I can’t quite recall anymore when we started talking about retiring to a boat on the west coast. Retirement was a proactive fantasy; a recurring theme in our daily discussions for years. As the days slowly fell from the calendar, our planning necessarily became more focused and pragmatic. The planning was fun, but the reality was always “out there.”
Now we’re here. That “some day” future is now.
So, now what? I have no idea, and that’s the charm of the adventure! Look, life is like that. We invest a lot of time and energy trying to plan and control our futures, and a certain amount of that is good and proper. After that, enjoy the ride! Some days you win a million dollars. Others, you fall down a well. Anything can happen.
Ottawa to Nanaimo: 4956 km; a distance equivalent to driving from Lisbon to Moscow. My feelings upon arrival are anticipation and a bit of anxiety alloyed with fatigue and chronic road butt. Sitting here on the upper deck of the Queen of Oak Bay ferry, the glistening waters slipping past; our new home reveals itself. It’s the 24’th of April, and it’s 17 degrees Celsius under a blue sky here in the Straits of Georgia. Our departure from Ottawa, eight days ago, was delayed by an ice storm. I’m smiling.
A road trip is a metaphor for life, if you’ll indulge me: you basically know where you want to go, but not necessarily what you’ll find when you get there. Moments string together into hours, then days. Some moments were entertaining. Others were dreadfully dull. Just stay in your lane and the destination will appear. Have a good plan, then execute it. Then again, some of the best experiences of the trip occurred when we just meandered without purpose and were receptive to experience. We hiked, explored, napped, dined, and chatted with some wonderful folk. Watching Debbie’s expression as the Alberta foothills revealed her first glimpse of the Crowsnest Pass was pure shared joy.
There’s a skill to that, and I’m still learning it. It’s good to have a plan. It’s good to be in the moment. I’m reminded of those drawings that are both a vase and a face, depending upon one’s perspective, but seeing two things at once is hard. We have a boat, and we have a plan. Then again, anything can happen. I’m okay with that.
Oh, look! The ferry is docking. We’re home.