Back on land

Nine months ago we left Ondular safely packed and out of the water in French Polynesia and we came back to Australia. It was a difficult decision to make but a necessary one, due to personal and financial reasons. We were confronted with having to resettle again, look for a place to live, look for work and change our mindsets of relaxation and enjoyment into productivity and routine.

The first few weeks or maybe months were a bit shocking. The Gold Coast seemed to have grown and changed so much; so many people everywhere, crowded surf, crowded shopping centres, busyness, everyone seemed trendy and in style and then there was us, trying to fit in again or at least function among it all.

It definitely was overwhelming. From our tranquil and easy-going life on the boat, in our little cocoon, just the two of us, spending everyday and all day together, to a full time job, sharing an apartment with a friend, having no time for anything.

But it has been a very positive time as well. We’ve been so lucky that we have such good friends; our friend Henk, letting us share his apartment with him for cheap rent, only a block and a half away from the ocean, simply priceless! Our friends Junior and Lisa, so thoughtfully kept their mother’s car which was going to go the wreckers, for us to use when we got home. And my friend Jenny, helping me get a job back at the school I used to work for, so yes, we’ve been so very lucky!

I started working a 10 hour day job straight away in a Language School teaching English to adults. Mick got jobs here and there, but nothing too good, until December when he landed a good job but unfortunately it was a  FIFO (fly in fly out) job, so since then we’ve only seen each other for 3 weeks because he comes home for one week and goes away again for three. It hasn’t been easy but it’s  a means to an end and it’s not forever.

On one hand, it’s been great because I really love my job. In the past, I used to teach children and although I love children for their innocence and creativity , I’m enjoying interacting with adult students so much and with this age group I don’t have to worry about behavior management which makes it all so much easier. I’ve been blessed with meeting some wonderful people who happened to be my students and to have some amazing co-workers.

On the other hand, it’s definitely hard to be apart from Mick  but we’re both so busy that time is flying by and we know that soon enough we’ll be able to be together again. This experience back on land has made our will even stronger that we definitely want to get back on Ondular and continue our journey and has made it even clearer for us that we’d like our time on board not only to be an adventure but our way of living.

Mick has been able to meet people that have been doing the same job that he’s doing now for years, spending more time apart from their families than with them, all because of money and having to pay bills; but wouldn’t you rather be broke and being able to spend time together than having money but being apart. What is life for if you’re not spending it with the people you love the most?

More and more I think the world is upside down. That our belief system is completely wrong and that we go on in life chasing the wrong things, not stopping to think for a minute and wonder, is this right? Could I do things differently?

This time on land has been testing and challenging but very enriching and has reassured us that we’d like to continue doing things differently and this time around we would see Ondular not only as a journey but as a long term lifestyle.

We get trapped by our own choices and without realizing we set ourselves for failure. The moment you make the decision that you don’t need all that stuff to be happy, that nothing that is outside of you will ever give you happiness, that’s the moment you become freer. When we stop wanting so much, we find contentment in little things and that in itself gives us freedom.

Our time on land is slowly coming to an end and soon enough we’ll be back among the ocean, falling asleep with the sound of the water caressing the hull of Ondular and rocked by the waves. We’ll be back to our simple life and away from the cars, the noise, the alarm clocks and the big shopping centres. It’ll be difficult to say good-bye to friends and family, the ones that we hold dear, but we can’t ignore our spirits calling, calling us back to sea.




Author: Isabel Romero

founder of Mingas por el Mar

2 thoughts on “Back on land”

  1. I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

    I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
    Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
    And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
    And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

    I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
    To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
    And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
    And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

  2. Thanks for these nice thoughts my dear friend. I could not agree more – the two opposites of the lifestyles are so extreme, yet I think you can only know the other side of the story as soon as you lived it. And perhaps many do feel the little voice in the back of their heads, wondering if this is really it, however following those questions takes serious courage and reorientation of one’s life. Proud of you guys! I am looking forward to meet you at the Ondular the year to come! Fenja

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