Leaving Antigua, W. I.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Home on the Boat

We flew back to Grenada on June 29th to rejoin Play Actor.  During our time in the States, we gave some serious attention to the idea that we might move ashore in the next few years.  We have always thought that we would someday move back to a shore-based life, and as we approach normal retirement age, we worry that we have no idea where we would live if we gave up the sailing life.

It has been 3 years since our last visit to the States, and, after 12 years afloat, life in a close-in suburb or an urban area seemed appealing.  We spent time in California's central valley with Leslie's folks, as well as visiting relatives in the Colorado Rockies and our children in Fort Worth and Houston.  We made a side trip to Austin, thinking that the Texas hill country might be an attractive spot to which we could  retire from retirement. 

The prospect of life ashore after 12 years of cruising is daunting.  We've been back to the States a number of times, but always with the perspective of visitors.  This time our viewpoint was different.  We were overwhelmed by all of the people, cars, and stores.  Even while driving out in the country, we saw people giving vent to frustration, blowing their horns and gesturing angrily.  We rarely encounter such behavior in the islands.  We went into a grocery store in Austin which could have housed all of the grocery stores in any of the Caribbean countries where we spend most of our time, and it was only one of many of like size. 

It was a relief to return to the small, friendly island nation of Grenada, where the immigration and customs officials know us by sight, if not by name.  As we settle back into our life afloat, we worry a bit that we may not be able to find a place in the States to call home when we're ready to give up our wandering way of life.