I ain’t gonna lie. I haven’t had an ounce of desire to write an update post. What’s the point? We are regular folks again and let’s face it, y’all weren’t reading this blog to hear about the 9-5 of a teacher and an engineer. But, we got so much love from so many of you that I know we at least owe you a little-bitty update :)
You already know that we made it safely back to Annapolis and quickly moved into a house that was pretty much just waiting for us… I must admit that, once again, the stars aligned for us. One of our of renters’ lease was expiring in May, so we pretty much had a house to move into immediately. We kept our stuff in the basement of said house, so needless to say, it was pretty easy to unpack. We kept a good amount of stuff (after living on a boat for 8 months, too much stuff if you ask us) and all we had to buy was a couch. JR got a promotion while we were in the Bahamas (what?) and I pretty much walked into a teaching job within a week of being docked. Transitioning was seemless in terms jobs and housing, but it took a minute for our brains to get there. We kept our cars at our parents’ places, and grabbing them went pretty well too (well, the clutch gave out on the truck, but we’ve got good angels :). Within a few days of leaving Journey, we were regular folks again. Lucky for us? I guess that depends on how you look at it.
JR went back to work first, he’s an engineer for a large engineering firm in Northern VA and walked right into a management position. It was kinda’ fun shopping for fancy clothes for him, he is a manger now after all, but of course it felt so odd to drop $50 on a pair of pants. Yup, we have income now, but we are hyper-conscience of the amount of money it takes to live in the “the real world.” JR settled in nicely, excited about the different challenges his new position offers. I think what hit us the hardest at first was the amount of time we were apart. He leaves at about 6:30 am and makes it home around 6 pm. I know, I know, this is common in “the real world,” but we just came off of a year of being together 24 hours a day 7 days a week and that worked well for us. Our new schedule sucked, and I missed him a ton, but I busied myself by meeting up with teacher friends and nesting in our new place.
Those first few weeks with him back were a b*tch because for the first time in a long time, our heads were in different worlds. It became so clear to me why realtionships are stressed in “the real world.” Although you have chosen to spend your lives together, like it or not, your lives are in separate worlds. I’m not sure how else to explain it other than to say (again) our heads were in different places. We bickered a lot those first few weeks back, way more that the entire time we lived on Journey. It was pretty fascinating to watch it happen, but it has settled down now.
I made it back to work in late August and that gave me something to sink my teeth into as well. Transitioning to a new school, a new grade (I’m teaching 1st this year), with all new people is pretty overwhelming so I’ve been really busy since the kids came back. Since Jake doesn’t get home ’til 6, I chill at school until about that time too. Leo is officially a neglected little latch key cat once again. My classroom is nice, a little cold, but nice, and the kids are great- all 27 of them. The most ironic thing is, my classroom doesn’t have windows. I figure it’s my punishment for living on the water for a year. Oh well, it could be worse.
We are still waiting to “settle in,” and waiting for things to feel “normal.” Lots of quotation marks in this post, huh? Oddly enough, our trip seems like it was ages ago. It’s been a bit of a sociology experiment, coming back to “the real world,” that is. People have no idea how to talk to you about a trip like ours. You get these big, general questions, then questions about work. “Did you have fun?” “Are you used to land yet?” And then it’s over. “How’s work?” is what we get most often, now.
There are a few folks that were dedicated readers of the blog and ask us things that take us right on back. Sarah, JR’s step mom, blew us away with the details she remembered and we were so humbled that she invested so much time in our trip. Penny, my co-worker, was an avid follower as well, and seemed thoroughly disappointed that our travels were over. There were also strangers who have said the kindest things, like Rick who said, “I sort of assumed that you two would keep sailing forever, if only to keep the blog rolling and people like me entertained.” Rick was one of our most dedicated supporters and I can only hope that we are able to thank him in person one day. Also Janet, another follower we’ve yet to meet, said that our blog was, “vicarious living at it’s best.” We can’t put into words how cool it is to hear from folks who followed our story. JR has run into architects and engineers at his firm that followed along, a benefit to blogging for sure. I’m sure there are many more of you that read, but never commented. Thanks so much for your time. I hope we’ve inspired you a tinkle, in some way or another.
Now we get to follow our cruising friends back on down the east coast and watch their travels from our desks too. It’s bittersweet, but we are working toward more future adventures. As unorganized as they are, we got a taste of the good life and are now seeing, more clearly than ever, that life isn’t about retirement. That equation just doesn’t make sense.
For the next couple of years, we will be sinking money into our rental properties, maybe picking up another one around here, and working toward life without a 9-5. We really like the concept of being property managers and with JR’s handyman skills, and my ability to inspire him :) there’s not much we can’t tackle on our own. Cruising taught us about needs vs. wants and we now know what we can live without; TV, Coach purses, Pandora bracelets, $10 Maragritas, new cars, just to name a few. The real world is expensive for lots of complex reasons. A simpler life is indeed cheaper.
But there are tricks that make what we did scary. For example, yesterday I went to the pharmacy to pick up some meds that, out of pocket, cost me $90 for a 30 day supply. Yup, I paid roughly $800 for this medication since I lost my prescription insurance in Septemeber. Yesterday I mosied on in and grabbed 3 months worth for $0. Yup, ZERO dollars. Why? Because I’m a 9-5er now? Because I’ve conformed? The system is set up against us. Don’t get me started. No really, don’t get me started.
Of course there have been some fun times too. Sorry for being so mopey, I told you I didn’t want to write this post :) Here are some pics of good times on land:
And that about sums it up. I imagine it’s just what you thought; life was awesome and now it’s regular again. At least we got raises and the kitty is growing instead of shrinking. At least we can see our favorite people any time we want to and at least we have this gorgeous life experience under our belt. More on that another time…