Woh Woh Woh – Where have you been Lily!?

Wow, sorry guys. I kinda went AWOL there didn’t I?

But guess what? I have SO much to tell you!

When I left you last, oh so many months ago, I was in the Mediterranean, working on a 70ft classic sailing yacht. Remember the one?

image11Right. So, Marc and I are still working on the same boat, but a lot has happened in the meantime! For starters, we bought a boat together !!!!!!!! Yes, we bought a boat together. That’s sort of like marriage isn’t it? It felt just as serious and stressful and fun and heart-racing as marriage anyway.

Ladies and Gentlemen… Introducing… our new darling lady… the one and only…

Sailing Vessel PROJECTION – a Stevens 47:

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Wow, right? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (**NB: I’m thinking: DAMN, that’s a big boat!!**)

Yes, we bought a big boat. She’s 47 ft long! That may come as a surprise to those of you that know me as the “smaller is better” “go small go now” “who needs a fridge anyway” philosophical sailor… but there is rhyme to our reason, don’t you worry.

Here’s the thing. It’s not just our boat. It’s your boat too!

The story is, we’re launching our very own business. It’s called Projection Travel and it’s officially a company so you can go ahead and put PTY LTD at the end of that ūüėČ We will be offering sailing and¬†cycling charters throughout the Pacific, starting in January 2016. Think gourmet food, kayak expeditions, tropical bike tours, turquoise¬†anchorages, yoga mornings etc, etc…¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† So, can I get a HELL YEAH?

More info on all that exciting stuff will come over the next few weeks as we get our website launched – watch this space for an opportunity to join us for some sailing and cycling adventures!

But by now you might be thinking… what about baby Portal?

Yes, baby Portal.

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My first love… my beautiful, darling Portal. This little lady will always hold a very special place in my heart. She taught me so much of everything. And she made it easy. Portal was a wonderful First Boat, and our journeys together… all the way from the smog of LA, through the clear waters of the Pacific, and into the tidal belly¬†of the Brisbane River… will never be forgotten!¬†

What? Portal’s GONE!?

Yes, ’tis true. Well, she’s “moved on” let’s say. She has found herself an abundantly suitable new caretaker, who I trust will love and care for her twice as well as I did. She will mosey her way along the Northern NSW coasts, and be grateful to have the wind in her sails once more.

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… So that’s about it for the BIG NEWS items. A summary, for those of you that skip to the bottom:

  • I left my job in the Med for a 3 month crazy-head-spinning trip to Australia, where I scrubbed my lovely boat Portal within an inch of her life and sold her to a delightful man named John.
  • Marc then came to snatch me back. It was a joyful reunion after 2 months too long!
  • Then,¬†we signed some big documents with scribbles at the bottom to say we just bought a NEW boat – Projection.
  • We are now back at work in the Med. But only for a few months – in September we jump ship, and start the real¬†project – Projection Travel: Sailing and Cycling Adventures.

Stay tuned for more ūüôā

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And like a raindrop falling from a luscious leaf, my time in Australia comes to an end. Almost five months, but they seem to dwindle into a small stack of memories, finishing before they fully begin. When I left Madison, last year in early winter, life was pretty chaotic. My four years away from ‘home’ had finally caught up with me –¬† I was losing touch with myself, grasping for truth, for happiness, and looking in all the wrong places.

Getting back to Australia, to the people who will always know and love me – let life click back into sense. I spent much of my time alone… reading, learning, growing… and enjoying my solitary company. I’d bike around for work from dawn till mid afternoon and silently watch my city come alive. On rainy days and during my breaks, I’d devour a book on sailing, or diesel mechanics, or live-a-board lifestyles, escaping into dreams and plans for my pretty little Cape Dory. On weekends, a train then bike to the beach would replenish my soul and inspire positivity. Life makes more sense in the water, that’s just the way it is.

Often I’d catch up for tea with one of my few dear friends, who’d listen compassionately and help look for new perspectives. The running saga of my life (latest skype calls, emails, letters) would tumble out my mouth as Mum, Ange, Andy or Jester returned comments, suggestions, or just hugs and understanding.¬† Always I’d come home to smiles, good meals, and a cosy nest. And as the quickening time tramped on, my heart mended itself, my soul found itself, and happiness happened.

A jet plane blew me into yesterday, a train choo-choo’d me across America’s plains, and now here I am, full circle, back in Madison’s Midwest.

This last 6 months Charlie and I have jumped some big hurdles. We stumbled a few times, made lots of mistakes, and the tunnel grew dark once or twice… but from here, sharing together this springtime light of day, I’m thankful. Our strength feels doubled, our love more unified… and our new adventure ready to begin…

Owning a sailboat! California here we come!

Three Years

June 28th… no, actually – June 29th – marks a special day for me …¬† Three years ‘on the road’ (an anti-climactic cancelled flight to Thailand delayed me a day). Or at least, Three years since Australia, since Family, since Bubble-o-bills, Milo, and Three Monkeys chai. A few special occasions of relief – Peter once, Mum twice, Dad in San Fran and Sister a whole fabulous 3 months in Barcelona. While floating on Ramble I even got a package full of Milo tins for my birthday. But special treats aside, I’m now into my fourth year away.

Mum and Lil in the Caribbean

Family in San Francisco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Away from what? I’ve built myself a Home in many places since, I’ve found new Friends, new Communities. I’ve relaxed on beautiful beaches, been to great gigs and slept on many a couch. But… … none of them have been Byron beach, none of them have been Mr Laneous at the Shire with the crew, and none of them have been Mum and Peter’s plush white sofa. I’m slowly losing my accent, gradually warming to the cold, and I’m even saying things like “Sofa”! I’ve learnt to spell like an American, speak like the French and eat like the Dutch.

I didn’t know what I was looking for, when I left in 2008. I didn’t know I’d find True Love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nomad Bases,

and Bicycle Touring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sure as hell couldn’t have guessed I’d be living in a small city in the Mid West, building a northern hemisphere Home. But it’s a good thing I did, since that’s exactly why I left – to explore, to learn, to grow. Now, I have new words, new (old) boots, and a Whole New Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I still dream of mangoes by the kilo, signs that say “Watch for Kangaroos” and especially, I dream of waking up on that plush white Couch, or camping amongst Bottle Trees on Dad’s farm “DeHavilland”.

If I were ever to make plans, I would say: I plan on this being my last year away. I plan on catching the sailing season in February, and riding the trade winds all the way HOME. I plan on Kilometers and Capsicums and 40 degrees Celsius. But plans are for fools. I’ll just wait and see.