Here’s some invaluable wisdom that this former professional seafarer hadn't realised is a psychological fact: Time spent near water is the secret of happiness.
|Ah, the sea ... To be beside water, the oceans, rivers, and streams, is just what humans need, the experts report. Thanks to Unsplash and Kristina V for the image.|
People warned me against it, doubting that anyone could survive the madness of going to sea alone ... and surrounded by all that water!
And what about all the time it would take?
I would never, I could never be the same again.
Perhaps in a way, there was some truth in the warnings, that I would never be the same again.
When I sailed back into an English port after going all the way around alone, I did feel like a different person. It was a positive feeling, as if somehow I had grown up and understood the world better.
I’d also seen, of course, how little of the world’s surface, our species actually occupies.
|Nature trail ... Julia's walk along the Saturn trail follows the historic Basingstoke Canal, once very busy with barge traffic, but now calm and very peaceful.|
A specialist in environmental psychology told her, ‘Many of the processes are exactly the same as with green space – with some added benefits.’
Another researcher reported, ‘People who visit the coast, for example, at least twice weekly tend to experience better general and mental health.
Two hours weekly
‘Some of our research suggests around two hours a week is probably beneficial, across many sectors of society.’
Even sea views have been associated with better mental health, Elle Hunt reports.
I suspect that point about better mental health might be open to question: Why do I keep those blogs going, for example?
Being close to water is good for us, but to be able to take time off for a circumnavigation is beyond the hope of many people. How then can they enjoy the advantages of that beneficial nearness to oceans, to water?
One very keen walker Julia Dolton, a Woking friend, strides many miles along the Saturn Trail beside historic Basingstoke Canal and she manages it just about daily.
It rejuvenates me
Hairdresser Julia told me, ‘Walking by the canal really rejuvenates my mood. Nature and water. To see the changing seasons along the canal - with leaves turning a beautiful orange and yellow and the Spring with the new shoots.
‘And to enjoy the sights of baby ducks and geese. However, it’s mainly the effect of being beside the water that is so good.
‘I can feel quite anxious and down. Yet walking along the canal, my anxiety disappears and my mood becomes lighter.’
Thanks very much for visiting the mostly Tuesday and Thursday blogs for my adventure writing. The blogs (as they call 'em) are introduced each time on Facebook Facebook dot com/Sailingtopurgatory,