Lots of interesting insights in this thread have really given rise to some introspection. I guess I would have to change my answer to both. And I agree, that it is the lifestyle...the total lifestyle. (While it's true we have yet to be full time long distance cruisers, we were boat dwellers for a number of years so had a taste of the live-aboard boat life while local cruising.)
I love the sailing. I love how it makes you slow down and pay attention to life around you. I love the simplicity of boat life compared to the frenetic complexity of my land life. When I'm ashore I am always distracted. I go like an ADHD chicken with it's head
off from one thing to the next. You can't do that when you're sailing. It just takes you away, really away, from all that.
I love the exploring. I have always loved traveling, even in my pre-boat days. Since my early 20's, jumping in the car and driving cross country just to see something I had never seen before was so attractive to me. I have always had a vagabond spirit.
I love the views from almost anywhere on the water
. That buffer zone between you and the little imperfections. You see the beauty in broad strokes.
I love meeting new people and experiencing varied cultures, seeing the remnants of history
in the places I visit.
We camp also and do a bit of land travel with our little teardrop trailer. I also love the peace of the woods and seeing all the inland sights. The community of campers is very similar to the community of boaters. But I guess the saltwater has gotten into my veins because it really is a very distant second to life on the water
And the beauty of it all is that I get to share my life with an adventurous man who feels the same way. How lucky am I??