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People used to always ask me how did you get that beautiful girl to live in that tiny boat with you. My answer was always the same, I made her live in my car first, to her the boat seems like a mansion. I’ll never forget the day we moved out of the car into that warm, dry palatial boat. It was pouring rain and she said to me I can’t believe we finally have a boat that doesn’t leak. The very second she said that a huge dollop of water from the hatch splashed across my face and we both began to laugh. All boats leak.
We moved a lot back in those days, leaving our lake view Tahoe home was a huge step and one that wasn’t taken lightly. We packed the car ready for an adventure, it was 2007 and the economy was on the verge of imploding. I’m reminded of Danny De Vito’s line in the movie Heist, Everybody wants money, thats why they call it money. The real question is how much. We pared our belongings to only what would fit in the car. Bikes on the rack and backpacks packed we set off on one of the most amazing journeys of my life. When it all came to an end that little boat become as much of a home as any I have ever had. Our combined desire to be free to travel the world would keep us moving, even squatting in an abandoned clam plant so we could move the boat indoors and make use of the winter to completely rebuild the decks on the Roo.
I don’t ever remember suffering in those days, we treated everything like an adventure, our glass was always half full, our mindset the same and our goal, becoming minimalist. We didn’t have much of anything in the way of possessions back in those days but what we did have was the best that money could buy. The more we simplified our lives the less we had to work and the more freedom we had to play and explore.
Our commitment to ultimate freedom though simplicity did come at a cost. We had a boat that needed rebuilding but the mountains beckoned us daily, progress was slow while we played the summer days away, one summer bled into the next and there was never enough time for all the things we wanted to do. Our focus started to shift, mine to the boat and hers to the immediate glory of the mountians. We were living in one of the greatest cites on earth, Bellingham WA. Surrounded by water in the shadow of one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, we were pulled in every direction except one. Our duality shifting, driving and finally setting us both free to follow our own hearts paths to the fullest extent.
Years later I’m still adicted to living every second of my life but I wonder if I will ever be that free again. Being single I have to work twice as hard at everything to make ends meet not that this is a bad thing but different for sure. Its June first and time to pay the fiddler. My old mindset when I needed more money was to make more money, these days its to spend less. When I say spend less it often comes in the form of spending more upfront on things that will last longer, make me healthier and prove in the long run that they were worth the upfront initial cost.
Sitting in my cockpit with a hot cup of coffee and an organic cigarette I ran the numbers trying to figure out my next plan of attack. There is plenty of food, booze and slip rent is payed for the month of June. The question at hand is not only how to survive but how to continue what has now turned into a 10 year run at living by choice. When the boat sells all proceeds will be put into real gold, buried in the woods for a later date and forgotten about till I’m ready to purchase a new boat. In the meantime I need to find a van and outfit it for the worlds greatest road trip that will last for the rest of Chloe’s life. We are going to see and do everything, again backpack packed, bike strapped to the roof and nothing but the open road of freedom.
Dropping my cigarette butt into my wine bottle ashtray I noticed it was half full and it hit me, its time to give up stogies. Ten years into becoming minimalist there is still room to grow, or reduce maybe. If i’ve learned anything in on this journey its to go with the flow, once you peddle over the edge you have to be 100% committed to survive the drop. Freedom is my heroin and I’m a junkie.
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream. ~Unknown