I read The Unxpected Circumnavigation: Unusual Boat, Unusual People- Part 1 by Christi Grab as part of a member of the From Left to Write book club. I was given a free copy as part of the book club. This post was inspired by the book.
(Laptop update, yep, I am still using hubby’s. The good news is that my laptop is finally ready! The bad news is that I have not yet had the time or health to go and get her as it is a forty minute drive. So if you are new to my blog or catching up, Grants laptop has a possessive/quote key that works about 25% of the time. As he is a professional writer I do not know how he can stand this, but there it is. I write this to let people know that my grammar and editing are much better than it would appear. Thank you.)
The Unxpected Navigation is the true story of a 30-something couple who gave up their successful careers to pilot their own boat around the world. When I decided to sign up, I thought, This is something I would never do, so it sounds very interesting to me to read about someone who would do such a thing.
It turned out that since it was something that I would NEVER want to do, the book was kind of something I would never want to read! I do not mean that the book is not a good one, its just that I realized that if I never wanted to get myself into a boat and travel around the world, I do not want to read about someone who does either!
But I am very thankful for The Unexpected Circumnavigation because it brought back a concept that I had thought about a long time ago, long since tucked away in the inner corners of my mind. A bit of background: From 2000-2006, I worked for a small company where I was a recruiter for the pharmaceutical industry. It was a huge leap from my previous career, that of being an on-air personality, but back at the end of the century or beginning of the millennium, you may be old enough to remember it was an employees market. I answered an ad: Recruiter Wanted: No experience necessary, will train. That sounded good to me. I wanted a REAL job, a 40 hour, nine to five-ish type of work week and I was tired of paying my dues in radio.
What I stepped into was an opportunity with a small but growing company where I had the freedom to make a lot of decisions and impact on the company, owned by my boss, Steve. Steve had his quirks (even you have to admit that, Steve!) but he was the best boss I ever had! When I was there a month he called me into his office closed the door and asked if I would accompany him to a conference in New Orleans. Oh, no, he didnt hire me for what I had to offer, he hired me for…the other stuff he thought I had to offer. I remember saying, Are we going…just you and me?
No! What do you think this is? A date? Kate is going too!
From then on Steve and I were okay. And I got to go to some amazing cities in the United States and Canada. Steve and I got to know each other well enough where we could go on a business trip just the two of us and It was fine. I was also meeting, becoming engaged and marrying my husband during this time period.
One trip we took, probably around 2004 was to Miami. We worked hard and Steve always rewarded us. Being picked to go on a business trip meant that he respected you highly and that he trusted you would represent his company well. He spared no expense for dinners, bars, touring, etc. Steve was very well traveled and would say to the conceirge, Dont take me to the tourist traps, I want to know where the locals go, tip in hand. One night we found a restaurant and nightclub in Miami. It was where the local beautiful people go and tonight we were a couple of them! While waiting for our dinner reservations we went up to the bartender who asked us what we wanted.
Did you ever have a Mojito? At this point in time this was more of a Cuban/Miami cocktail mainly consisting of rum, lime juice, sugar and mint, and not so much a mainstream drink like it is today. We were waiting a long time but it didnt matter because by then we had each consumed two Mojitos. Steve went somewhere else to smoke, leaving me with time to myself and I looked around. People were dancing, great dancing, people were laughing, drinking, talking smoking. Mojitos were the drink of the night and everyone was drinking them. Everyone was having a great time, including me. And then something hit me…there were people in Miami who partied in restaurants like this and drank Mojitos every night, and I had never thought about them, how could I have? I thought about people in New Orleans on Bourbon Street drinking and listening to jazz, the girls on the streets being coaxed to pull up their tops for beads. I thought of people seeing The Golden Gate Bridge for the first time and climbing up those hills.
Those were the things I have seen, but what about the things I knew nothing about? As in The Unexpected Circumnavigation. When Christie and Eric were traveling for TWO years, visiting 110 places in 34 contries, what was I doing? I was working full time, breaking my butt trying to take care of my child too, I was getting sick, I was losing my job, I was being diagnosed with Lupus. Christie and Eric werent thinking about me nor was I thinking about them!
But every once in a while I enjoy, well, actually, it more like boggles my mind, thinking about me being somewhere and someone who I do not know being somewhere completely different in this world. Maybe they are celebrating Bastille Day, maybe they are having the best pasta they ever tasted in Rome, maybe they are a sick mother in an African country, knowing that they will soon orphan their children.
I like to think in life that we do get to enjoy and live out our dreams like Christie and Eric do, even if the dream is as simple as taking ones child to Disney World, as mine currently is. Everyones dreams are different, their ideas of a good time so different then ours.
One thing I know now is that when I am at home with my husband and son on Tuesday nights watching The Looney Tunes Show on the Cartoon Network, there is no where else I would rather be. Ive had my visits to Europe, Ive been to Los Angeles and Puerto Rico…but right now I am enjoying being with my husband and son, and I wouldnt dream of being in a place I have always wanted to go to, Hawaii, if it meant being without them.