Bagel Story
Pragmatic Voyager,  Voyage

Life in transition

The months of July and August have been the time of the transitions. It has been an amazing and a hard to comprehend experience at the same time.

The whole process of preparing for our extended cruise has accelerated in the final months. During that time we have sometimes operated as if on autopilot, just checking off one task after another and pushing forward to meet our timeline. We have methodically dismantled 20 years of our life in the Pacific Northwest, disentangled ourselves from our possessions, obligations, and routines, and embarked on a new and unknown life. It has been exhilarating and scary at the same time, and it is still hard to describe.

In those final months we have accomplished an extraordinary set of tasks:

  • Completed some still outstanding boat projects, including the full rigging replacement (finished in July), solar panel installation, and a long list of smaller ones.
  • Finished selling, donating, or throwing away our possessions. This went from a methodical and thoughtful process that started many months ago, to an in-a-minute decision making – do we need it or not?
  • Quit work.
  • Packed two containers of furniture and belongings and shipped those to our older son, Szymon, in Michigan.
  • Flew with our dog to Michigan to leave her there with Szymon. It was a great visit and a chance to catch a breath for us.
  • Packed our younger son, Filip, and drove an U-Haul truck with his possessions and the three of us to Tuscon, AZ. He has been accepted to University of Arizona and the school yere there starts in second half of August. It was a 3-day trip in a rattling truck driving through a desert sometimes covered in smoke from many fires in California and Oregon. Something we hope we never have to do again.
  • Moved the reminder of our possessions to a storage unit and emptied the house. We managed to fit into a 75 sq ft unit, and we started with a 5-bedroom, 3300 sq ft house. We are proud of ourselves 🙂
  • Moved to the boat. August 14th was the last night we slept in our house. We still went there a few times after that, but we switched to living on the boat and visiting the house.
  • Started the process of selling the house.
  • Cruised for a week, with Szymon and his girlfriend, Mayra, visiting us.
  • Sold 2 cars, the last one a day before the departure.

The most incredible of all this was the fact that we moved to the boat on August 15th, Sunday, just as we wrote on a whiteboard in our kitchen a long while ago, when we just started dreaming of this journey. Having a deadline gives you focus, and it definitely worked for us.

In two short months, we transitioned from a family of three, living in a suburb house, going to work and school and living what is essentially described as “normal life”, to the two of us living on a boat, with no house and no car, and both our kids half a continent away. The physical transition took 2 months, but the mental one will for sure take a bit longer. Despite the fact that we wanted this change and we planned it for some time and prepared for it, there is nothing that can prepare you for the actual amount of all those changes on all different levels when they happen in such a short amount of time.

The most difficult part was saying goodbyes. We had all of our friends, some alone, some in groups come over and say bye to us. It was great to see them all and hear their encouragement and best wishes, and it was super hard to see that we are leaving them behind and that for the foreseeable future we will not be meeting them as often as we would like and that our lives and their lives are taking now very different courses.

In those hard moments, it helped us to think that nothing sits still. Our lives would evolve anyway, friends would perhaps move at some point, and changes would happen even if we stayed put. And we were ready for a change for some time now, and with the pandemic, we realized that we wanted it more than ever. We were set on a new course, into the unknown.

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