Karumba, QLD, AUS
New Years is the closest thing we have to a completely worldwide recognized holiday.
Though some Asian cultures don’t celebrate the changing of the Gregorian calendar (no relation to Greg, but don’t tell him that ;-), the tradition of a time set aside for the passing of the year still exists…even if that year happens to be lunar…and that time happens somewhere in the spring. As humans, we all seem to agree that it’s important we take the time to look back on our past and forward to our future at least once each 12 months or so.
Our Australian New Year found us (probably unsurprisingly) a few hundred miles from, well, basically anywhere.
Since the seaside outback bar we were working at in the off season (more on that later) closed early for the day, we had some time to think about what had gotten us from Alameda, California, USA to Karumba, Queensland, Australia by way of Bora Bora, French Polynesia in the first place. We, for example, did not at any point actively decide and seek to move to Karumba but we did tell a recruiter we were willing to work in the outback for several months and one thing obviously led to the other. Greg didn’t choose to get selected to have a role in a sci-fi B-movie but he did get involved in the local sailing community while he was living in Mexico. We couldn’t stop The Beast from breaking down on the side of an outback Australian road but we did decide to buy a beater truck in the first place and it’s not like we wanted to put a lot of money into maintenance.
We could not have made the active decision to sail to the island nation of Niue because we had no idea the place actually existed before we got there. We did, however, elect to join a boat sailing to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and we met the boat that would eventually be our ride across the South Pacific on that trip down the Mexican coast.
We came to the conclusion that though we didn’t always have control over where we ended up, we did have a great of power over the decisions that led us to this point.
Choices have consequences and often ones that are at least generally predicable. While some circumstances are beyond our control (we could not, for example, control the fact that global weather patterns necessitated we live in Mexico for several months before we were able to depart for Tahiti), by manipulating those choices we could control, we greatly increased our chance to do something amazing (for example spending those months getting to know the people sailing where we wanted to go.)
Or to put it another way:
We all make choices,
but in the end our choices make us.
And yes, we just totally quoted Bioshock at you. It’s not like we’ve exactly kept it a secret that we’re gamers.
Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If sailing to Tahiti on a 44 ft sailboat, 3-day delays for wine tastings, getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at www.CoastGuardCouple.com!