Monday, May 23, 2011

Why Life on a Boat?

I recently had the pleasure of spending a weekend away with two of my girlfriends. We are trying to make this an semi-annual event as it is always a lot of fun and serves to recharge us for our daily lives.

While away with the girls there was a recurring theme in our conversations. 'Why in the world would I chose to live on a boat?' It started with the question, 'How long do you plan to do this?' My answer was, as it always is, 'As long as we're having fun'. Jennifer asked me many questions over the course of the weekend about the various inconveniences of my life, such as ferry service, laundry rooms, dinghys and just the general day to day affair of getting Henry and I to and from the city with a stroller, groceries and the like. By Sunday she said, 'I haven't heard anything that sounds like fun yet!' I do believe I left her with an impression of hardship which in no way reflects the zest of my life.

So...why do I enjoy living on a boat? Nature is a big reason. If you plan your vacations around camping, you'll understand. I live with the convenience of the biggest city in the country, and the serenity of quiet island life. I step out my door in the morning and watch the swans swim by. Henry and I step off the dock and walk the dogs in a park setting with no cars, where Henry can ride his car or run and play amongst trees and flowers and birds. We go to the park, two minutes from our boat, and while Henry plays I breathe in the fresh air and admire the view. Trees, water, and a beautiful city skyline, too far away to feel the hustle and bustle.

I have never enjoyed, nor thrived on decorating. This is another reason why boat life is perfect for me. With the exception of a couple of pictures and some bedding choices, there is zero decorating to be done. This gives us more time to enjoy the great outdoors!

I think there is an inherent peace that settles on your soul when you're near the water. Living on a boat you are surrounded by this serenity. You are rocked to sleep in your bed ever so gently (most nights!) and every day you come home to that peaceful feeling.

These are all reasons to enjoy life aboard, and that's just when we're at the dock! Travelling by sailboat is an experience like no other. You don't get anywhere fast, but the journey is incredible. You travel with your home on your back, going about your daily life, while enjoying the sun and the sea along the way. I believe that the coastal cities are some of the most wonderful in the United States. These historical cities are timeless beauties.

Now you may say, 'I understand summer life aboard, but what about those Canadian winters?' Even I have to admit that spring, summer and autumn are favourable, but even winter aboard has its perks. Living in a small space year round gets us out of our home every single day. I'm hearty enough to brave the coldest of winter weather, and we live in the biggest city in the country! There is always somewhere to go, and something to do. Virtually everything is within walking distance (which helps to keep me fit!) and even on the coldest days, it is steps to an indoor path system that travels under all of the streets and buildings in the heart of downtown. It's like one incredibly big shopping centre that takes you from just north of the lakeshore seven blocks north to Dundas St.

When all is said and done, the minor inconveniences of life on a boat are so heavily outweighed by the joy I find in doing it that I can't see any other life for me in the foreseeable future.

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