I have a wandering spirit. It began in childhood listening to the stories of my grandparents travels. They would travel to several different countries each year, exploring the culture and returning with wonderful tales of what they had experienced. I just knew I wanted to do this too. In addition, my sister and I got to go out sailing with our dad. I began a love affair with the water that lasts to this day.
As we grow up life has a way of interfering with our dreams. I became an adult with all the usual achievements of college, marriage, children and a career. I was able to travel some during these times but, it was far from what I dreamed of and longed to do. I also cultivated some other passions along the way: cycling, running, hiking, kayaking, painting and drawing, etc. Life has a way of constantly changing and evolving. My marriage ended, leaving me with more opportunities to focus on my passions and make new friends with similar interests. I created a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish; running a marathon, cycling a century ride, white water kayaking, refreshing sailing skills, learning to dance the tango, hiking Kilimanjaro, traveling the world, learning Spanish and French, painting and writing, etc. A few years later, I met a man that shared my interests and passions. On one of our early dates he asked me if I would ever consider living on a boat. Hell Yes! We began a journey, joining life paths. We have travelled, explored, run ultras, cycled centuries, taken French, kayaked and hiked many trails together. What a wonderful life. We envisioned an expanded version of this life for our retirement. We planned. We earned. We saved. We invested. We were building our life and our future.
Then, in summer 2015 I began to not feel myself. I couldn’t run or ride. I lost strength and became fatigued. I became ill on one of our trips. Something wasn’t right. It was the beginning of a long process of doctor’s appointments, tests, procedures, trials of medications some of which had side effects that were almost as bad as what ailed me. I have a chronic illness for which there is no cure; however, there are treatments that can help to slow the progression, ease some of the symptoms and take the edge off the pain. I am extremely grateful for these options. This has been a grueling process. Throughout it all I have had an amazing partner, helping me when I needed a hand and providing emotional support. This has been just as hard on him as it has been on me. However, we have vowed to maintain a positive attitude. I am a glass half full kind of person and so is he. We are determined not to give up on all of the things I have dreamed of doing. There must be ways.
We are Jay and Kat, and this is a journal of our explorations redefined – adaptive wandering, hence the title of this blog.