Sharing the same dreams and values as the one you love is like winning the lottery.
Base and I literally love the same things – The Ocean, Sailing, Surfing, Adventures, Taking Care of the Planet, Health, Living with less stress! In fact, there are few hobbies that we don’t share. This has led us to build the life of our dreams together and it has been a magical ride since we met ten years ago and tied the knot three years ago.
Moving onto our sailboat which has a 20-foot living area, was something we were both keen on and as we did we definitely started to learn more and more about each other. This is what happens when you literally have no personal space.
We are rarely apart, we run our business together, work side by side as expedition guides, we live tiny, we surf together, we travel together… I think you get it.
Setting sail at the start of our 8-month voyage!
Over time we have come up with ways to keep our relationship healthy, vibrant and going strong.
Disclaimer… we fight and we get on each other’s nerves, we go through relationship ups and downs. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows… but I think that is the key, don’t expect it to always be picture perfect.
We work at our relationship continually, it may take more prompting from the female side of this duo, but we work at it.
We strive to be on the same page with one and other and that means communicating. We talk to each other, but it’s those deep conversations that we have as we watch the sunset or go for a beach walk that keeps us on the same page. We talk about our dreams, desires, what we want from the world, what we want to give back. We talk about what if’s and then drill down to what we both want. We share the same dreams and future plans and that often comes down to the deep and meaningful conversations we make time for.
We used to do this more often, but date nights are key. They don’t have to be fancy or cost a lot of money. But we will set aside a date night where we both get dressed up and do something special – a picnic on the beach or sunset drinks… just to keep the spark going.
I think the most important thing that we have learned from living in a tiny home and being on top of one and other all the time is that we can’t avoid things. You know how in a house you have separate rooms, and even doors you can close!!! Well on a boat there aren’t many places to get away. You need to deal with whatever is up then and there, and then move past it.
Base is the king of letting things go, I myself am more of the dweller. I want to talk it out before we move on. So we have different styles when it comes to arguments. But instead of leaving the situation and getting away from one another, we will take 5 mins, and then come back and talk it out (that’s a good fight anyways!)
Learning how to fight and then work it out has been an imperative for tiny home living. We argue and disagree, then we get over it. We don’t have enough space to let fights linger.
The next thing we have learned as we sailed the coast is that we need each other equally. There are jobs on the boat I hate doing, there are jobs on the boat Base is better at. We don’t have segregated jobs based on gender often called pink and blue jobs, but we do have our own roles and we are happy to share jobs too.
When you are out on the open ocean you have no one else but you and him. Trusting Base with my life and my safety has been critical to making this work. I know he is always concerned about our safety and I trust him.
I also had to work quite hard to get to the point that he can trust that I can be relied upon on the boat. I worked on yachts, I did a coastal delivery, I volunteered for sea rescue, completed my coxswain’s ticket. I wanted to feel confident that if Base needed me, I am there 100% and he can trust me. I can’t speak for him, but I think we lent pretty hard on one and other while we sailed the West Australian Coast and this only brought us closer.
Like I mentioned earlier, we are constantly working on making our relationship better. We are Ying and Yang in a lot of ways, and that means we balance each other out, but also totally shit each other too. We are both trying to keep working on accepting the other person for exactly as they are, learning to take all the good and all the bad and accept it. Not try to change it… maybe encourage working on certain things ever so often, but overall being able to just be ourselves around each other makes all the difference.
Our relationship will continue to evolve and change over time, but one thing I have committed to is that I will never give up on working on us, and we will do our best to always grow and change together, supporting each other along the way.
We design our life to live out our dreams and I can’t imagine not having my best friend and co-captain by my side through it all.
Ps. Ladies, journals are like best friends… so perfect for venting and expressing emotions… and guys nothing beats escaping with a surf magazine. We both have our coping mechanisms!
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