As a sailing cruiser, should you stay on your boat or go home for the holidays? Here are 8 reasons why Christmas is better spent on your boat.
Allow me to provide a bit of background first.
For the past seven years my husband (pictured above), daughter, and I have put our boat on the hard, or in a marina. We’ve done this either in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, or the East Coast. We have then flown ‘home’ to either the UK or America (Rochester, NY or Cary, NC) to spend the holidays with our family.
‘Home’ in this context means the place where we have family/friends. Britican truly is our real home.
This year, however, we’ve done something different.
Due to Covid we’ve been forced to stay put in St Martin, a French island located in the Caribbean. So let me tell you why we’ve realized that Christmas is better spent on your sailboat.
Preparing the boat to leave takes a week and it’s hard work. The cost of storing the boat and having her looked after isn’t insignificant either. And then there’s the cost of flights, rental cars, hotels, gift buying and eating out.
When returning home everyone wants see you. You have to do your best to juggle your time ensuring everyone gets a fair piece of your time. No matter how hard you try someone feels they didn’t get to see you enough.
The stress of traveling, staying in foreign beds, worrying about fitting everything in, getting enough presents for loved ones, and all the money that’s being spent causes massive anxiety.
And because we’re the ones who left we often carry a bit of guilt that we need to make up for living the dream. We do this by stretching ourselves too thin, trying too hard to get the perfect presents, and traveling all over the place to make sure no one is left out. It’s stress city!
Furthermore, for many of us cruisers, when we go ‘home’ we’re not going to a beautiful tropical destination with amazingly deep blue sea views and great weather. We’re often trading paradise for hell. For us, it’s either the rain, sleet, and dark days of England or it’s the cold, damp, gray days on the US east coast.
And a side effect of traveling is that either one or all of us get sick. Living in the fresh air all year long is great but we don’t get bombarded by germs. The downside of that is that when we do get around germs our systems seem to be susceptible to picking up colds.
So why travel to see friends and family when it’s the worst weather of the year and we’re going to pick up a cold, or worse, the flu?
Instead, as a cruiser, you can join the cruisers around you to set up a pot luck Christmas beach party. The expense is minimal and there’s no travel required. You don’t have to buy any presents other than for your immediate family (e.g. your partner and any children on the boat). No one gets sick either.
Cruisers anchored near you can attend and everyone brings a dish to pass so there’s minimal preparation and maximum output. Furthermore, everyone is calm and peaceful because they can simply enjoy the holiday. Yes – cruisers simply enjoy the holiday because there’s nothing else you can do! Isn’t that great?!
And at some other point during the year, when it’s less expensive to travel, the weather is at it’s best, it’s not flu season, and everyone is not running around like a headless chicken, THEN you go ‘home’.
In the past we always felt the pressure to be home for the holidays but due to Covid I’m now realizing that it makes no sense. For the first time ever I am super relaxed, have thousands of more dollars in the bank that I wouldn’t have had if we traveled, and I know that we’re going to spend Christmas Day with a bunch of wonderful people enjoying each other and our beautiful surroundings.
All the commercialism, stress, expense, guilt, and energy spent is ridiculous and now I can clearly recognize the effects it had on me and my family in the past. Another silver lining to Covid?!
And mom – if you’re reading this please don’t take it the wrong way. I do want to be with you and as soon as it’s safe for us to visit we will. I think, however, going forward we’ll visit during the summer and spend quality time when we’re not distracted by the modern madness of the holiday season
8 Reasons Why Christmas Is Better Spent On Your Sailboat
- Here you go:
- It’s almost stress-free
- Drastically less expensive
- Better weather and far more picturesque
- The preparation for Christmas lunch/dinner is shared amongst many
- Everyone around you is calm, peaceful, and just happy to enjoy the day whereas family and friends back home are often very stressed
- No one picks up a cold or the flu
- There’s little to no pressure to buy many presents for each other due to the fact that there’s nothing to buy
- Time can be spent with family/friends at a better time of year.
Any Thoughts or Suggestions?
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