of the cruising world.
Most of my adult life i have been involved in some sort of cause, helping others, the marine environment and often whales and dolphins. When i cast off i cut most of those ties but old habits die hard. i have been drawn into different causes and find i need that sort of juice in my life. This year the universe provided several venues. Starting with our Christmas project helping a family whose home was destroyed by the Typhoon in the Philippines. then i had the amazing fortune to once again meet world known hero of the environmental world, Dr David Suzuki. Back in America i reunited with one of my counselees, once homeless, then on welfare and now a financial super success. I find i need this so much, and will continue to seek avenues for this energy.
The other metamorphosis i have gone through is my new found connection with kids. this continues to grow both with cruising kids i know and with locals and is a great source of joy!
i have learned to cherish the places we return to more and more. The friends i return to have become essential parts of the voyages. I also seek new adventures so each year try to combine old friends and places with the unknown. SE Asia is a perfect venue for such travel as i will never see all of it nor tire of seeing my favorite spots.
Music continues to be an important interest and something i want to pursue. I have the luxury of knowing i am not all that talented nor will i ever make a living playing so i go about it just for fun. I really enjoy jamming with my friends and also doing my solo shows. The other luxury i have is a massive amount of time to practice which makes up for some lack of talent. My love of music is a pull to stay put more, if i were less mobile i would probably be in a band by now.
My experiences with my revolving crew continue to be a great source of learning and fun. i have formed bonds with several of the past crew that will last a lifetime. Also i am more and more aware that i need positive fun people around me, and have a limited tolerance for those who are not that way. i would like to say that my happiness is not effected by those around me but it just aint so. Fortunately the vast majority of my crew bring me such great joy. i am blessed!
The big decision is coming, whether to stay in SE Asia or venture to the Red Sea and Europe. i will make the call at the end of this next year. One side wants to go forth, see the world and the other realizes i have found paradise and should stay, time will tell the path i take.