Leaving, Not Rejecting

How will the cruising lifestyle shape the world view of voyaging kids?

Fortune Cookie

A fortune cookie we opened on our Disneyland tripMichael Robertson

We have a new blogger! Michael and Windy Robertson are currently cruising aboard their Fuji 40, Del Viento_, in Mexico with their two young daughters. For the next week or so, we will be posting their previous blog entries leading up to where they are today. Enjoy!_

Sunday, March 6, 2011

This blog is a celebration of the cruising lifestyle we are adopting, a lifestyle that requires preparations and decisions that are in stark contrast to Western socio-economic systemic expectations. We will not be paying much (if anything) in taxes in the coming years. We will not be good consumers. Our children will not be exclusively a product of the U.S. culture. Yet while I am excited about what we are doing, I don't see this blog, nor our decision to voyage, as a rejection of the socio-economic system we are abandoning.
Rather, even from afar, Windy and I will remain members and products of our society. In fact, even in our departure, I see us contributing to our society--not in the economic sense, but culturally. I think that our endeavor, our willingness to be radical, introduces a diversity that is healthy for our society (however small the scale). Everyone who is exposed to our story, even if they do not agree with us nor follow in our wake, is affected by it. It will color, in some way, their life perspective. I don't know what that means, but I don't think it is insignificant.

Windy and I are raising two future citizens who will be shaped by a very different environment than their peers--a very different environment than shaped either of us growing up. This will undoubtedly influence them and they will thusly affect and color the people with whom they come into contact throughout their lives. I'm not suggesting that this will make them better people in any way (I've wondered the opposite), but it will undoubtedly make them different.

Cruising World columnist Fatty Goodlander regularly bemusingly bemoans the fact that his daughter, his only child Roma Orion, left her home afloat to become a landlubber. My guess is that as she came of age, the prospect of a life ashore was as exotic and necessary to her as the cruising life is to me today. And I suspect that her fresh eyes on the culture she adopted are meaningful to the people in her life today: her friends, her co-workers, her husband.

It really is a small world: the girls at Disneyland, February 2011

As this world of ours continues to shrink, I can't help but think it benefits from the relatively small population of global-oriented folks who inhabit it. My personal impressions of Russia, China, and especially India, are almost wholly a product of the nationals of those countries with whom I've had the pleasure to work over the past eight years. Cruising blogger Toast wrote recently about how the eldest daughter of the s/v Don Quixote crew is considering beginning her undergraduate studies in New Zealand. I marvel at how the life of this young American gal--who just a few years ago was oriented to the expected path of her suburban Pacific Northwestern life--is unfolding. Again, not because her cruising life is necessarily richer than her life that might have been, but because we are all richer for how her life is different.

--MR

_I__n our twenties, we traded our boat for a house and our freedom for careers. In our thirties, we slumbered through the American dream. In our forties, we woke and traded our house for a boat and our careers for freedom. And here we are. Follow along at _