Nine weekends to go in Germany! When you’re part of a military family, three years often seems very quick when you find yourself close to the end. Living in Europe has offered so many travel opportunities and yet, there are still so many places we didn’t see. Luckily, thanks to some friends asking for advice on favorite European cities, I found myself perusing Ryan Air’s super low airfare and spontaneously planning one last trip. So we are visiting Ireland in just over a week! I can’t believe how many amazing places we’ve seen by virtue of being a military family, especially with two assignments in Europe.
Chris had a trial in England in January, so Madi and I tagged along. We managed to visit Paris, London, and what might be the most charming town (village?) in England, Rye. It is coastal and so I think we’re all sold on the idea of someday coming back on the boat. Choosing where to go will be one of the challenges as we sail, more for me, probably, as I insist living aboard is not a permanent deal. There are enough amazing places to see that we could just spend the rest of our lives traveling.
In fact, the limited-time duration of boat life is one factor that keeps me a little less anxious. I do get excited about it – picturing sunsets and dolphins and little coves and hikes (okay, short hikes) on tropical mountains. Home schooling Madi, decorating the boat to make it feel like home, a slower pace and much more time together…these are all great! But somewhere in that fantasy, other facets of living aboard start creeping in. Am I going to be bored? How much will I miss having a car? (A whole lot, I think) Am I going to feel trapped, stuck, unable to find a place to just be alone when I’m feeling frustrated with my “crew”? How will I manage having a dorm size (a SMALL dorm-size) refrigerator? How about very limited electricity? Walking on to the boat when we arrive is an anxiety-filled prospect. What if, at that moment, it hits me how real this all is and I panic? We are very committed and backing out will not be an option. I just worry that if I can’t get ahold of my worries and don’t find a way to embrace our plan, then my attitude will spill over and make it a negative experience for all of us.
In fairness, I think I’m 75% in. I guess the part that makes me feel most confident about it is that when I look back on my life, I want to have done something extraordinary and have a thousand stories to tell my great grandchildren. I want Madi to grow up learning to push the limits and be adventurous and curious and hard-working. I want to see Chris live his dream that he’s worked nearly 21 years to earn. There is also a part of me from back before I grew up and had kids and bills and responsibility and restraint. Young me pushed the limits and sought out adventure. In that way, starting this adventure is like I’m returning to embracing possibilities, putting caution in its rightful place and fighting back against following a normal path.
I kind of like the idea of more spunk in my life.