Unlike the majority of people on this planet, the COVID lockdown was a wonderful time for me. I moved onto a beautiful 43′ Sailboat with the love of my life and proceeded to spend the next year turning Her into our home. I learned how to sail, I fell deeper in love with the ocean, I started this blog, and I got a taste of the incredible adventure that awaits us.
Unline the majority of people on this planet, things got worse as quarantine ended. Every step we took towards a “new normal” felt like a step away from this beautiful bubble of happiness we had created- until I was so far that I couldn’t see it anymore.
When Hawaii opened up to visitors- IT OPENED. Everyone in nearly every field was working overtime, giving all of their energy to a particularly difficult group of tourists. Well luckily for me I work remotely, right? Unfortunately, that couldn’t be any further from the truth. I had spent a full year surrounding myself with love, cultivating new and meaningful friendships, spending time with family, and growing stronger in my relationship. It felt like I woke up one day and everyone was gone. All of my friends were thrown into their jobs without much time to mentally prepare and my partner began working 75+ hours a week. Sharing a car and a dingy with Austin (the bf) meant I didn’t always have an option to leave, so I ended up being alone on SVZV from sun up to sun down, 6 out of 7 days a week. During that time the only in-person interaction I could get was the 15 min- 1.5 hours until Austin passed out from exhaustion after work.
This lasted for over a year.
Although it turned out to be one of the darkest and loneliest periods of my life, I learned SO much. Not only about the boat, but about myself – how strong I am, what I am truly capable of, and what matters most to me in life. I was alone more than I had ever been before (and more than I hope to be ever again), but during that time I truly got to know someone special, myself.
Having my mother die at the age of 49 left me with a deep appreciation for the present. I know nothing in life is guaranteed and it has sparked a fire inside of me to enjoy this life as much as I possibly can. I wasn’t enjoying my time alone. Having that spark diminished, even for the short time it was, truly fueled my passion to see the world on SVZV and to absorb all of the life around me. Maui and SVZV are a part of my soul and I intend to feed my soul with new cultures, new foods, and new people. During my period of solitude, I learned that even as an introvert, I crave the spirit of others and I am not capable of growing as a person without them.
I learned how to love in a way I hadn’t before.
(side note – Period Of Solitude, or POS, is a fantastic band name)
Without direct access to any type of store or Amazon delivery, I also realized how much “extra” we have in our day-to-day lives. I learned what I truly needed to be happy- and it’s not much. I learned how to turn bored/restless energy into productive energy and how to keep myself occupied without access to cable, TV, or unlimited wifi. Most importantly-
I learned how to sit with my own thoughts.
With Austin gone so often, I faced my fair share of storms… alone. And not just the obvious, emotional, storms that were brewing – real, intense, and dangerous storms. When you’re on a boat there really isn’t anyone to call when shit hits the fan, so you figure it out yourself. I spent a handful of 24hr shifts monitoring the weather and our position, judging if our mooring was holding or if I should drop the chain and try my best to motor out of harm’s way. There were many times I had to push down panic and fear to let strength rise, or else I would risk losing the boat, my cat, and my life. But let me tell you, I now know where every leak is, where every creek or crack is coming from, and when I really need to start worrying.
SVZV kept me safe, while I did the same for her.
I got to experience the Earth and all of its incredible power in a way most will never understand.
Now that we are nearing the home stretch, I can look back and appreciate the time I spent alone on SVZV. I needed to grow to truly appreciate what I have and to become the woman who can achieve her dreams.
Here’s to new adventures!