- You can communicate a whole range of greetings and emotions with your eyebrows alone.
- The smell of rancid coconuts rotting in the midday sun doesn’t bother you anymore.
- When you ask a local a question and they answer “YES” you know that A. that does not mean the answer is actually yes, or B. that they understood the question at all.
- You usually ask a local if a fish you caught is safe to eat – free of ciguatera, a highly toxic and very localized fish poisoning. And when they say “Yes” you know to see above.
- When provisioning or looking for hardware store items you expect to visit at least half a dozen stores and only find half of the items on your shopping list.
- You no longer trust the accuracy of your charts and consider sticks and rebar acceptable navigation beacons.
- Limes and coconuts are considered staple foods onboard.
- You can self-diagnose and treat fungal infections, staph infections and cellulitis and know the difference between the symptoms of dengue fever and malaria.
- You’ve eaten over 25 varieties of bananas, probably in 25 different ways.
- You consider cyclone season the perfect time to sail around the islands; better winds and a heck of a lot less boats!
1. PRO– We travel the world and get to sleep in our own bed every night.
CON- I have spent many a stormy night lying awake in my own bed worried we’ll drag anchor and end up on the reef, losing everything.
2. PRO- The living space is limited but you should see the pool!
CON- At any given time we share the ‘pool’ with stinging jellies, sharks and, in the Solomon Islands, crocodiles.
3. PRO- We can fish for our supper.
CON- There is a reason they call it fishing not catching.
4. PRO- As people always like to remind us, the wind is “free”.
CON- It might be free but it ain’t easy when you don’t control which direction it blows or how hard.
5. PRO- There is a great tradition in the sailing community of sharing information and helping during a crisis.
CON- It is often assumed that since we share one common interest (we both own a boat) that we share many, and therefore automatically must be best friends.
6. PRO- In the beginning it felt like we were sailing new waters, discovering new things and finally getting off the beaten track.
CON- I soon discovered that everyone has already been here, done it and screwed up the natives along the way.
7. PRO- There is no daily grind, no boss or no schedule.
CON- We are completely and fully responsible for everything that we do and do not get accomplished in a day.
8. PRO- We get to see remote, beautiful and sometimes uninhabited parts of the world.
CON- Every beach we’ve ever visited has plastic on it. I often am completely disgusted and totally discouraged about how much we have polluted the earth.
9. PRO- Living outside the parameters of what most people consider normal is exhilarating.
CON- With each passing year it becomes more difficult to live inside the parameters of what most people consider “normal”.
10. PRO- It is bikini season all the time! (in the tropics)
CON- It is bikini season ALL the time!