Family and friends keep asking what is next for us, when this jaunt across the Pacific comes to a halt in New Zealand sometime in the coming weeks. We keep saying we don’t know, which is exactly true.
Right now, there are a few things we know for sure however:
- Cyclone season is upon us soon and it’s time to get out of the way
- We are really, really, really anxious for a draft IPA, jeans, a hike in the woods, and a real supermarket
- Our cruising kitty is down to its final dregs and it’s time to go back to work for a while
For a couple of people who like to have at least the next few years of our life mapped out, that’s not much of a chart.
We have far more questions than answers: will we be able to find work in New Zealand and then get the proper visas? Will we like NZ enough to want to stay for a few years? Forever? Will NZ like us? What city will we be living in? How is Leah going to adjust to regular school after a year of free-roaming school? How will we adjust to wearing socks again? Having cell phones? Having bills? Will we want to return to the Northwest and if so do we want to sail back or sell the boat and fly ourselves home? If we sail back, can we swing by Mexico? (I really really want a taco.)
We’ve been around long enough to know that the answers to these questions will be sorted out in time. Decisions will be made for us, things will happen. And we’ll have to make some tough decisions, too. We haven’t always been comfortable with so much ambiguity about the future; in fact, a few years ago we would have been a nervous wreck with so much uncertainty ahead. But now it feels rather invigorating, exciting even, at the unknown adventure that lies ahead, still.
Maybe it’s because we’re getting older and hopefully a little wiser. But I like to think that cruising has shown us how to be flexible, to go into the unknown without expectation and with an openness for whatever happens next. Most importantly, having faith that everything will turn out all right.
There is another thing we know and it actually surprises us a little, after being so positive a few months ago that we’d have had our fill of sailing after all these miles. We’ve been here in Tonga, spending a lot of time looking back over the past 16 months kind of disbelieving that we are practically at the end of this journey already. We’ve enjoyed the introspection that comes with being perched on the brink of the unknown. I thought for sure I’d be done with this ocean sailing traveling thing by the time we got here. But our quiet time in Tonga, with so much more of the world to see (Fiji! Vanuatu! Thailand!) just over the horizon has shown us that we haven’t got our fill at all.
Maybe what little we do know for certain is enough: that with a few more coins in our pocket, we could keep going and going and going.