“This is my homeland, my heart is here. These are the voices I long to hear. No matter how far I may roam, I have a homeland, I have a home.”
These are the lyrics from a song called “Homeland” that I have listened to a lot during this journey. I thought more of Sweden in the beginning but as the journey is wandering towards its end, Gunilla is the homeland I think of when I listen to this song.
It’s with great sorrow and much happiness we sail closer and closer to Sweden. The long time at sea since Madeira is starting to leave marks on us and home feels more and more tempting. The problem is that every day closer to home is one day closer to leaving the class and our home, Gunilla. For she sure is our home. We have, in total, lived here for about six months and we know every place as our own pocket, even the engine room that was a big question for me the first journey. As a person who thinks endings is one of the most terrible things, do I see this is a big deal. It’s like we’re going to quickly move away from our home, never to come back. Not only are we never coming back to Gunilla, but we are also never in our life coming back to live on a boat together with high school-classmates and see each other’s best and worse. The life most here is one of the best things in the world and I’m extremely comfortable here, which makes it hard to go on with life and start new relations.
One of the best places on the boat is the cabin. One day quite early on the trip I said: “Hola mi casa” when I entered the room and that stuck and now is La Casa the official name of our cabin. We have even made a sign that sits on our door. Every time everyone from the cabin is somewhere that isn’t the room is someone of us saying: “aww! The whole La Casa is here”, which is quite strange because it isn’t a weird thing that we are on the same spot at the same time, like, we are on watch eight hours together every day and have lessons four hours per day together so the chances of us being on the same spot is quite big, but I appreciate it! It’s cosy. If the whole boat is our home is La Casa the core for me, it is the place where you are sitting on the cabin sole after night watch and eating chips. It’s the place where a lot of life happens, and it is the homeliest place because our interior is very ornate with homemade nameplates, on our wardrobe doors, and with drawings and other small things. It really feels like a home.
It’s those small things that makes it hard to come home again and telling everybody about our journey. Most people see the cool things we have done, like we sailed over the Atlantic Ocean and that we have visited exotic destinations and sure, the Atlantic Ocean is cool, but it is not the destinations that mean something in the end. Nothing would matter if the class weren’t there. It’s the people that do the journey and that’s hard to explain for someone who hasn’t been there. The journey isn’t in the cool cities or on the beaches, it’s in the cabin when we just sit and talk. It’s on quarterdeck when everyone is freezing or writing a song to one of the commanders of the Wessel and it is in the small talks in the corridor. These are things that’s hard to explain for someone who hasn’t been here, I mean, what sounds nicer; sailing over the Atlantic Ocean or sitting on the cabin sole with your cabinmates and just talk about stuff. The first one sound much cooler but it is the second one that makes the journey. As it mostly is in life: it’s the small things.
“This is my homeland, my heart is here. These are the voices I long to hear. No matter how far I may roam, I have a homeland, I have a home.” Gunilla is home and home is here, we have had a great journey so far and the feelings about home are mixed, but everything will be great in the end.