Welcome to Notes from the Backpack. This is the weekly post from Luxury Backpack where I offer a slice of a british writer and travel bloggers life in the Florida Keys… my current luxury backpacking adventures, what I’ve been reading, and of course a few anecdotes from my life in the Florida Keys!
Welcome to the 9th edition of Notes from the Backpack. You can read last week’s post, Diary of a Yacht Stew, Part 1, here. This week I have been writing, writing, writing… not here, but on the millionth draft of my novel. It is finally taking real shape, and I can’t wait to share it!
I found real inspiration for writing here in the keys, what with the kick-back way of life and that endless blue. I find it hard not to be inspired with the ocean at every angle and the smell of the sunshine in the air.
What I’ve Been Reading This Week
It Ends With Us is a book that I scooped up at the library without any idea of what it was going to be about. Writing wise it was good, and an easy read, nothing spectacular. However the topics discussed, about the nature of domestic abuse and when to walk away, were really well handled. Hoover really demonstrates that there is no black and white situation when it comes to domestic abuse, and there is no black and white resolution. Would I recommend it? Maybe.
What I’ve Loved Online This Week
- I am not a huge TV show watcher, but the new HBO series Big Little Lies, based on the novel by Liane Moriarty, had me hooked. I loved the Californian backdrop, the stunning coastline, and the edgy story.
- I absolutely love every piece from the new J.Crew swimwear collection. For a purse friendly version, I just bought this striped bikini from H&M which is really similar.
- I felt really inspired by this travel bloggers post about how a lot of our modern travel habits aren’t good for the environment, and how she plans on changing the effects her life has on the earth.
- Fashion and Lifestyle blogger Amber Fillerup’s photos of her travels to Tokyo with two young kids are incredible, and make me want to travel to Japan so much!
- And lastly, last year I had a go at making my own decorative eggs for easter which turned out rather well. I love The Londoners versions of decorative eggs, featuring natural dye and gold flecks!
This Week’s Story – Diary Of A Yacht Stewardess, Part 2.
The follow up to last week’s diary entry, written on my first season as a yacht stewardess. This was written a little while later after a breakup with a guy who was the reason I ever started working on boats in the first place. I realised that I was free, I was young, I had money, and I was being paid to travel the world!
Despite wanting to pack my bags and leave Spain, back to my old life and the comfort of my family, something inside resisted. No matter how strong the urge was, I was unable to go. Without realising it I have become addicted to this new life: to travel, to sailing, to the unknown.
Yachting, like a detrimental sibling or a drug problem clings to you and does not let many people go. It is not merely an addiction but rather something that changes you to the point of no return, and I have been undeniably changed.
In the face of the pain of heartbreak I found my feet, and they were made to wander, to explore, and to take me to places I never knew existed.
I fell into yachting when my funds dried up and my heart still belonged to travel. For the entirety of my short career in yachting I have been asking so many questions, trying to figure out the secrets of the other raw souls that float around the ocean. This is not like any ordinary career. Lonely hearts and troubled minds are drawn to the escapism of yachting. Why? Because in letting go it is the only way to hold on to who you are.
The lonely sea suddenly doesn’t seem so lonely. The destinations don’t seem so far. The world opens up, and your existence is purely to explore it.
Suddenly it occurred to me that this pain was what was supposed to happen.
For if it wasn’t for breaking up with something that was not right for me in so many ways, and a guy who was only holding me back, I would of never been able to achieve what I have. I have become the person I am because of that heartbreak. I have met the amazing people I have because of it. I have travelled the world because of it. But really, it wasn’t because of him, it was because of me. Because I cared enough to try something new when I launched into yachting because of a guy, but because I didn’t care enough to run home when it didn’t work out with him.
Yachting became my love, and oh how I loved it so much more than I ever did any guy.
Yachting is unique, crazy, unbearable and above all, addictive. It is a rogue monster of an industry that provides you with a beautiful backdrop to the most scandalous of plays. As unreal as your experiences in all these breathtaking places that you get to voyage to are, so is the reality to which you become succumbed. It is a breathe of fresh air in many ways, and has given me the ability to become someone new. I am able to float up instead of being beaten down, and travel when I need it the most.
Sometimes you have to battle through the dark to see the sunrise.