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30 December 2016

Flashback Friday | A Day In The Life Of Cruisers & Worker Bees



Today is Michael d’Agostino’s Flashback Friday. The idea is to republish an old post of yours that maybe didn't get enough attention, or that you're really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc. We started this blog three years ago and have lots more followers now then we did back then (thanks guys!) so many folks may not have seen some of our earlier blog posts. 

I wrote this post when I was living in New Zealand. We had sold our old boat and were both working for a while to top up our cruising kitty (savings account in sailing speak) before we headed back to the States to look for our next boat. After having lived aboard and cruised on our boat in New Zealand, it was quite a shock to the system to have to go back and work in an office. This post compares a day in the life of a cruiser living full-time aboard their sailboat and a cruiser wanna-be stuck in an office. 

{This post was originally published in May 2014. You can find it here.}

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Scott and I are working for a few months to top up the cruising kitty. It got me thinking about what my average day looks like cruising versus working. We need to get a new boat pronto.

A Day in the Life of a Worker Bee

You are not my friend.
 
GETTING UP

The alarm screeches at you at 6:00 AM. Grope around in the dark to try to find it so that you can hit the snooze button. Give up, turn on the light and silence the little beast.

Get out of your spacious double bed. Yawn. Stretch. Take a shower with hot water. Wash and rinse your hair as much as you like. No coins required.

Make coffee and turn on the TV. Get depressed as you listen to the news stories about people starving, wars, corrupt government officials and the latest sporting scandal. Get distracted when the way too cheerful weather presenter tells you about all the rain headed your way. Wonder what kind of drugs he takes. It is really possible to be that chipper when talking about the weather? Apparently it is.

Sigh. Get dressed. In clean clothes. In tights, a skirt and a top which silently whispers, “I’m a professional. I know what I’m talking about. I have a PowerPoint presentation to prove it.”

GETTING TO WORK

Get on a train. Full of people. All sneezing and coughing and spraying germs on you. Sneeze and sniffle back at them. We can all play this game.

Stare out the window at the office buildings and the shops. Watch the people on the train think about going to work in the office buildings so that they can get a paycheck and buy stuff in the shops. You can see it in their eyes, "We must drive the economy. Work, work, work! Earn, earn, earn! Spend, spend, spend!"

Hand the lady next to you a tissue – she really needs one. Get off the train. Walk to your office building. Stop in at the shop across the road. They sell chocolate. It's going to be a long day. You'll need some.

WHILING AWAY THE HOURS

Sit in a chair at a desk with a computer. All day long. Stare at the computer. Make fancy PowerPoint presentations to convince people that you’re a professional and you know what you’re talking about. Stare out the window. Such a lovely view of McDonald’s. Think to yourself, “At least I’m sitting in an office building, not serving hamburgers.” You feel better. Because inner peace comes from knowing there is always someone worse off than you.

Send a few emails. Talk to people on the phone. Have a cup of tea. Eat your chocolate. Turn off your computer.

GOING HOME

Wait at the train station. Wait some more. Get on a train. Wonder why people are so rude. Watch the young mother struggle to get her pram on the train. Watch the people right next to the door watch the young mother struggle to get her pram on the train. Obviously, they have been superglued to their seats and are unable to help her. Fortunately, you sat in the one seat without superglue. You help. Poor cute little baby – doesn’t know he has a life of working in an office and making PowerPoint presentations ahead of him. Maybe that's why he is crying.

CHILLING OUT

Stare at the fridge. Will it to produce something delicious for dinner. Give up. Go get takeaway pizza. Sit on the couch. Turn on the TV. Watch a show about people starving, wars, corrupt government officials and the latest sporting scandal. Highly entertaining because it can't possibly be real. Plus everyone is wearing such nice clothes. And their hair looks shiny and pretty.

GO TO SLEEP

Set the alarm for 6:00 AM. Drift off to sleep and dream about sailing.



A Day in the Life of a Cruiser


When you live on a sailboat, you get views like this.
 
GETTING UP

The splash of the water against your boat gently wakes you up at 6:00 AM. Have a good stretch, look out the porthole and smile. While you’re stretching, bump your head against the side of the cramped little v-berth. Stop smiling for a minute. Okay, back to smiling. You’re on a boat and the skipper has made coffee.

Grab the clothes you had on yesterday (and possibly the day before and maybe the day before that) and put them on. They don’t smell any worse than you, so you’re good to go.

No shower. No hot water. Oh well. You’re on a boat. It could be worse. You could be starving, living in a war-torn nation run by corrupt government officials and watching the news on TV about the latest sporting scandal.

GOING TO WORK

You don’t.

WHILING AWAY THE HOURS

You have a leisurely breakfast. You go for a hike. You have a picnic lunch. You stare at the incredible views all around you. You sail to a new anchorage. You enjoy a sundowner in the cockpit and watch the dolphins play and the sun set. You eat a dinner of fresh snapper. And you sigh with contentment.

GOING HOME

You’re home already. On your boat. Home is where the heart is. Your heart is on your boat.

CHILLING OUT

See above – whiling away the hours.

GO TO SLEEP

Drift off to sleep and dream about sailing. No alarm required.


If you work, what's your favorite and/or least favorite parts of your job? If you're retired or not working at present, what's the biggest difference between your days as a worker bee and what you get up to now?

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12 comments:

  1. I'm glad the skipper makes you coffee. Because how does one get the energy to get up and make coffee, without having had any coffee? It's a real problem. This whole ode to the desk job has given me shivers. I hope to avoid it when we go back to work- I just don't know how I ever had the energy. The worst thing for me was always the commute- 3 hours a day staring at red brake lights, being terrified.

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    1. Exactly - you've identified the crux of the problem. Caffeine is required to be able to function and make coffee.

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  2. It's good to stop what we're doing every now and then to take a minute to be grateful for this amazing lifestyle -- thanks for the reminder, Ellen. Happy New Year to you and Scott. May 2017 bring you fair winds and plenty of beautiful sunsets.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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    1. While there can be some low points, it definitely is a great lifestyle. Happy New Year to you guys as well.

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  3. I'm the cruiser now too. I like it far better than the office. Yes indeed. I can't imagine working again.

    Very well said on both sides of the work/cruising.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I can't imagine going back to an office either. If I have to go back to work at some point, it will have to be doing something different.

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  4. Your second version definitely sounds better!

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  5. I never had a job like that. Thankfully! And life as a cruiser the way you described it didn't last very long, first, because of endless boat projects and second because the unexplainable need to start a business! :-) But, working from a sailboat while sailing is obviously much better than working in an office. And, the views are priceless!

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    Replies
    1. To be fair, I actually did enjoy my work quite a bit. It's just the freedom of living on a sailboat is so much more appealing.

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  6. There's definitely no comparison between having a job and not. I thank goodness every day since I retired. (Though my new writing career is taking up a LOT of time, but working for yourself is much more fulfilling!) Wishing you & your Captain a happy, peaceful & prosperous New Year!!

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