Our friends Wes and Elizabeth have been talking about coming to visit for quite some time. Finally our free time aligned and flights were booked. They were a bit hesitant at first to stay in our tiny floating home but once they arrived it didn’t take long for them to see why we’re so happy living this life less ordinary.
We gave them the run-down on how all the systems work and showed them what to expect for the next week living on a boat. We showed them everything from how to use the toilet to how to conserve water. We sailed to some of our favorite anchorages in the US Virgin Islands and took them paddleboarding, snorkeling, fishing and diving for lobster.
While enjoying gourmet lobster dinners followed by homemade ice cream, the four of us began talking about how our life on a sailboat is so very different from their lives back on land. They shared how the most surprising part of their visit was learning how easy it is to live simply.
Out on the ocean everything is simple. Elizabeth noticed how obvious it became to her that we can always do with less. We can use less water, create less trash and have fewer possessions and still be just as happy, if not more! While packing up her giant duffle bag stuffed full of clothes, shoes and beauty products for the flight home she realized she didn’t use any of it. She wore a swimsuit and a cover-up the entire week and didn’t even need shoes. She didn’t dry her hair or even need to use a towel. When she returns home she knows she’ll think twice about leaving the water running, leaving a light on or even just grabbing a huge wad of paper towels.
Wes particularly noticed how our biggest goal living out here is just sustaining our lifestyle. We only need enough money to get by, to make repairs and supplement the food we catch from the sea. He saw how Peter and I are focused more on experiences not things.
While in Maho Bay, our neighbor Ray came to say hello and introduce himself. He had seen the guys bringing home a nice lobster catch one evening and shared with us that during the last eight years he’s been out cruising on his sailboat, it’s been his dream to catch just one lobster! He had even heard about the last lobster catch we had in that area after talking with our friends Scott and Brittany from Windtraveler and when he met us that evening he exclaimed, “you’re famous!” Peter is definitely a pro when it comes to snaring lobster. What makes his gift even more exciting is being able to share the experience with others. Next time we share an anchorage with Ray we promised to take him out and make his dream come true.
Back on land, it’s less about the experiences that bring you joy and more about making money and achieving success. Society tells you to be the best at whatever it is that you do. Be the top Realtor in your region, be the best football player, create revolutionary businesses like Google, become the next Zuckerberg, or find a cure for cancer. Society places value on fame and fortune.
Competition casts an ugly shadow on every street corner and the rat race leaves an overwhelming feeling of restlessness. There are so many people in the world yet only so many jobs available and there are only so many resources at hand. For the Average Joe, it’s never enough.
Since living in our tiny floating home, Peter and I have adjusted to simplicity and have adapted to a different frame of mind than we once had. Our days are now comprised of making our own water, making our own power and watching the weather. We go on adventures and make new memories, experiencing the world in ways most never will. We spend more time enjoying our everyday life, family and friends, working only enough to keep ourselves afloat and sustain our chosen lifestyle. So… we won’t be the ones finding a cure for a disease that could save millions of lives, and we won’t be inventing the newest technological advancement. But are we doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint while teaching others how to live responsibly and sustainably? Absolutely. Are we being as resourceful and self-sufficient as we can? You betcha. Are we inspiring others to step outside the box and follow their dreams? I sure hope so!
What are your thoughts on living a life less ordinary? Is it selfish and self-centered or inspiring? Leave a comment!