Home is whenever I’m with you

Recently I returned to my marina HQ after a packed week away of talks and meetings and travelling and not enough exercise. After the concrete jungle of Tokyo, stuffy trains and throngs of people, I was so happy to be by the space and quiet of the sea once more. Shibiya-san, one of the marina staff, said something to me with a smile as  I wandered over to see what he was working on. I asked another for the translation. ‘He says ‘Welcome Home‘,’ said Mama-san, smiling at me warmly. ‘We miss you when you’re away.’ I had to gulp back the lump in my throat, grinning wide and teary-eyed. They are right – this is my home now. For now at least.

Home has meant all sorts of things to me in my life – an ever changing role of people and places and, perhaps, ideas. ‘Home home’ is Rutland –  our family HQ. Nearly a year ago I left the warm familiarity and choked a cheerio as bravely as I could, hugging the dog with a feeling of betrayal as I reassured him I would be back soon. I still won’t be home for another 18 months yet.

Gulliver – Home is whenever I’m with you

Just before Christmas I longed for home. I missed my family and friends. It had only caught up with me then, after months on the go – months where my home was defined by my bike and tent and boats, my garden an ever changing parade of scenery and countries and neighbours.  I have grown into my new life out here though and, while I miss family and friends from time to time, I have my international family here in Japan. There will be a part of me which finds it hard to leave in April and wave goodbye.

Still, I shall have Gulliver – my new home and mate for much of 2012. (He and Hercules have met and they seem fine with the arrangement). Gulliver arrived at the marina two weeks ago and has been making me grin ever since. Jamie and Emily of Global Boatworks have done a wonderful job (again) and I am really enjoying tinkering with kit and getting him set up.  I have been out with him a few times already, both with and without passengers. He is beautiful to row and will be a perfect home on the ocean. Thanks to everyone who helped get him from Rutland to Tokyo, out of customs and then safely installed at the marina – it was quite a mission. And thanks to my team at home for packing him up with all the gear (also a mission) and to all my sponsors who helped furnish him with kit.

So, here’s to homes and all that they mean to us – wherever you are and whatever home means for you at this point in your life. May they be filled with sunshine and smiles.


Sarah and Gulliver x

A smiling rower is a happy rower

PS Mum is coming out to visit in 5 weeks time – woop woop!

PPS Thanks to new sponsors who have joined us recently – Go Pro and Crewroom and C S Ellis and Rutland Worldwide Freight and Blaythorne Equipment.

PPPS The title of this blog is taken from the very brilliant song  ‘Home‘ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes

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5 Responses to Home is whenever I’m with you

  1. Ray Girard says:

    Stay close to yourself, …and you’ll always be ‘at home’.

    Question: Do you run through panic and breakdown/trouble scenerios(especially at sea) in your mind, or do you feel that that is negative thinking?

    Langley, BC

  2. Robert Douglas says:

    Hi Sarah. What you’ve said reminds me of a song I know: ‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’ by Fairport Convention. Not sure if you’re familiar with it? Your blog, a very healthy persepective in having a home from home. It’s a shame when we have to leave it, however – even by choice.

  3. Hello Sarah,

    I simply want to write that I am in awe of what you are doing and I wish you all the best on your journey. I just completed a solo tour on bike through the Americas, continents which has treated me as a loved daughter in a great outdoor home.

    For me home has been where the bike is, and I guess yours will be where the boat is, with the ocean as your blue garden.


  4. Sofia says:

    I am living in Japan now and I miss my home a lot! I came to realize how important it was in my life, but I’m going back to Canada in a few months and I will be back with a wonderful experience. Your blog is very inspirational and you are an admirable woman, certainly a perfect role model. Never stop travelling, and remember home is where you want it to be!

  5. peter booth says:

    Yes,as someone commented,home is where the heart is. I remember when I was young and travelled the world working. Certain places seemed to become my home. Hong Kong was definately my favourite and I shed tears when I had to leave as you will when you leave Japan.I saw you on the midland news with Gulliver and people ask me why you are doing this. My answer is always “Only Sarah knows this”. Anyway,once again I wish you all the best.God Bless Peter Booth.Nottingham

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