Our lives have changed radically but we can adapt, says a former Guardian journalist who has lived solo on a boat for three years – and learned to love it
Living alone in the wild
‘I want to reassure people,” I announced grandly on Instagram the other day, “that it’s easier to change behaviour than you think.” With anxious friends facing a massive change of life in the face of coronavirus, I wanted to spread some calm.
The reason I’d started dispensing “wisdom” like some nautical soothsayer was that I gave up a much-loved job at the Guardian three years ago to pursue a simpler life on my tiny sailboat. I ended up crossing the Channel to France, sailing down the Atlantic coast to Portugal, into the Mediterranean, through Spain and Italy to Greece. It’s the slowest life imaginable, travelling at walking pace, completely immersed in nature. I sleep freely in secluded bays, by white beaches, fish and octopus swimming below me. I’ve sailed with dolphins and whales, woken to horses galloping on deserted beaches in southern Italy, and anchored by castles and cathedral-like cliffs. It is magical and it is nourishing.