Where exactly is home now?
We’ve been “home” for just over three weeks now, and we’re missing Ruby Rose already. Exactly what we’re missing is sometimes hard to put our finger on. Are we missing the boat itself, the liveaboard lifestyle, the nomadic nature of boat life, our yachty friends, or the Caribbean?
And yes, I put the word home in inverted commas for a reason. I’m not entirely sure where home is, exactly. I’m kind of used to this conundrum, being Australian but living in London for 5 years. In June 2014 we rented out our apartment, and started calling Nick’s parents’ house or my parents house’ home, depending on which country we happened to be in at the time. But we’ve been living on Ruby full-time for the past 14 months and she is well and truly our home now and I’ve found we’ve become incredibly attached to our little boat. It’s difficult being away from her.
Since we got back, the question everyone has been asking has been, “How does it feel to be home?” Most people are probably just being polite, although I know our yachty friends are truly interested because many of them are in similar situations. I know it sounds a little arrogant, but I really don’t think it’s possible to understand how it feels to come home (“home”) after a prolonged absence within a completely different world unless you’ve experienced it yourself. We’ve gone from living on a fairly small yacht in the Caribbean to a big 3 storey house in the middle of London so you’d think we’d be relishing this novel spaciousness; but I’ve come to the conclusion that space is not what I need to make me happy. I mean, thank God. If I suddenly decided I needed a big, sprawling property to keep me content, I don’t think Nick would be very pleased!
So then, how does it feel to be back in London? The fact is, I love London. I think it’s truly the best city in the world. I do love the country, the ocean, the beach and the mountains, but I’m a city girl at heart and I love being able to hop on a train and lose myself in the anonymity of a huge city like London, where everyone is accepted, where no-one is out of place no matter who you are or what you look like. There’s always something going on, whether its festivals, theatre, ballet, music, sports- you name it. However, I don’t know if I could live here anymore. Not full-time. Nick and I are fully aware that we probably won’t live on a boat and sail around forever; at some point, we’ll want to say goodbye to that lifestyle and do something new (our latest idea is to buy a motorhome and do a roadtrip around the States. Or Australia. Or possibly Europe). But this time away from the boat has reiterated to me that that day is a long way off. Our boat- our home- is where we belong, and I’m relieved we’ve come to that conclusion. A part of me was worried we’d get back to London and be so excited by the prospect of long, hot showers, duvets, amazing food and restaurants, limitless shopping and cheap and easy access to Europe that we’d be tempted to change our sailing plans. However, if anything, we’re more determined to continue our circumnavigation than ever.
That said, I’m not going to lie: we’ve been having a fabulous time here. Catching up with our friends has been wonderful, and I admit that I do enjoy being able to do my hair and put on some makeup without looking like a tosser (a well-groomed woman in the sailing world is something of a rarity!). In the Caribbean, dressing up consisted of putting clean clothes on. No, really. If my hair was washed, my legs shaved, deodorant applied and a clean top was on, that meant I was making a real effort and I hope that whoever I was making it for appreciated it!
I’ll leave you with some photos of me and my bestie Laura (who came out to see us in Fuerteventura) who has spoiled me rotten by taking me to Taste of London festival and picnicking in Hyde Park! Next blog will be on our week away in Florence, so stay tuned.