One teenager's view of the cruising life
Hi everyone my name is Michele Murphy and I am 15 years old. My family took 7 months off to sail the Caribbean. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.
At first I was like every other teenager saying things like, “ Why would you do this to me”, “ You're ruining my life”, “ What about my friends”. I felt like my parents were just doing this to make my life miserable. Turns out that's not what they wanted to do at all.
A normal day at home consists of: get up early for school, go to school for 7 and a half hours, come home, maybe do some sports, finish homework, go to bed. BORING.
A normal day on the boat for me was: wake up when you feel like, do school work for 3 hours, have lunch, swim, tan, have a shower, and watch a movie before bed. AWESOME.
Doing school work on a boat is not as hard as one would think. Even with only 3 hours a day I managed to finish my years work on time, without being overly stressed about it. I took notes and wrote important facts in my notebook for each subject. My teachers had also sent me quizzes to do. I used a pen scanner to send back the quizzes for marking. I would email teachers if I needed help with certain concepts and I would always receive a reply. I was never behind in work, learning the same material as my classmates. The only difference for me was that I did not have to write the PSAT's when I returned. Now being back in school I have no difficulties with the work. I remember the concepts I learned while on the boat. I am in no way behind, I am coping well with the amount of work I get now. Currently I am taking 4 AP courses and having no real difficulties.
This trip made me look at the world differently and think to myself, “Why are people always buying things they don't need?” The places we saw showed us how lucky we are compared to some of the people living on these islands. It makes you appreciate life. The sail trip also opened my eyes to things that really matter in life.
Life on a boat is very different than life in a house. You have to fight for time in the bathroom, you can't spend hours applying makeup, and you get absolutely no privacy what so ever. But on a boat, none of this matters. No one cares if your wearing mascara or not, it's pointless. People only care about your personality.
At school you get to see your friends every day and ya, you get to hang out at the mall, go shopping, hang out with your boyfriend, but when does that matter when you can live on a boat with the family you love, living a new adventure everyday?
As I am writing this it has started snowing, only reminding me about how much I want to sail off into the sunset and never return.
The people you meet on a trip like this are incredible. Personally I have found the people we have met on the trip way more interesting than my friends. We hear stories of how their boat broke down, or how they had to sail through a storm while barfing off the side of the boat. No offense to my friends but these are stories I can relate to. Trying to tell stories like that, just isn't interesting to people who have not experienced it. It is pointless to try and explain it. They just don't get it.
The experiences you gain from a trip like this are incredible. The different places you see, the people you meet, the stories you hear. I loved not worrying about little things like what to wear on my next date, or when to have my next sleepover. The little things like that don't matter on a boat.
Now whenever I'm at school whether it's learning about how to write thesis statements, hearing my teacher keep saying “ So what?” over and over again, or if it's learning how to factor trinomials, I always think to myself, “What would I be doing now if I was on the boat?”, or “Damn I just want to go back to the boat and not have to worry about this.” Now I am living in Calgary again, hardly ever seeing my family other than dinner time and on weekends, and I can't help but wish I was back on the boat. I want the wind to blow through my hair, I want the spray of the sea in my face, I want to jump into the ocean whenever I feel like it, I want to hear the sound of the waves lapping against the hull, or rolling up on the beach.