|How do we decide where to go?|
We let Jake drive, of course!
How do we decide where we are going to go? That’s a question I’ve gotten quite often since we’ve been home. And the answer isn’t very straightforward. Sometimes, we go with the flow (Mexico, French Polynesia, Cooks). Sometimes, we purposely go off the beaten path (Kiribati, Marshall Islands). And sometimes we go with the wind (Micronesia). We rarely research things more than a few countries ahead of time because not only might we change our mind, but the information starts getting all mixed up in our heads and the result is that we have a lot of information but can’t remember which country it goes to so we have to do it all over again…total waste of time.
Sometimes, though, you need to at least pick your general path if for no other reason, than to have something to look forward to. After Pohnpei we’re heading to Yap (we may stop at Chuuk but that’s still under debate) and then Palau. From there, well, we are at a crossroads.
We originally told everyone we were going to cruise for 5 years. We’re halfway through that timeline and nowhere near done. The question is, do we stick to that timeline (maybe pushing it out to 6?) and get home to spend some time with the family, let Jake go to school and we get jobs (by “we” of course you know I mean Andy), then buy another boat when Jake is in college and do the other half of the world? Or…do we keep going and play it by ear, risking disappointing family and friends patiently awaiting our return? I can hear all the diehards now screaming at us to not worry about what others think and “live out our dream!” Well, I hear you…but…that’s easier said than done. Andy and I are both very close to our families (and each others) and would hate to totally miss out on our parents golden years (don’t worry Papa’s…I don’t have you in your graves yet, just a figure of speech) or for them to have to watch ALL of Jake’s growing up via the internet (not to mention, we have to watch our nieces and nephews grow up the same way.
What this means for our route is that we have to decide between a few options:
1) Leave Palau and make our way back towards the Solomons fairly quickly (route to be determined), making our way through Vanuatu, New Caledonia and then ultimately Brisbane, Australia. Take the pulse of everyone both on board and on land…sell the boat, go home. We’re figuring this could be done in 2-3 years.
2) Leave Palau and go to the Philippines. Explore South East Asia thoroughly, head the wrong way back through Indonesia, PNG, and the Solomons, ultimately ending in Australia. Sell the boat, go home. Really no idea how long this could take. The open windows for moving from country to country shorten in this part of the world, due to unpredictable weather patterns. But darn, it sounds fun.
3) Basically do the same as option 2, but pick a few countries in SE Asia and make them our priority. Skip Indonesia and high tail it to Australia. We could fit this in our 3-year plan but would miss more than we would see (and we would be acutely aware of that).
4) Throw caution to the wind, sail through SE Asia and keep on going until we hit the east coast. Not likely, but we’ve never fully marked this off our list.
For now, we’re leaving it open. But that decision is going to come upon us very soon as time flies when you’re having fun, right? How will we choose? I would like to tell you that we will consult numerous sailing books, write pro and con lists, weigh the risks vs. rewards, and make an educated decision. That would be the prudent way. In reality, we’ll probably have a 10 minute discussion based on emotions and gut feelings, agree fairly quickly, and point the bow in the decided direction. That’s the Andy and Monica way. Regardless, stay tuned…we have a lot ahead of us and regardless of the decision, it promises to be interesting.
In the meantime, I'm leaving you all with the latest pictures of Jake living it up in sunny California! Andy will be back on the boat in a couple of days with Jake and I to follow in another few weeks.
|Jake and Gigi waiting for breakfast at Lake Arrowhead|
|Jake and mommy in the bumper cars (not a bad way|
to let off a little stress if I do say so myself :).
|Outside the Children's Science Museum in L.A.|
|Watching his hair stand up on ends.|
|Building a wall.|