I seem to be moving in both directions, judging from my recent book orders. Half of them are concern sailing away on the cheap. The other half cover how to live on the old homestead. One pile of books on getting away and other pile on staying in place.
On the surface, it looks like I'm going in completely opposite directions. That's not really the case. There are some common themes to both impulses. Both concern frugality. No matter what I do, it's going to be on a shoestring budget. It's about back up plans. If I have to bug out, I'd prefer to do it by boat. If I can't travel, I want to stay home in some sort of comfort and safety.
Maybe what I'm getting in touch with is the old Native American way of living around here. In precolonial times, no one spent winters here. During the summer, they'd catch salmon, hunt, mine stone, and enjoy the good weather. In the winter, they'd migrate down to the coast, where they'd eat seafood, and enjoy a somewhat milder climate.
Historically, a semi-nomadic way of life was pretty common and normal. Rather than struggling through a region's bad season, they'd move to a better place. In hot climates, it was natural to head to the cooler mountains in the summer. Sometimes people would follow herd animals and take advantage of their migratory patterns. I suspect that part of the nomadic impulse was to have a change of scenery. There's something in some people that just pushes them to see what's over the next hill.
Then there are the modern snowbirds. Summer in the north, and winter in the sunny south. It was easy to do when energy was cheap. A big RV is a comfortable way to travel. Many prefer to fly. Both the airline and RV industry are very sensitive to rising fuel prices. I expect both to suffer major contractions.
That doesn't mean that people won't still want to travel. Maybe passenger rail will make a comeback. I would not be surprised to see passenger sailboats come back. It could start small. Personal yachts could advertise to take on a few passengers. As the demand for that type of travel increases, boats could be built with the passenger trade in mind.
On a personal level, my wife and I would like to do a lot less driving and a lot more sailing. There's a certain magic when the wind fills the sails and boat starts moving along -all without burning a drop of gas. Sure, it's not the fastest way to travel, but life is all about the journey, not the destination.
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