San Blas islands

best family portret ever

How can we start the year better than … in paradise ? Beautiful palm tree islands scattered in clear blue tropical water, sunshine, white beaches … if this start is an indication for the rest of the year, then we’re good ! This is the life: we swim, we read, we cook, we play games, …  We go to the beach where kids from different nationalities -canadian, american, belgian, kuna indian- can play together,  while the adults have a sundowner on the beach watching the … well, sun go down. Simpel but nice. We do a little school in the morning -after all it’s a bit of a holiday- and we enjoy life !

But, wait … it’s not all picture perfect. We have arguments too. We doubt and struggle with decisions, we have frustrations.  As children get older they are building character, and I can tell you this :  our two boys have a lot of character. ? Being in a confined space -like a boat-, 24/7 throughout the year I promise you tensions do rise every now and then.

Every cruising family knows what I’m talking about, but can we complain ? Of course we can’t, that would be a crime ! We saw a wonderful and challenging opportunity so we took it, all-in. I admire everybody that is brave enough to do so. And it brings us to the most beautiful places and exciting times, but is it the EASY life ? Far from it ! However it is pure, and the longer you do it, the better you get at it. As with everything in life, you need to learn and adjust all the time.

We meet a lot of people, interesting people, each in his or her own way. We talk, we learn and we don’t always agree but all cruisers have taught us something, good or bad. We meet young backpackers, setting their first independent and exploring steps in this great big world. We meet young couples traveling together, families with their children – surprisingly young children sometimes, even babies, and some of these babies were born while traveling !  We meet retired people cruising on the oceans after a life full of duties and obligations. We meet solo travelers ranging in age between 18 to 80 (!) years old … People from different nationalities, people with a lot of money, people with some money, people without any money at all.

The ever returning storyline is that most of these people just took off, stepped out of their comfort zone and just left.

Why ? Most are disappointed or tired of the life they were living and don’t believe in the obvious options society lays out for us. We are critical and feel unfulfilled, looking at the future, occupied by social media and manipulated news facts, never completely sure if those are actual facts or lobbyists and pr people getting paid to present the worst in the best way.

So we are ever searching, looking for not a better but a more truthful way of living. And obviously this comes with uncertainty, sometimes outright chaos, doubts and frustrations … But we wouldn’t have it any other way ! Looking at our young children who meet people from allover the world, picking up different cultures and languages, seeing animals in the wild, dealing with nature in all of it’s diversity and so, so very much more … We can only hope that all these experiences will help shape them into open minded, righteous and compassionate individuals, who once in their turn will choose their own path wisely … after we are done dragging them around the world, that is !

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