Article reposted with permission from News From The Bow.
We recently met a full time cruising couple. In a previous life their vacations had introduced them to warm, peaceful places. Their dream of living on the water evolved over decades, clarified by visits to places like the Caribbean, Fiji, Europe’s Mediterranean and Mexico.
The dream preceded their boating experience. Cruises with paid captains were followed by boating safety courses, which were followed by bare boating leases and plenty of reading. Their ideal cruising region was carefully chosen after trips to many of the most beautiful places on earth. They would not lose sight of their dream despite life’s inevitable detours.
According to plan, hard work should have resulted in enough savings to buy “the boat” and set off. And hard work it was, more difficult than either he or she could have imagined. Work-related stress, financial letdowns, layoffs and the recession pushed back their departure date. What seemed to be their “key” to the plan turned out to be a multi-year adventure that returned little. Despite Bill’s recent job loss, and with little hope for new work, the dream was not deferred.
We heard they bought a boat. It was much smaller than others expected but was seaworthy and had enough room for two guests and their small dog. It wasn’t difficult to rent the house. Yet no date was set to drop the lines. Rumors were that Bill was interviewing for a job that would once more take him away, pile on the pressure and maybe pay enough to make the dream a reality. Then it happened. Renee’s phone call arrived like lightening. They had decided to leave.
The couple realized they had only now to live. Thirty years of work was enough. They would live frugally, but were committed to living their dream. After years of planning the boat quickly took shape. And then they were gone.
We recently visited Renee and Bill in paradise. They appeared happier and healthier than ever and loved their cruising lifestyle. They made their dream a reality. She was the most beautiful vessel in the marina, charmed with teak, polished and with all systems working perfectly. Renee current job, according to the Admiral, is keeping herself and Bill healthy and happy. The Captain’s work is evident by looking at their boat. Land-based days include morning coffee in the cockpit, long walks together, visits to local markets, conversation with friends, snorkeling among sea turtles, creating feasts for themselves and friends, maintenance on the boat, reading and…well you get the picture.
Don’t get me wrong. Renee and Bill’s problems didn’t end with their decision to cruise. The economy still threatens their cruising budget, family and friends are oceans away, boat and health insurance is hard to come by, crossings between destinations appear difficult compared to dockside serenity, local immigration officials are unpredictable, etc., etc., etc. What they did was trade some future departure date and the stress, hardship and risks associated with today’s business environment for less stuff, more health, each other and their dream. Our friends decided to live in paradise rather than live in fear. There’s a lesson here.
More great articles like this can be found on News From The Bow.