We arrived in Australia almost exactly two and a half years ago. Pulling into Brisbane after 15 months of cruising seemed decidedly like the end of our adventure. We were trading sun soaked beaches, a persistent, intimate awareness of the weather, sundowners with dear friends, and nearly daily boat maintenance for the relative ease of city life, a stable job, and weather that wouldn’t really affect us.
What I soon discovered was that it was just the start of a new adventure, one punctuated by forging new relationships, and building a life in a foreign country. Making this foreign country feel native—navigating the subtle cultural differences, finding our community, as well as coming to the understanding that all the animals that could kill us here, wouldn’t necessarily (under normal circumstances) want to kill us— was just as challenging and exciting as when we sailed through Mexico, or the Marquesas.
In just a month, we will start moving slowly north. It’s time. The trades are established, and the air here in Brisbane has become crisp. I would have thought this would be the easiest decision in the world. Adventure awaits, as do deserted tropical islands, and a few friends we are eager to catch up to. But for all the undeniable magnetic pull of the North, I am not as eager as I “should” be.
All of us have found special people here. Ruby has made some really strong bonds with her schoolmates, and Miles has a friend that he “would marry, if I [he] weren’t already married to Rayna.” I have made a small handful of friends so dear that their absence from my daily life will leave a bruise on my heart.. Somehow we have all formed what feel like life long bonds with people here despite our stated transience. It boggles the mind.
So it is that I find myself torn between the excitement of adventure impending, and the overwhelming comfort of belonging and security of community. This, for me is the defining challenge of the cruising life. Finding the balance between the two, and accepting that the balance doesn’t always have to be simultaneous. Letting go, but recognising that a part of me will linger here, and that a new aspect of me, forged from my experiences will take it’s place. This is a harsh but rewarding reality, and one that, once the pain of goodbyes ebbs, leaves me with a unique gift… A new place to call home.