The difference between travelling and going on vacations.
Holger doesn’t like it when I talk about our first Atlantic year (2016/2017) as a vacation. He says it was a journey not a vacation.
For me it was both sometimes a trip and sometimes a vacation. This time it’s only one and it’s very clear: a ourney.
What distinguishes a trip from a vacation?
For example, a vacation seems to have more to do with luxury. Sleeping in nice hotels, eating in bars and restaurants. Lying in a deck chair on the beach. Drinking a cocktail from a clean glass. Great service. In the evening, the beds are freshly made and the bathroom sparkles. There is WIFI in the hotel. Electricity and fresh water are a self evident of course.
On my trip, the bathroom doesn’t shine that often. Also, the beds are actually only made when they are freshly made. Clean glasses are far from being expected in every beach bar. Often paper cups or better a straight bottle and as far as cleanliness is concerned, it is worth drinking the first glass after dark.
On the other hand, the beach bars with the not-so-fine glasses are not frequented visited by tourists, but by locals. Claire, who has just come from work and had a fight with her son. He’s a pubescent and she’s had enough and needs a rum punch. Or Stephan, who has been changing toilets on a military vessel for 12 hours today and has to get rid of the smell. They tell completely different stories than the wealthy business people we met on the beach in Khao Lak.
And something else is different on my journey. I come back from a vacation as Karin. A little more refreshed and usually with brown skin, which suits me much better than being pale. But I didn’t develop on vacations. My journey, on the other hand, changed me and I can already feel it. After less than a year, a lot has changed in my thinking and feeling. I simply have more time. I can do everything more calmly. No matter if it’s learning a piano piece, cooking or listening.
Even my jobs have totally changed. I definitely didn’t want to NOT work anymore. I need these challenges. So I set up myyachtbranding.com and it was a hit. Most of the time I only have one job at a time. My clients who have ordered their boats and then have to wait a year for the beauty to be delivered have a lot of time on their hands. So I can create perfect work within ample time.
Time and unpredictability facilitate freedom
So it is time that makes the difference. Especially on this journey. Thinking, learning, talking, everything is so much more enjoyable when you have more time to do it. I don’t need to rush through a draft, I can look at the latest Spanish lesson, 4 times if it helps. In the end, it just feels richer, more secure and better, which I could do with more time.
And it’s the unpredictability. It makes you flexible. On the next island there is no telephone network or no mangoes or children need help and money to prepare a boat for a regatta. Every day something happens that I didn’t expect. Marie shows me how to sew bags. I bring a batch of my sourdough over to Ludovig’s boat. Holger learns the guitar and after 30 years of marriage I hear for the first time how well he can sing. On a journey everything is always new.
Freedom sums up both best for me. Not knowing exactly what tomorrow will bring frees me. It frees me from constantly setting goals. Wanting to achieve something in a certain time. With time and freedom, I can simply think better or maybe just clearer.
Even now, when we’ve been waiting for weeks in the harbour of Point à Pitre for our solar panels that will soon make us completely independent, it doesn’t get boring. Sailors come and go. Nothing is predictable and we have plenty of time to find bays, dive, swim, hike, read, play, clean up, draw Bello and Lilli, learn… time to forget our goals.
For me, time and unpredictability distinguish a vacation from a trip.
I wish you all lots of time and lots of unpredictability. /Karin Binz