Awhile back I managed to evoke quite the response when I shared a little too much detail about our financial situation. The thread was closed after a few folks told me in no uncertain terms what a moron I was to start cruising while still in debt. I don't mean to reopen that can of worms (so I won't link to the thread), but given our experience I thought a follow up thread was worthwhile.
Against the advice of many (and with the good wishes of many more), we left last year to cruise Mexico
and the South Pacific
and had the time of our lives (a cliche only when it's not literally true) - no other year has come anywhere close to matching the magic, adventure and wonder that we experienced. We left owing money
, and with enough to allow us to continue paying our bills, but we didn't have any cushion for reentry and didn't know if our budget
was realistic and if we'd really have enough to make it.
It's the off season now in the SP and we've managed to find work back home, replenishing the kitty for another year in the western South Pacific
. It's anyone's guess what we'll do after that. After another year, we'll be broke again... maybe we'll work in Australia
if we can get visas. Maybe we'll spend the off season back in the States again if there's more work to be had. Maybe we'll sell the boat and be done. It's fantastic how up in the air plans are when you're cruising.
Leaving when we did was totally the right decision. And what was surprising was how many people we met that were in similar financial positions, at least insomuch as they were on very tight budgets and weren't clear exactly where the next infusion of cash was coming from. Actually, there were a lot of times when we felt like the "rich" boat just because we had something resembling a plan. Sure there were big expensive boats out there with big budgets, but they weren't the majority.
I count myself as incredibly blessed for being able to walk back into good paying work which will facilitate another year, and certainly don't take that for granted. But I wanted to share our story just in case there are others out there that want to cast off the dock
lines, but can't make the dollars and cents add up perfectly.
Finances are real, of course, but it doesn't have to be planned out to the last dollar.
Anyhow, take it for what it's worth.