It’s been a terrifying two days, but knock wood, I have survived so far.
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea was a piece of cake compared to driving on the left hand side of the road.
Shifting with my left hand feels as weird as blowing my nose with my left hand, in fact I really can’t.
Now, I have driven in left hand drive countries before, UK, Scotland and Ireland. Years ago, when I had my own right hand drive in Europe, I found it easier to drive that car on the left, since it allowed me to concentrate on staying on the correct side of the road.
Though coming upon a traffic circle, round-about in England, I still had a tendency to go right without thinking if there was no other traffic to remind me.
The most perilous times are right hand turns and pulling out of driveways. Both of those situations have found me close to catastrophe, as I pulled up to the street, looked left, saw no cars approaching and then proceeded to let the car roll forward as I looked right and turned all simultaneously.
Only fast feet on the brakes averted a head on collision as the on-coming car flashed by.
Nowadays I visualize where and how I am getting there with each turn practiced in my head. I use the same rules I have used since last year in Ireland as a pedestrian, look both ways twice before taking step into the street.
I’ve done the same with the car the last two days.
With only tomorrow’s early morning drive to Dublin and the airport, my odds are looking good. But I know the numbers and the reality is that the two-hour drive tomorrow is far riskier than what we have done or will do in the coming months, years and miles in Dauntless.
The link below has a very nice history of right and left hand driving.
I’m an eclectic person, who grew up in New York, lived overseas for many years and have a boat, Dauntless, a 42 foot Kadey Krogen trawler yacht. Dauntless enables me to not only live in many different parts of the world, but to do it in a way that is interesting, affordable, with the added spice of a challenge.
Dauntless also allows me to be in touch with nature. As the boat glides through the ocean, you have a sense of being part of a living organism. When dolphins come to frolic, they stay longer if you are out there talking to them, watching them. Birds come by, sometimes looking for a handout; sometimes grateful to find a respite from their long journey.
I grew up on the New York waterfront, in the West Village, when everything west of Hudson St. was related to shipping and cargo from around the world. For a kid, it was an exciting place of warehouses, trucks, and working boats of all kinds: tugs and the barges and ships, cargo and passenger, they were pushing around.
My father was an electrical engineer, my mother an intellectual, I fell in between.
I have always been attracted to Earth’s natural processes, the physical sciences. I was in 8th grade when I decided to be a Meteorologist.
After my career in meteorology, my natural interest in earth sciences: geology, astronomy, geography, earth history, made it a natural for me to become a science teacher in New York City, when I moved back to the Big Apple. Teaching led to becoming a high school principal to have the power to truly help kids learn and to be successful not only in school but in life.
Dauntless is in western Europe now. In May and June, I will be wrapping up the last two years in northern Europe, heading south to spend the rest of the year in Spain & Portugal.
Long term, I’m planning on returning to North American in the fall of 2017 and from there continuing to head west until we’re in Northeast Asia, Japan and South Korea, where we will settle for a bit.
But now, my future lies not in NY or even Europe, but back to the water, where at night, when the winds die down, there is no noise, only the silence of the universe. I feel like I am at home, finally.
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