Bossa Nova: Travels Of A Trailer Yacht

I, Trailer-Sailor

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do.  So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
 
(Attributed to Mark Twain)

When I read those words in July 2008, I recognized them as a clarion call from the future.  Four months and a couple of weeks later, the day after New Year's, I left my life's career as "Cartographer - Instructor - Bureaucrat" and took up a new one as "Explorer - Dreamer - Discoverer."
 
I'd spent 24 years making maps, and 11 more teaching cartography and other subjects, for a Federal agency that had changed its name and its nature over those years.  They had been mostly good years, and a few of them - when I was teaching other countries' agencies how to make better air charts - had been spectacularly good; but travel changes us more than we might expect, and I was ready to hand on my courses to my successors and look for a different world.
 
 

Traveling around the world, you can hardly help comparing "life at home" to "life here".  Sometimes "life at home" comes out second-best, and you start wondering how it would be to "live here" for more than a week or two.
 
I first had that feeling strike me hard in Piriapolis, Uruguay, on a crisp winter's afternoon in August.  "How would it be to retire here?"  A few more trips to the "Southern Cone" region - to Paraguay, Chile, Brazil - reinforced the attraction.  But even with my retirement - enough pension to live really well down there - I'm not quite ready to pack up and move.  I want to see more of my home country first, and Bossa Nova with her big moose of a tow vehicle will take me there.

papaya-picker.jpg
Picking papayas
in Paraná

Exploring indeed!

Different places, different experiences - Here I'm at the ancestral home of my adopted nephew Ricardo, in southern Brazil; I'mabout to pick a ripe papaya from the tree.