Thursday, April 3, 2014

Adjusting Our Sails

The following was written in the beginning of January when we were still in Mag Bay and didn’t have internet. We just realized that we hadn’t posted it yet and so most people don’t know how drastically our plans have changed.

You can’t control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.  - Don’t know who originally said this, but a good friend of ours wrote it on our life ring and I happened across it the other day when I needed the reminder.

Sorry we have been out of touch for so long. We have been anchored off a small (240 people) fishing village for several weeks waiting for wind and didn’t have any access to internet or phone. Most recently we thought we would have been on the mainland a month ago but delays down the coast have added up to us being way behind where we thought we would be right now.

The upside of being in one place for so long is that we got to meet and get to know some really great people without the distraction of a town or city. The most important thing is that it gave us time to think and discuss our plans. We realized that by pushing to meet the schedule we had set for ourselves that we have been stressing ourselves out, not fully enjoying the adventure and worst of all taking it out on each other. 

After some serious soul searching we found there were 3 main reasons we were pushing to meet the schedule. First, we didn’t think we were very interested in spending much time in Central America and especially Mexico – we could easily do that by van or backpacking someday when we are land-based again. Second, sticking to the plan of saving and prepping got us here so sticking to the plan is good, right? The third took some deeper digging but we finally realized the ugly truth - the schedule was also based on fear. 

A fear that went something like this, “We only have so much in savings,  so we need to keep moving or we might run out of money before we get to the South Pacific and not be able to go.”

Fear is a tricky creature. Ignored and pushed into dark corners it grows like mold, spreading its network of spores into the folds of our souls. 
Bringing our fear out into the light allowed us to look at it from different angles and discuss how living from within the fear made us stressed out, cranky with one another and defeated all our hard work over the past 5 years. After all, we scrimped and saved so we could have the freedom to do what we want and not have to work, but sticking to the schedule was feeling a lot more like work than freedom. 

The last few weeks at Puerto Magdelena have given us the time to really think this over, discuss and open ourselves to the option of slowing down and postponing the crossing to the South Pacific for a year. Within days of voicing this as a possibility, we found it slipping into our conversations as if it were a done deal, then, correcting ourselves to say “maybe”. But each time we mentioned slowing down there was a relaxation, ease and joy returning that had been crowded out in our efforts to meet ‘the schedule’. We haven’t reached the mainland yet, so who knows if we will want to spend extra time there. We will make the decision after we check it out. Either way, we can rest easy knowing that like Gratitouille’s sails, the sails of our souls are adjustable.

Back to present day. It’s funny, shortly after we got to the mainland and some internet, we got notifications from the blogs of friends that they had posted stories of slowing down around the same time we wrote this. 
We have since reached the mainland of course, and are enjoying it thoroughly. We are definitely not going to Easter Island this year as there is just too much that we still want to see on this coast and merely moving quickly enough to stay ahead of hurricane season feels plenty fast. We are also enjoying giving ourselves the grace of a year to get settled into this new lifestyle we have taken on before we go on such a big journey.

One of our Mag Bay friends taught us to have ‘intentions’ of doing things rather than raising the ire of Mother Nature/Neptune by being so brash as to make ‘plans’. So our current intent is to continue down the coast of Mexico and Central America with a few months in El Salvador (“the new Costa Rica”) during hurricane season to work on boat projects, surf and possibly do some inland bus trips. We would like to visit Honduras, Nicaragua, the Las Perlas islands of Panama and possibly Ecuador after El Salvador (not necessarily in that order). We are thinking we will make the big jump to Easter Island about a year from now (maybe earlier) and on to the South Pacific islands from there. Who knows what will actually happen. The one thing we do know is that if you have plans (or intentions) of meeting us along the way, we'd love to see you. After all, our sails are adjustable.

Jodi and Darren

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