‘So will you ever get a house then?’ we get asked it a lot, I blog about it a lot, and whilst I never like to say never it’s becoming harder to imagine. There was a time when the boat was just an investment in the quest to get the perfect house, that quickly changed. Fantine scuppered those plans. When we first moved aboard I began to follow a lot of blogs, blogs of people around our age, already on the journey we were embarking. Slowly but surely these blogs have died, my favourite one hasn’t posted for over two years. So either there is a serial killer targeting young boat dwellers or these people are moving on. (In seriousness if anyone knows what happened to Carli, Ed and Skipper on Albion its been a cliffhanger that’s been bothering me for a long time, please let me know!).
Of course I’m not one to talk given my yearly posting sabbaticals! But these bloggers where much more regular than me, and no amount of stalking has resulted in me finding out more information on where they are now.
Thing is, whilst I am happy for these people, if they have moved on, not if they are the liveaboard serial killers’ latest victims, I’m at a point where I struggle to imagine making that move. I’ve posted before about the things you miss from a traditional house, two words … Carpet … Baths … but never the two combined! I can absolutely see all of the benefits with a land life, I know how boat life can grind you down, I know there are times when you are just ready to move on. But I can’t help but wonder how you make that leap back, and away from water.
I may of lied slightly in the first paragraph, we can still imagine a land dwelling life, but it’s very different to the one we imagined a couple of years ago. Whilst we still want space, that has moved from interior to exterior space. I can’t fathom the extents people go to for space they simply don’t need, I had to laugh out loud at someone the other month trying to justify his and his wife’s move to a five-bedroom detached house down the road from their current three bed. Five bedrooms … two people? The world is going mad.
I can’t imagine making the transition from our tiny living space to a house, I think I’ve lost the ability to fill space, the way I used to be able to. Trinkets, useless sideboards, armchairs which were never sat on, decorative things. I imagine your thought process soon switches back to having space to fill, but I’m not entirely sure I would want it to. All that extra cleaning, expense, headache, for what exactly? I don’t think I’m convinced anymore.
I’ve always felt more at home in smaller places, prior to Fantine my tiny little 42 sq ft annex was the most homely and comfortable place I’ve ever lived, perhaps it’s the liberation of a small space and a less cluttered life? Now living at the extreme end of that scale, whilst there are times that I would give almost anything to be able to do more than two side ways steps in the kitchen, I struggle to imagine packing up our ten boxes of boat belongings and moving into a house.
Do the people who have done this miss it? I imagine you miss the freedom of being able to make home pretty much anywhere you choose. I imagine you miss the freedom that space constraints give you, I don’t for a second imagine you miss water roulette or danger area only showers. I’m just intrigued by that readjustment process, and whether a portion of your life spent living aboard effects your life and choices going forward.
James & Kirsty