'Living? In that little boat? And what about the winters? It's cold on the water!' Besides my mother, I only told a few people about it. I didn't even say anything to colleagues. Not necessarily because of the reactions, I'm used to them by now. They are often predictable, sometimes creative and by now I know that the best helmsmen are really ashore. By not sharing everything with everyone, I get more in touch with my own feelings and with what I want. It's a shame to let those people on the shore distract that. And besides… I'm at the helm, right?
Living differently would never be okay
Living differently has always appealed to me. Traveling too. A combination of the two seemed fantastic to me, but not realistic. It would never work out with my work, relationship and love of beer – and everything else that is unhealthy. And I'm thirty-three after all. I mean… shouldn't I actually have an expensive house to buy, stable marriage, kids, Volvo station and a Labrador?
A year ago I could not have imagined that I now work part-time and live with my friend and dog on a boat of just 12 square meters. Yet it is so. In summer we stay in beautiful places in nature and marinas, in winter at a suitable permanent place. There was a solution everywhere. Once the first step was taken, the rest came naturally. From important things like a mailing address and how to get to work, to getting a knack for boating and finding out which supermarket sells the best own brand peanut butter.
Experience has shown that a fixed bed is more convenient
'Look, and here I made a fixed bed. Last year I noticed that it became very annoying to have to make that bed all the time. Now it is fixed and I have made a seat there. Also fixed. I moved the kitchen to the wheelhouse and sewed a new rear window into the tent canvas.'
"Hmm, beautiful!" she says. 'What a job. Did you all do it yourself?' She seems more enthusiastic than before and more open. Nodding, I scroll through the dozens of photos I took of every little project within the big boat job project and show her all the details.
'Look, and above that seat are the cupboards. Also self made. Clothes and towels on the left, groceries and kitchen utensils on the right.' I tell them that a few things still need to be done at the wheelhouse, but that the chores have been removed for a while. "Let's enjoy it first, get some work done in the winter." It falls silent after the last photo. I look at her.
"Well, do it," she says.
Blogs by Sem
In my blogs I take you in narrative form into what I experience in my life on the water. Preferably with humor, sometimes nice and simple and preferably realistic. Because yes, the sunsets are beautiful and the peace and quiet is wonderful. But it remains a full life on a tight twelve, very noisy square meters ...
Are you as excited as I am? Just wait, it will come.
Also read: 5 original ways to discover the Netherlands