In a year's time I'd spend about 10 months on Europa. After going home for about 3 months, I'm back on board. Being away from sea, ripped out of the routines I'm so used to now, I realize how much I love sailing.
Although it's hard to pinpoint what exactly it is that makes this life differ so much from the usual life one lives on land; there are a couple of things that became quite clear in my time at home. One of them, the lack of achievement on land versus the constant strive for getting your job done and doing it properly at sea is a major factor.
Almost every day I get to face problems I have not encountered before. They might be related to things I have seen before, often it's something you'll have to find a solution for on the spot without knowing the answer in advance. This could be a mechanical problem but it could just as easy be an issue in working relations.
Another interesting one is the working together in a team which is a big part of life at sea. On land I find, most people kind of mind their own business. Even though I spend most of my time at home catching up with people the interaction you have when having a coffee together or going out with friends is a lot different than the strive for a common goal.
Setting stun sails for instance. A goal that's easily set, to achieve this however, dealing with hierarchies, different opinions and varying ways of working is another story. Most people back home don't really get what it is like to sail on Europa. Some people think of it like an eternal holiday, some see it as just another job, and some think it would be fun for a week or 2 but they figure you've kind off seen it all after that. None of these are really what is like I reckon.
The stories I tell back home about my time at sea only give a vague suggestion of what it is like to sail. The only way to really find out I guess is to go and see for yourself. Be careful though. The hardest thing I find, is going back to ''the real world''. It's a lot of fun for a while, but after a month or two I've kind off seen it there. Time to go sailing again...