Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Education, Vacation, & the Path Forward!

 My husband and I just returned two weeks ago from an amazing trip....more of a "life event" than just a vacation.


The first week we spent taking a sailing course at the Blue Water Sailing School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  We lived aboard a 43' sailboat for 6 nights along with two other students and a captain/instructor. 

This was school, not a charter where you lay about the boat all day.  9am - 5pm each day we were in "class" although it was learning as you are doing.  We were jibing and triangulating and docking and anchoring and tying knots and doing man overboard exercises and chart plotting.  There were three 100 question exams.  It was a stressful, fun, and fantastic week.


After our week with the Blue Water Sailing School, we flew to


for a week of hammocking and snorkeling.  This is a funky, casual, social, super fun place is you like things laid back and quiet.  There are 21 units right on the beach and no nightclubs, shopping, high-rises, etc.  Here is our bungalow on the beach.

we went for the swimming and white sands which we got in abundance. 

However, we found more there than we were expecting: Friends!   We met some wonderful, down-to-earth, introspective, joyous people there.  What a great bonus! 


As many of you know, my husband and I have had a dream of living aboard a sailboat and sailing from place to place full time.  This is referred to as the "cruising" life.  However, neither of us had ever sailed!  So going to this school was our test to see if we really wanted to do it and if we really could physically and mentally achieve it. 

And the answer is......


So, next we have to figure out how to get from where we are now:

 A couple working full time with
a mortgage and little savings

To where we want to be:

A couple living aboard a sailboat
 and exploring the world.

Yesterday I worked out a timeline for getting from point A to point B.  It goes in four steps:

1) Refinance house so that we have smaller payments. (Complete by Dec 2012)

2) Save money and build a small cottage on our property.  Move into small house and rent out large house. (Complete by Sep 2013)

3) Save money and purchase our sailboat!!!  Moor it locally, move aboard, and rent out both houses.(Complete by Sep 2014)

4) Save money and tie up loose ends, then start our journey! (Set sail by Apr 2015)

The trick is saving the $$$ of course.  We did very well on our first budget (see my first or second blog post).  We learned to live with less.  The new budget will be even leaner.  I am working on it now and then will meet with my husband for the negotiations. 

I have lots of ideas for extreme saving that many people may see as nuts...but I just can't work my entire life to buy all the junk the media says I need.  Instead, if we forgo all the little stuff that sucks money out of our pockets, we can really save a lot and go see the world!

Some savings ideas are:

  • Eliminate all beverage purchases.  We will be healthier just drinking water anyway. 
  • Have only one vehicle and use the bus lines
  • Get rid of cable tv and contemplate how much internet usage we really need
  • Get rid of my cell phone...we got by without it up to a few years ago.
  • Do not carry any credit that is charging interest....pay everything off in full monthly
  • Buy clothes at thrift shops...make due with minimal clothing
  • Sell all of the knick knacks and stuff we have accumulated through a lifetime
  • Eat low cost, but health foods like making up soups and beans from scratch.
  • Do not purchase any pre-processed products.
  • Keep heat low and lights off as much as possible.
  • Conserve water...turn water off while soaping up in the shower.
  • Never purchase anything that is not on your shopping list...no impulse purchases.
  • Keep a strict budget and follow it. 
There are lots of others.  I know you might think that the savings realized through these efforts is small, but together they add up. 

As I told a co-worker the other day, my personal brand of insanity isn't for everyone, but it definitely fits me!



  1. G'day Raven. Lovely post and lovely photos. Never lose sight of that dream. It sounds such a beautiful way to live. Friends some time ago lived on a sailboat for a number of years. This was up off the coast of Queensland, here in Australia and they followed their dream by doing it and I have never met two happier people. Sadly, ill health forced them to sell the boat a few years back and buy a house, but they never regretted their experiences on the boat. Go for it Raven. Take care. Liz...

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Liz! Perhaps some day we will make it all the way to Australia and pay you a visit!


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