Going Full Nomad in 2021

I grew up traveling – in fact, I went to 12 different schools by the time I graduated high school. My family was always on the move due to my father’s job in the military. I got to live in rural Idaho, a short train ride from Venice, and in old New England. Since going to college, I have continued to move and travel as often as I could. Being in a constant state of motion is my natural habitat.

Last year, when I was evacuated from Timor-Leste due to the pandemic, I found myself living with my parents again. There was no end in sight (my freelance gigs weren’t gonna afford an apartment in the US), and I began to feel my least favorite feeling in the world: stuck. I was also going through all sorts of culture shock, so naturally, I wanted to do nothing but be back on the move, where I felt most comfortable.

After a couple of months, my husband and I joked about buying a boat and living on it. After a couple of years living in a dusty concrete hut with no running water, we weren’t cut out for the “normal” American life anymore. So, 10 days later, we bought Flingo Bingo, a 30 foot sailboat from 1974. It was the best decision we made in 2020.

And then you sailed off into the sunset, right?

Not exactly. First, we had to move the boat from Boston to Rhode Island, where we were staying with family. That was an adventure all by itself, and we learned so much! Once in Rhode Island, we started doing boat chores to make the boat more liveaboard ready. We got a cooking stove, a heating stove for the winter, I re-did our cushions, and did some brightwork on worn out wood.

During our trip from Boston to Rhode Island, we broke our rigging, and were left without using our jib sail (i.e. the sail that gives the most forward momentum for a boat) for the summer. By the time the fall rolled around, we hadn’t learned to sail and hired a captain to bring our boat down to Washington, DC, where my husband was starting grad school.

Fast forward to the present…

After 7 months of living in DC, we are finally on the move again!

We will be popping from marina to marina every few weeks until August 2021 – a whole FIVE MONTHS of full nomadic lifestyle. It has been a long time dream of mine to have a sustainable (environmentally and financially) nomad kind of life. To finally have it become a reality is truly a blessing, and credit to my hard work/wishing on stars for years. *stares blissfully at the bright night sky*

We will be making are way down the Potomac River, and eventually, out into the Chesapeake Bay. There are tons of small towns with affordable marinas and Wi-Fi (and groceries… and boat parts…) that we will visit and explore. There is so much character and nautical culture in the area, and I can’t wait to see and experience it for myself! Not to mention, all the sailing we will do on the way.

Hopefully, by my next blog post, I will have a good story or two to share!

-Marta

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