People talk about leaving the rat race behind. What makes you want to do that? Because the rat race has hurt you somehow? It’s not that specific, is it?
I’m the luckiest girl alive. Or at least, among them. I get to live somewhere beautiful, with friends I adore, in a close community in a first world country. My family love me. I’m broke compared to my contemporaries, but I get paid tomorrow so I can afford to pay rent, eat and be merry. My boyfriend’s hot and thinks and gets me. My brain works pretty well most of the time, and the body’s going to improve once I quit smoking and get back to the gym. I get to do a job that helps people and stimulates far more than it irritates, and I make shit and talk shit when I’m motivated and free to do so. Stars twinkle in my favour – bad shit happens to everyone, but the default, the norm, is grand.
So there’s nothing from which to run away. There might be – there are things. Occasional hauntings of the inner brain by recent unpleasantnesses, fears of the future, self-conscious self-deprication, the perceptions of others, ghosts of the past, the need to please, the temptation to dwell or make agitated amends to avoid guilt. I suffer from anxiety on rare occasions, a hangover from a bad time. But by and large it’s all good. These things come and they go and I can even usher them out if I call them soon enough. I expect they will be no less present at sea, but they’re hardly here now. No great torture underpins my actions, or at least none that I can identify.
So, escape. What from?
I think it’s from everything. From all the good and the bad. From the very framework itself – regular work, grow old, consume, please others, plan. From the familiar – solid earth, known faces, long learned customs and expectations. And towards the recognitions and surprises that escape will bring. And towards sunshine. SUNSHINE. From this frozen Cornish shed the notion is a just-ungraspable memory, like London or macaroni cheese. You have to be there and experience it. And towards who knows what else. That’s the fun part.
I’ve traveled before, and to some pretty remote places, but never so much into the unknown. If Rich and I get our way then we’ll head off with little timeframe, a rough direction, and no promise or schedule for return. We’ll bum our way around until we can’t find work or we decide to come home. It might take a month, or a year, or longer. We always have here – home – and we will come back. That’s nice.
It’s so very strange for me to contemplate traveling with someone else. I always always go alone. It’s a long way off, I know, so I’m not freaking out about it just yet. But oh look, I’m considering the very distinct possibility that I AM going to freak out about it.
There’s no doubt about Rich. I wouldn’t want to do this kind of journey with anyone else. He is wonderful and I trust him to know when the boat’s ready and to show me the ropes (literally). I’d still do this even if I won the lottery tomorrow, albeit with better quality shoes. I get to make decisions about how this is done, but still it’s his boat and his dream that I’m hitching a ride in (I don’t have any other big dreams right now, and his is among the best I’ve ever heard) – the boat on its way to the caribbean. That’s a little weird for me. But not as weird as all that time with someone else – all that lack of time alone! I hope by then that’s normal and natural, that we can be two independent peas in our merry loving pod. I hope I can carve out my own breathing space in my head, if not in a 36-foot hull. That, along with somehow gathering a fucktonne of money, is my goal for the next year and a half.