When I was twenty years old and a student in Holland, a friend of mine asked if we could take a walk together because there was something that she wanted to speak to me about. This has happened to me many times since, but this one time was the first I noticed. She believed me to be making some sort of political statement because I did not own a lot of stuff -- and she wanted to know why. Was I a refugee? Was I running away from something?
So, when we were walking along the canals chatting and she said, "Michael, we - your friends - are worried about you -- you seem to live with no possessions." I thought the whole thing was funny. I am not a minimalist. Everyone else was a maximalist -- seeking happiness buying stuff. I have always had some kind of immunity to the disease of -- I will feel better / sexier / more successful if I buy that BMW, or watch or...
I explained that I came from a beach culture. That means I grew up in a place where people went on vacation. So, I was always around happy people in flip flops and swim wear. Nobody cares what you are wearing out there -- we are all the same out in the wind and sand and stars. So, for my whole life as a child -- rich and poor mixed together -- out there in nature -- a place where such things as who was rich and who was poor did not matter. We all shared the sunset as earthlings.
So, when getting ready to live this sort of sailing life -- the advice of go simple, go small and go now made sense. And we were in a unique position of not really wanting to take our land life with us anyway, we were fleeing it!
We believe that to be the biggest problem we see in folks moving from the land to the sea.. Many see the transition to a boating life as a list of things that they no longer have. Seamless refrigeration, unlimited electricity coming our of a hole in the wall, climate control, all your favorite foods, etc.
But, we had been living in wild Asia for decades and were used to life 'out there.' So, we decided to try the small expedition boat and a simple life. Meaning, we were going to find out what level of comfort and security the boat was designed to give us and see if that felt like enough. So, build a new and sustainable life and see if that gives us enough modern conveniences so we do not feel like we live in a rain barrel -- a common joke among our friends.
And what we discovered was that, if we chose the right places to park during the year, almost 365 days a year -- except when on a passage between countries -- the boat could support all our power needs, 5g internet, refrigeration, satellite radio, etc. We watch Netflix after dinner just like you. Our offices are just different now.