Grandparents Brian and Jackie Smilie have entertained little ones for more than five years on their Krogen 48′ North Sea, named GOTTA SMILE. From explaining the engine room to visiting historical sites and marina pools, time together has been a treat. Jackie explains how she responds to criticisms she’s heard over the years about “leaving family behind”.
When we moved on board Gotta Smile five years ago, we sold our house and set off for unknown destinations. Our children were very supportive, but some of our friends and acquaintances were quick to let us know that they thought we shouldn’t leave our grandchildren behind.
Comments like, “How can you move so far away from your grandkids?” and, “Aren’t you going to miss your grandkids?” were heard more than once. Please don’t let anyone shame or discourage you from living your dream. The truth is, you won’t be living your dream on your own.
Our grandkids have joined us in Florida, Puerto Rico, the Exumas, Grenada, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and all along the East Coast of the United States. In fact, our five and nine year-old grandchildren just spent a month onboard with us. And we have introduced all four of our grandkids to destinations and experiences that they will remember for the rest of their lives, because it was something unique and FUN. Plus, we fly back to see them at least twice a year.
No matter who you leave behind, there are always opportunities for visits–visits that will enrich your travels and their lives.
I think all of our grandkids would agree that a visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s boat is a lot more fun than just coming over for cookies after school!