Two Sides of the Adventure Coin

So this weekend, I’m looking forward to taking our Caliber 40 LRC sailboat from its berth in one of Clear Lake’s harbors (a brackish lake between Houston and Galveston that feeds into Galveston Bay) to Offatts Bayou off Galveston Island: sailing, July 4, anchoring out and enjoying the quiet of “carefree timelessness” on the water, and . . . working. Working a lot. (My husband and I live in a marina off Clear Lake on our Caliber sailboat and I make a living doing legal and commercial writing. He works a “conventional” job. We’ve both lived on sailboats on our own. I’ve also RV’ed. We like the world of small, minimal, and mobile.)

Everywhere one turns, great magazines, online resources, and YouTube productions reveal the highlights of “livin’ the dream,” of basking in beautiful places through “less-conventional” lifestyle choices. (I happen to like Latitudes & Attitudes.) Many of these outlets often share ideas for making money on the road/water. What may not be so terribly obvious amidst the pictures of sunsets and sundowners, though, is the sometimes grindingly hard work involved in freelancing, taking work when it comes in (on its own erratic schedule), and facing unyielding deadlines if one is trying to write for money. Most of what I do involves punishing deadlines (again, much of what I do involves legal and commercial writing; I also write for magazines and other publications and write books; legal work does not allow for breathing room with deadlines). I’m extremely lucky to be able to make a living this way, but the “freedom” I have doesn’t come without a toll. (Late, late nights; boom-and-bust workloads; juggling multiple, very different projects all at once.)

I chose this topic for my first post here only to ground things: it’s easy to talk adventure, but every adventure comes at a price, whether that price is less financial security or juggling tough freelance workloads or being far from loved ones and sometimes feeling lonely or facing tough breakdowns and frustrating circumstances. . . . It’s not all pretty pics on social media. That’s all I mean. We want to keep it real here.

But even as I grind out a project this weekend, I’ll be so grateful for the Gulf Coast view, the rocking of a “ship” at anchor, and the joy of sharing tiny golden moments with a great guy and a loyal dog (the cat being on sabbatical)! Whatever the work cost, taking a dinghy to the coffee shop, strolling Galveston's seawall, and calling a boat home are pretty hard to beat.

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