Thursday, May 16, 2019

Throwback Thursday - The True Cost of Cruising


We get a lot of questions about how much it costs to cruise. For specific answers to that question, we keep a list of blogs in the right sidebar that post their cruising costs, ours included - although I'm way behind in updating it, I confess. This post, though, is about a different kind of cost you pay when cruising - that of missing family and friends. If you're in the planning stages of cruising, this is definitely a cost that needs to be considered.

The True Cost of Cruising


The five grandkids are now eleven...
Daughters and five grand kids . . . today was the day we said the rest of the hard good-byes. I was doing okay right through the day, playing, reading books, explaining to the two oldest girls why we were staying at a marina they had never visited and then explaining about travel lifts and trucks. But at the end of the day, just when it looked like I might hold it together the youngest, with no clue what he was about to do to my heart, crawled to my feet, held his arms up to be lifted, then tucked his face into my shoulder . . . 

There is no explanation for the wanderer's soul. There is no cure for wanderlust. I have been unhappy being in one place since (so I am told anyway) my first day of first grade. Less than an hour of being penned in one room and I had had enough. The twelve years that followed, all in the same school district, were pure misery. It showed in my grades, in my list of detentions, in the fights and the brushes with police. I was that kid none of the other kids were allowed to hang out with. Quite literally, they let me out after my Senior year because no one wanted to see me there again.

The two years of technical school were a slight improvement; partly because I was the kid right out of high school in a class mostly made up of people recently out of the jungles of 'Nam. They were a tough lot, several more than a little crazy, many of whom took a liking to the combative kid who (I now suspect) reminded them of themselves before someone started shooting at them. It also helped that only half our day was spent in a classroom; the other half we spent out in the shop. Still penned in, but better than a desk. To this day, no one knows how often I dreamed of just walking away from that place and how close I came to doing it . . . the future I hoped to share with Deb being the only thing that kept me going back.

They let us "graduate" a few weeks early to fill jobs rebuilding B-52s. Deb and I headed west and never looked back. We spent 4 years in one place, 14 in another, 2 in a third, then landed in St. Louis. But we wandered constantly: me as a pilot, both of us as bikers. And no place ever felt like a "home," just a town with a job.

Now, finally, we are on the verge of heading off again; this time for a wanderer's dream come true. No place is home, but anywhere can be our front yard. The challenge of new skills to learn, the lure of new places to see, experiencing life in a way unsuspected just six years ago, and no one can tell us we have to "stay here and do this." But the dream has a price just shy of being too high . . . a price no one but a wanderer would even think about paying.

We like to say that there is no choice, that the wanderer wouldn't be the person he or she is if they could stop. Perhaps that is true. We are going, after all. But I like to think that the price will be a fair one. That in the end the people we love who don't wander with us love us anyway; that they share our adventures and find a larger view of the world. That, in the end, the stories of our lives will be full, even if the main characters in our hearts are not written into every page.

For that is the true cost of cruising.

2 comments:

Tod Germanica said...

Great re-post. Few mention this cruising expence in the books and blogs. I'm going to miss like hell taking care of my 4 (and a half!) year old great nephew every Friday when he starts kindergarten in august. I can well imagine how heart breaking it was to leave your gang behind and sail away, no matter how strong the lure of the sea.
I was one of those Vietnam vets in 1971 taking A&P courses at Sacramento Junior College-now named Sacramento City College. I switched to English and then to Theater/Film as majors when I figured out how much responsibility came with airplane mechanical work-and how low the pay was.
Also, zero chicks (as women were often called back then) attended the A&P class. A major drawback for a horny young man of 20.
Thanks for the re-post.

Marie said...

I too have wanderlust. I think I inherited it. A family joke: My Mom and her brother and his wife were snowbirding in Florida. My Aunt said she was ready to go home; they teased her about her homesickness. My Mom and Uncle are half native american. (As is my Aunt) She responded to their teasing that she wasn't born into the same tribe as they were. That surely they were born into the Happy Feet tribe because they both loved to travel and wander.

My husband teases me all the time about my Happy Feet. I travel as much as a job allows; but I've already warned hubby that all bets are off when retirement comes around in about three years. I want to travel on my Carver in the Great Lakes summertime and buy a used fifth wheel to travel while she's up on the hard each winter.......

I hope to drag some of the grandkids along as school allows. : )