Saturday, April 9, 2016

Blogging from A to Z: H is for the Horizon

During the month of April last year, I participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge - one alphabet-themed post per day (except Sundays).  I had such a good time with it that I'm doing it again this year.  I'm loosely organized on the theme of downsizing, minimalism, and small-home living that I've learned in 14 years of living on a small boat.  I'm starting with A is for Anchoring Out, Anger-ing Out, and ending with Z is for Zout and Zwarte Peper (Dutch for salt and black pepper). Click on the A to Z logo on the lower left sidebar for links to many other bloggers participating in the challenge.

Looking forward to a calm night at sea on El Galeon


"A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for," reads one of my favorite quotes. It's a perfect blend of realism and bravado. Indeed, the feeling that we get when putting our stern toward land and sailing directly away toward the open ocean horizon is indescribable -- nervousness and wonder, paradoxical stress at what could go wrong (and what, maybe, we forgot to do) and anticipation of the relaxation that comes when we give ourselves to the timeless rhythms of the sea. Reliant only on ourselves and our little boat, an ocean trip is totally different from a trip parallel to the coast or up the ICW, where we are never out of sight of humanity and its constructions -- and rarely more that a few hours away from help or safe harbor to tuck into. (And BTW, even the galeon is a little boat, any boat can be a little boat, in the wrong sea conditions!)

There is scientific evidence for the existence of a "wanderlust" gene, and that makes evolutionary sense; the people who wander when resources are scarce may be more likely to find new resources, and hence survive. Of course, it's also possible that they could run into danger and not survive, but it was also absolutely certain that if they just stayed where they were, they would keep getting what they already had gotten (presumably insufficient).

For us in 21st century America, thankfully, resources like food and water are not scarce. But still, the wanderlust gene kicks in.  This time around, it's not survival resources that we wander in search of. With few possessions to weigh us down and a boat-home to take us places, we seek other intangibles -- new ideas, experiences, friends, outlooks.  Adventures.  Bring me that horizon!

21 comments:

  1. Just began following from the A to Z Challenge - and amused that I, too, wrote on the "Horizons" theme, except I did it under "P", for "Passages", and why we have the urge to make them! Looking forward to catching up on your posts, we seem to have much in common, attitude-wise. Thanks!

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    1. Just popped over to your blog; it's always fun to find another A-Z boat blogger. And I love reading the stories and feeling the energy of people in transition from land to sea.

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  2. Yes, I think wanderlust is genetic. This post reminds me of an FDR quote.... To reach a port, we must sail. Sail, not lie at anchor. Sail, not drift.

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  3. A very important trait for humanity. I think it is what will save us in the end. The desire to explore will mean we eventually settle other planets. I figure one of these days, we'll either end up destroying Earth ourselves or a meteor will do it for us, so we need to spread out there to survive. We're a strange, but interesting species.

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  4. "Bring me that horizon!" Me too!

    http://www.svcambria.com/2016/04/the-to-z-challenge-h-is-for-happy-home.html

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    1. And away we go! I'm loving following you along the A-Z, Diane! Your concept of evolving into a regional cruiser has given us much food for thought.

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  5. My husband and I totally have the wanderlust gene. Most people think we're nuts. He's mentioned living on a boat but I don't think I'm ready for that much of a downsize yet. The travel, yes. The small size I will need to get used to gradually. I'm a little clautrophobic plus an introvert - bad combination in a small space.

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    1. When we moved aboard, we made a deal with each other that there would never be pressure to part with things, do *anything* that would make us resent the process. So we have quite a lot of stuff in storage ... and that's okay. Our everyday lives are small and nearly possession-free, but we have the comfort of our most special items "in reserve" should we decide to go back.

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    2. Perhaps one of those new horizons we face is that life of fewer "things" and less stuff? It can be a real effort to release those ties to the things that have defined our safety on land!

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    3. Oh, true that! And not just the things that defined our safety on land; I found it weirdly disorienting to pack away all the souvenirs of our travel and other big events of our land lives -- like I was losing my history. BTW, I couldn't find your blog, can you add a link?

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    4. Ah, how strange - on the list it's called "Til the butter melts", and is at www.sionnablog.wordpress.com Currently
      #818 on the A to Z signup list.

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  6. I've enjoyed life on a sailboat for two weeks, but that's it for my wanderlust gene. Prefer my two feet on land, but admire your resourcefulness.
    www.lorihenriksen.com

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    1. Thanx! I believe we need both types of people to provide balance: the wanderlusters, and those who provide stability.

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  7. I love your H post. The horizon... just thinking about it conjures up romance and adventure. We have sailed towards the horizon a lot, feeling what you so expertly describe. And, I also like the phrase "expanding your horizons". It all happens when you sail towards a new and exotic destination, that is not just around the corner. :-)

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    1. Love "expanding horizons!" It's fascinating how many ways the image of horizons pops up in our phrasing and in our collective minds!

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  8. oh to look to the horizon and dream of what's over that edge....aah.

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    1. Utterly and profoundly human, is it not?

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  9. A gene for wanderlust - that's great! Explains a lot in my life.

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    1. Mine too! It was so fun to read your take on Denver in your blog -- I still miss the mountains, though if we left here, I'd miss the ocean more.

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