A week or so ago, Mark was working on a post for the blog. I think he was writing about moving from the house onto the boat. He asked me if at some point I would “add my two cents on the subject” and put it in a post. I think I was busy trying to store the twenty tons of stuff we brought from the house onto the boat, or sorting laundry, or something else just as exciting. Without much thought I simply said, “Ok.” Little did I realize he actually wrote it in the post that I would be commenting soon. To my surprise people actually sent a few emails wanting to know when I would be posting my “two cents worth” (I think he posted one or two of the emails).
I am often amazed at the response Mark gets on the blog. I guess I am surprised people are interested in our journey from land to sea. We have not even left and people read what we have to say. I guess I assumed the only people who would read the blog would be family and friends. They get most of the information first hand so to me the blog would be more a diary for us to look back on. I am humbled people are interested and follow our postings of this journey.
So here are my responses to a couple of the questions put to me. I sincerely hope it helps. Also, I am open to questions about this transition. Just shoot us a comment. I often wished I had someone to bounce this stuff off along the way.
I have found in life that almost anything takes a lot longer in execution than it looks on paper. The road to cruising has proven this theory correct. It all sounds so simple; buy a boat, quite your job, move onto the boat and head for the islands. It might actually be that simple but we are the planning type people. Suffice it to say we are not the “just do it” people. I don’t want to ever find myself in a bad situation but if I am in one, I’d like to know I have the ability to get out of it. For this reason, we tend to research, organize and plan before we leap into something new. It might take us longer but we feel more comfortable about it. The problem is, a person can get stuck and never leave the dock due to never being finished planning or something in life intervenes. We have seen it happen to others firsthand.
We are trying to balance safety, planning and still actually go on the adventure. We have not left yet but at least we are still moving in that direction. It can be darn difficult to get rid of land life. Not for sake of not wanting to, but because there are so many other factors that constantly get in the way. More on that in a later post.
The one question women ask the most concerns selling their home to live on a boat full-time. Untying a boat, leaving a set way of life, friends and family behind for adventures unknown can be very scary to a lot of people. There is this thought that living aboard full-time and never returning home is the only way to go. A lot of people enjoy visiting the boat on weekends and vacations and leaving port for adventures but living aboard is something they are not sure they want to do. I can’t blame them at all. It is not for everyone. There are other options. There is not a right way to cruise. And who says you have to cruise thousands miles away from home to have fun? It should be what works for you.
Here is where my experience ends and my research and secondhand knowledge kicks in. This is why you are getting 50% off my two cents worth. The following are a few examples of what we’ve seen firsthand or heard from friends out cruising:
Keep a home and fly: We have friends (and know of other cruisers) who have a home and a boat. They spend their winter and spring cruising. They put the boat on the hard for hurricane season and fly home. They fly back to the boat and pick up cruising where they left off. Others cruise and fly home a couple times year for extended visits of a few weeks or months (think holidays and special events). This is highly budget dependent but it is a good transition or compromise.
Cruisers who stay near their home port: We have met quite a lot of people who do two and three week adventures from a home port. Once they are ready they go for longer adventures. Sometimes they will leave for a few months at a time but they always go back to their home port. They are having a ball. They still have a house to go back to when they want a real shower and kitchen. Hey, people do it in RV’s all the time. Many of the people who chose this option downsize their home and boat in order to afford both.
Live on the boat with a marina as a home port: Same idea as above but you live in the marina and take trips from there. No house. The idea is to slowly expand your horizons to further away places. If it does not work out you have the safety of returning to a home port and going back to smaller excursions.
Somewhat non-traditional cruising: This is the category we fit into. We have downsized to living on the boat. We are going to leave and not have a house or home port. We do not have plans of sailing around the world; Far from it. We have a list of places we’d like to go but nothing set in stone. We just want to travel and enjoy retirement. If we go back to the same place twice, would that be so bad? Most importantly, if this does not work out we are ok with going back to a land life or tying one of the other categories above.
We both agree that Netjeting to adventurous places would be our first pick of transportation in retirement but since we’ve yet to win the lottery, Cream Puff was a close second.
I hope this helps. 🙂