That's an easy one -- HOME!
I flew in on Sunday night and have started trying to put my life back together. Genuine "real-world" things like finding my car keys, replacing my credit cards and wallet that apparently didn't make the trip back from the Canaries, and standing in line at the DMV for a new driver's license. The culture-shock of returning to real life, especially in Fairfield County, CT, has been completely bewildering, and not as much of a relief as I expected.
I've realized that on the boat I was living literally on the bare essentials -- food, water, and shelter from the elements were all I had and all I needed. Luxuries were limited to an iPod, a sat phone, and computer - all of which helped to keep my mind occupied, but were useless bricks of metal and plastic when it came to keeping me alive.
For the last two days I've been constantly surprised and awed by the excesses of the life that I was so accustomed to only a few months ago. I'm able to provide for the bare essentials that are absolutely critical to life at sea with zero effort or real cost - it's a feeling of incredibly undeserved ease, and one that right now I'm extremely uncomfortable with.
For example, I'm writing from a Starbucks in Greenwich, CT, and out the window I can see half a million dollars worth of cars....Mercedes Benzes, Land Rovers, and countless SUVs. The guy sitting at the table across from me is wearing a suit and tie and furiously typing on his Blackberry. On the Atlantic, my only "currency" was in the form of Ramen Noodles and British Army biscuits that occasionally turned up as I ate my way through food rations and that I would stash away until "cashing them in" when I needed a pick-me-up. With this in mind, you can probably imagine how strange it feels to be back in a world with priorities very different from those that had become my own during my 87 days on the ocean.
I suppose that this feeling will go away soon, but for now I'm wondering "where in the world am I?"
I really miss Liv.
A Challenge to the Rowing Community
Do you row? Have you rowed? Do you know someone who rows? If so, here's a special challenge to you!
Taking inspiration from Paul Ridley's incredible solo row across the Atlantic, Bob Glendening has generously offered to match all new donations to www.rowforhope.com from members of the rowing community. His generosity also stems from his family's devotion to rowing and its personal experience with cancer. The Glendening Boat House at Colgate was given by the family in 2004 in memory of his mother, who lost her battle with cancer in 2000.
So if you row and you want to show your support for a fellow rower who's crossing the Atlantic solo and unsupported, please consider an online donation to www.rowforhope.com.
Please be sure to add "Glendening Challenge" when completing the Gift Information section online at www.rowforhope.com.