Less than 2 months ago, I become the owner of a narrowboat. Despite having never been abroad one, except when viewing them to buy. The thought of steering one was nerve wracking but I figured if you could hire a narrowboat with minimal instruction, I was sure I would manage. As long as I took everything nice and slowly, there was time to learn everything I needed to know.
This very much continues to be the way, as the weeks go by. I learn a little something every few days or so, building up the knowledge I need about my new home. My two girls, join in as much or as little as they want to, slowly becoming accustomed to a different style of life. Around them, I move things back and forth, trying to find the materials I need to home school them, entertain and to provide to their basic and emotional needs.
I am incredibly thankful for their flexibility and openness. Most importantly I am moved by the trust that they hold in me to follow me unconditionally into this adventure. Well almost, as long as there was an internet connection available and power they would follow me anywhere.
I have been called brave by a lot of people. A single mum, home schooling two young girls while living abroad a narrowboat. I don’t feel brave. Maybe sometimes a little naive and only time will tell if this was an incredibly stupid or brilliant idea. There is nothing that I am doing here, that I truly believe others don’t have the ability to do themselves. You may not dream of living on a boat, but even the smallest grain of faith in yourself can over time build up to great results.
There are many ups and downs. So much time is spent doing the most simplest of tasks, that are taken for granted in a house. The amount of time that is spent moving items around to look for one thing is silly or to create a little extra space for an half hour activity. I don’t know many hours I was wasted worrying about when the toilet needed emptying or if I had enough water. Yet, there is a great sense of accomplishment of being so actively involved in your life. From creating and nurturing the fire each day to becoming so aware of how you impact the nature around you.
Despite it’s challenges and the moments of what have I done, I have not regretted this even for a moment. I absolutely love the benefits that living on the canal brings and I’ve found a sense of wanting to travel I didn’t realise was within me. There is a real sense of community and a wide range of people with different life circumstances. Many people choose to travel together, bringing their neighbours along to their next location. Although I am limited by the course of the water, I take my home and my family wherever I go with me.
So please share with me, the joys of being on the canal and I hope I can give you a glimpse into a different corner of the world.