The fourth time I moved, I was finishing High School and my new home was now Singapore, Singapore down the street from the Indian Embassy. It was by far the most “exotic” of places the Sward family had called home. I attended Singapore American School, a prestigious international school of which I was grateful to let me in. I started the school year a few days late but I remember the first day of my creative writing class. The teacher asked us to write a one page essay with a simple prompt of: ‘Where is home?’ It was such a simple question but then she opened the topic for discussion to the class. There were Americans, Indians, Swedes, Indonesians, Malay, Aussies, Thai, French, Swiss, English, Philipino… all with different stories on how many times they’ve moved and background. The question quickly changed to… ‘what constitutes as a home and why.’
Mike and I have both lived in Boston for over a decade (or just about) and we tell people we’re from Boston…. But truth be told… Mike grew up in California and me… well I’m from New York originally, which I know, makes me a public enemy #2 in the eyes of a true Bostonian (we all know, public enemy #1 is reserved for the entire Yankees team). We travel from harbor to harbor with our hailing port written clearly on our transom under the boats name for all to see. And it’s a happy surprise when you see another American flag and a nearby port. In St. Barts we were dinghying back to the boat when another sailboat hailed us to come over. Two American men said they were from Danvers and Waltham and they saw we were from Boston. They just wanted to say hi. And that is a perfect example of cruising life. If you’re a boat in a port… you are fair game for another boat to come over and say hi. Sometimes it leads to a beer other times it’s a fly-by hello.
With all this traveling and meeting strangers who become friends, I’ve been ruminating the concept of home again. It’s here, right now on Gaia with Mike. And this gives me a great sense of pride and abounding happiness. We made this home happen. Home isn’t a city for us right now. It’s a transom, a bow, a mast, a few sails (and a Mike McLinn). Home is wondering if I put the bilge pump back on after a sail. Home is conserving water and monitoring our batteries. Home is jumping into tropical waters and swimming with fish. But most of all home is definitely where the anchor catches in the sand.