Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

We arrived in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, yesterday to start preparing Eric’s catamaran Jangarda for our trip down the coast to Zihuatanejo.

A recent email from my sister referred to my ‘champagne lifestyle’ – this gave me serious pause for thought. For the last few years I have been living in very reduced circumstances – homes have included a camper van, an office, a 6ft x 6ft x 6ft boat cabin and a Dickensian garret above an antiques shop in Richmond – and I quite enjoyed the feeling. Being poor kept me on my toes.

But due to my recent change of circumstances I find myself living in a beautiful house in the Gorge and sailing on a sumptuous catamaran in Mexico. Even before my sister’s email, it had been bothering me. Will this lifestyle make me go soft? If I’m not living life on the edge, am I taking up too much room? Will it make my Pacific row all the harder, if I get used to this level of comfort?

My take on it is this: I used to think that money could buy happiness. But now I’ve found out that isn’t true: I can be rich and miserable, and I can be poor and happy. Money and happiness have very little to do with each other.

I still don’t have any money of my own, but I am lucky enough to be living the lifestyle of someone who does. I don’t take it for granted, and I don’t feel I need the rich man’s toys to make life good. I could go back to living in a campervan and it wouldn’t bother me.

So I’m just living life for the moment, and enjoying it. There will be plenty of opportunity for me to don my hair shirt and get uncomfortable next summer when I embark from San Francisco to row to Hawaii.

In the meantime, it’s not all a joy ride. Back to swabbing the decks´┐Ż

Song for the day: Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads

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