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Living on a boat | On holiday to ... your own city?

How permanent living in the heart of the center gives less freedom, the dog is happier without a doorbell and pancakes can apparently fly.

Looking into the sun, I place the spoon on the saucer on the table in front of me. Cup and saucer. Such a dislike. That reminds me of such dowdy crockery with slightly too dignified people. Where you're supposed to behave and that kind of scary stuff. The kind of saucer that you try to keep concentrated in your remaining hand, God knows why, and put it back on the table when you've finished your cup of weak filter coffee. Well, I refuse. 

'Yes, are you there?' my friend asks. Apparently he just told a whole story about the place where we are currently moored with our boat. I was once again in my own world. Something that happens quite regularly lately. Appears.

Also read: Living on a boat | This is Shem de Labric
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Feeling freer

'It's funny that as the crow flies we are just as close to the center as when we were on our roof terrace a few months ago. But that I now feel a lot freer.' He taps the ashes from his cigarette and looks at a group of people who also take a seat on this beautiful city beach. Our house was fine; a neat apartment, nice roof terrace with full sun all day and spacious enough for us and the dog, who liked to run barking back and forth when the doorbell rang.

With the boat in nature
With the boat in nature

No more daily routines

Yet we do not miss it for a second. Why? Because we are freer now. No more big daily routines for us. No permanent place to live with always that same nagging neighbor who you still haven't dared to say that he should just stop whining. Not always going to the same store with that cashier who'd rather do her nails than scan barcodes. No more annoyance at that traffic light that is always bad on the way to work. No, because by the time it even gets a bit of a grind, we'll have left long ago.

One percent of the total fixed costs

'Yes indeed. And what's really funny?' I laugh. 'That we spend the night tonight for one percent of the total costs that we had spent on that house per month.' Our little house on the water, of a mere twelve meters, not only has that large driveway, spacious garden with a south orientation and that fantastic swimming pond. No, it just has it all. And everything according to need. Do we feel like the bustle of the city? We start the engine and arrange that. In need of rest or swimming? We turn the key and relax in nature.

In the centre

A Hunt of a Million

'Gosh, look at that one!' My friend points to a large yacht that is just sailing downtown. There floats for a million. Something we cannot afford, but also do not aspire to. What a cost, what a job.

You see that on the water just like with houses. Expensive, more expensive, most expensive and big, bigger, biggest. In recent months, of course, we sometimes come somewhere and we have the tic to peek in the windows of real estate agents. Rows of triple-glazed windows, showing off dozens of posters with houses of different shapes and sizes on them. No expense spared. A house with a large garden, swimming pond for the kids, en-suite bathroom, ... Think of it and it's for sale. Throw in three, four (or more tons) and you're done. 

'What a beast dude. Not handy at all, isn't it?' I mumble as I watch the man try to put the huge colossus on a jetty. 

"Would he have a doorbell too?" I ask as I pat our dog on the head. My friend laughs. "Just another cup?" 

Looking for the crowds again

Yesterday we spontaneously thought to look up the crowds again. Look, all those nature spots are of course great and wonderfully quiet, but when you start to worry about whether the Grebe is leaving enough fish in the water for the others, you may be just a little too long somewhere. 

a grebe
a grebe

What it costs? About three or four tons.

I love a shopping center. You have everything at hand: good food, shops, terraces. But if you live in the shopping center, the crowds will remain. And that always goes on. With our boat we can do both. Are we starting to worry too much about our house grebe? Hoppa, to the city. When we are tired of the crowds and yet another failed pancake with pan and all flies over board (really happened), then we start the engine and cool down in nature.

And our dog? He likes to run back and forth in our spacious gardens with swimming ponds, long driveways and great forest areas, all with beautiful sunsets. And what does it cost? Nothing at all. Well, sometimes 12 euros for demurrage and a frying pan. And of course those three-four tons. On steel, yes. And it's all worth it.

Also read: Living on a boat | This is Shem de Labric
Also read: Living on a boat | Would you do that?!
Also read: Living on a boat | Unwanted visit, bad nights and still freedom
Also read: Living on a boat | Two weeks?!

Sem de Labri

My name is Sam and I am 33 years old. Three months ago I made the choice to give up my house and live on my boat. Together with friend and dog, on about 12 square meters. We live in a region in the Netherlands and sail from place to place, we continue on holidays and we spend the winter at a permanent place in a marina.

I love to write and I like to do that on board. Especially now that I have more space in my head because I have fewer financial worries, have gotten a more relaxed life on the water (of course with ups and downs because many things are new) and also have to work less. My ultimate dream is to make a living from writing and no longer be location-bound, so that I can go wherever I want with my boat, possibly combined with a camper.

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