Kids Living Life On The Open Water
Back in the spring of 2011, Eleanor was about to start cruising around the world. She was interviewed about traveling around the world and a month later, 5-year-old Frances was asked question.
Five years later, and the girls were interviewed again. This time, they’re cruising veterans. Their answers are more complex, and the perspectives are more complicated. In the same way they enjoyed reading interviews of their 7- and 5-year-old selves tonight, I hope their future 17- and 15-year-old selves appreciate these answers.
What aspect of the cruising life appeals to you most?
FRANCES: Hmm, traveling to different places and seeing new things and eating new foods and talking to different people.
ELEANOR: Umm, pretty much the same as Franny, except I also like that I get to spend a lot of time with my family.
What about cruising do you wish you could change?
ELEANOR: Umm, definitely that I never get to see my extended family or my close friends.
But don’t you see your extended family more often than you would if we were living in D.C.? Back then, we’d have only a two-week vacation each year. Since we’ve been cruising, we’ve had a lot more time with family.
ELEANOR: Yeah, that’s true, so I guess it’s more about friends.
FRANCES: I’d say the same as Eleanor.
How is the boat schooling going?
You’ve been aboard many boats now. How is Del Viento as a home? Do you wish it was bigger or smaller or laid out differently?
ELEANOR: No, I love Del Viento. I’m really glad that it’s a monohull and that it’s not too modern. Umm, sometimes I wish I had my own room. It’s just nice to have someplace to go, but, uh, I also like sharing a room with Franny.
FRANCES: Same as Eleanor, just, um, yeah, it’s like the perfect size and everything.
If you could snap your fingers and be back to living in a house, living a more typical life, would you?
FRANCES: Definitely not.
At what age do you think you’ll want to stop cruising?
ELEANOR: Umm, I don’t know, it depends. I want to go to high school, maybe in Japan, and I think that would be a good time to stop cruising.
FRANCES: Probably in my late teens.
Do you think you’ll want to sail around with your own family when you’re my age?
FRANCES: No, but I still would like to travel a lot.
ELEANOR: Same as Franny, but I would like to maybe do it when I’m a young adult.
Do you have a favorite place you’ve been?
FRANCES: No, I’ve loved all the places. I especially like Santa Rosalia and Juneau in Alaska.
ELEANOR: Umm, a little of every place we’ve been. Some places feel more like home to me. Some places hold a more significant memory, like Santa Rosalia, La Paz, and probably Tonga in the future.
Is there any place we’ve traveled to that you would want to live someday?
ELEANOR: Umm, I don’t know. I love Mexico and I fantasize about living in Alaska, but I doubt it will ever happen. But, yeah, I love Mexico, I guess that would be the biggest one.
Why do you doubt you’ll ever live in Alaska?
ELEANOR: Just because I don’t think it’s something I would realistically do, but I like the idea of it.
FRANCES: I’d love to live in Alaska.
What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you since we started cruising?
FRANCES: Umm, storms comes to mind, like really bad storms where you just have to stay in. Like when we waited in Mexico for the hurricane to pass over us.
FRANCES: Yeah, Odile.
ELEANOR: Umm, yeah, hurricane Odile comes to mind, that was definitely way up there.
Of all the places we’ve been, which has been your least favorite?
ELEANOR: I’d have to think.
FRANCES: There’s really no place that I’ve went to that I hated. Some places, I’m sort of like “ick.”
FRANCES: Hmm, I can’t think.
ELEANOR: Umm, like I know there’s bad places, but, I guess probably someplace in Mexico where there are a bunch of drunk ex-pats! I don’t know.
What is the best advice you could offer a kid your age whose parents are thinking about going cruising?
FRANCES: Oh gosh, umm, it’s not as scary as it seems, something like that.
ELEANOR: It’s not as scary as it seems, but I think that depends on the person. I don’t think I get scared that easily, but that person may. It definitely isn’t like it is in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. That’s what I was thinking of when I was first moving onto a boat.
The most surprising aspect of the girls’ responses is apparent to me only when I answer these questions for myself. Many of the questions, I would answer similarly. But some. I would answer very differently. For example, “What about cruising do you wish you could change?” They both focused on friends and extended family. I would have answered: faster internet, hot showers, and a normal-sized fridge. Also, I asked them whether there was a boat they’ve been on that they’d prefer to Del Viento. I could think of several boats they might have picked, but they both agreed Del Viento was the boat for them. And who knew Santa Rosalia was such a hit? I thought the incredible Tuamotus would have earned a mention.