CAN YOU HAVE A JOB AND LIVE ON A NARROWBOAT?

Yes why the hell not! Blog done!

This blog focuses on what I was saying before about the art of slow living, and how boat life has tied into that, bringing my way of thinking marginally into that camp. The beauty of narrow living seems to be that you can have your cake and eat it.

James and I both have full time jobs, and several part time jobs, which to a lot of people looking in on boat life, surprises them. There are people in the boating community who have managed to make their passions and hobbies work for them, with wonderful creative and craft industries thriving and tying in perfectly with boat life.

Several years ago I was chasing the career goals and landed what had always been my dream role, what is it they say about never meeting your idols? The job completely ruined me, leaving me a burnt-out mess after months away from home and the pressure of needing to be constantly available. I scarily called time on the job. I had no other job in place and only a small saving net to fall back on, it was terrifying, particularly as someone who had always had somewhat of a plan. Honestly? It was the best thing I ever did. See in that 8 month jobless period I realised that all the money in the world was worth nothing if you didn’t have the time or energy to enjoy life. So following that fateful day I made the pledge to always be time rich, even if that went hand in hand with being cash poor.

Now as I said above this doesn’t mean I have the ultimate goal, of all the time in the world and someone just popping money into my account for being around, although a recent bout of gardening leave gave me a luxurious taste of that! Honestly though it was a little boring. We like to be busy. With living narrow I think you, or us in particular, need things going on, too much time in the boat and we have a serious case of cabin fever.

So yes we have jobs, we’re not exactly career monsters but we are happy in those roles. Since that fateful dream job I’ve always aimed for jobs that focus on your work life balance. I’m so lucky to have a job I love in the industry I love, but one that at the same time 95% of the time I leave at the office door. I’m no longer career achievement obsessed, I’m life happiness obsessed.

Tying in a full time and part time job with our various pets, hobbies and general life all around the idioscyncrancies of living narrow? Well it can be tiring, but by no means impossible. We just have to be organised and plan things properly, we’re both away a lot for work and that takes co-ordination around one another, alongside ensuring the water tank is full, the boat is moved, and the dogs and horses have food in their bellies.

Careers and boats can absolutely go hand in hand, in fact the beauty of living narrow means you’re offered an instant switch off when you do get home. Having the inspiration of the beautiful countryside on your doorstep, or the 1,000miles of waterways to traverse is the ultimate switch off. But go into it with open eyes and realise that boat’s aren’t quite as self sufficient as houses, they need a bit more hand holding in some respects. This hand holding takes time, perhaps for the ultimate career chaser a long term mooring is the way to combat this.

But yes, if you’re willing to work at it there is no reason why living narrow and a career can’t go hand in hand, just be prepared because the lifestyle may catch you no longer having the same goals.

James & Kirsty

A diary of live aboard life

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