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Old 29-03-2012, 15:49   #1
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Just Do It

Hi all,

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.

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Old 29-03-2012, 15:59   #2
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Re: Just Do It

Way to go!

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Old 29-03-2012, 16:08   #3
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Re: Just Do It

Good option for the hard working type, with professions that are in demand.

Another option is oh just le go and stay out there as long as one has fun riding and there is anything left in the pantry locker.

Sorry to hear people discouraged you from doing what you wanted. Hope I was not one of them. Glad you prove your point.

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Old 29-03-2012, 16:14   #4
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Re: Just Do It

Hooray. Excellent report. There's some sailors pounding on their armchairs right now, for sure!
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Old 29-03-2012, 16:21   #5
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Re: Just Do It

Good on ya!

Looks like you had a nice little adventure. Keep doing what you like with the resources available.
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Old 29-03-2012, 16:34   #6
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Re: Just Do It

Glad to hear its working out.

What's the saying about life is what happens while you are making plans or something like that? We certainly have a tendency to over plan and not trust our creativity to figure out a solution when a problem arises. Sounds like you on the right track.
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:38   #7
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Re: Just Do It

What kind of money did you have in savings when you left and how much did you end up spending? My wife and I are thinking about something similar and wondering whether we're being realistic. We're hoping to have enough for 2 years on an extremely tight budget with no emergencies popping up or 1 year with some reserves to help us while looking for work. Not really much debt besides student loans which I can defer, but it's hard to save money.
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Old 31-03-2012, 12:51   #8
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Re: Just Do It

I retire every other year. Wouldn't want to have it any other way.
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Old 31-03-2012, 13:25   #9
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Re: Just Do It

It's nice to do it anyway and prove the Nay Sayers wrong,,it gets stuck in their craw nice and sharp like!! Glad you are having a blast, save the good times against the bad.
"The Truth Shall set you Free....But First it will Piss You Off"
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Old 31-03-2012, 17:57   #10
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Re: Just Do It

Good on ya. We went off first time and last time with a mortgage owing - Its only money. Next time, the mortgage may be gone - I hope.

I think the old "whatever" response is in order for people who ask, then bag you. There are too many negative people on land, quite a few who will forever remain safely in a marina, and not many out cruising! If I meet someone who wants to drag me down to their negative way of life, I up anchor and move on.

So, I agree - do your own thing, and enjoy it.
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Old 31-03-2012, 18:16   #11
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Re: Just Do It

Good report and good on ya for sticking to your instinct. The window for any of us where time and health allow a cruising adventure should never be ignored. It doesn't stay open forever.

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Old 31-03-2012, 18:25   #12
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Re: Just Do It

ya just hanging out in the wrong place in the forum............

the "can dooers" are here, Shoestring Sailors (Cruising on $500 per month - part II)

any port in a storm etc
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:09   #13
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Re: Just Do It

Cheers for the follow up - having just re-read the original thread I do seem to have covered most ends of the "advice" spectrum .

I see that the original plan was a 2 year voyage - with $50k of cash in the pot (plus debts that needed $1k a month to feed, including $40k on a $45k boat). Am guessing that money went quicker than hoped for (it always does ).....but my bet is that the next voyage will be cheaper - would be interesting to hear your thoughts on any lessons learned.

With a combined income of USD157k pa, and if had waited a year would be setting off pretty much debt free by now.....but life is full of choices, and it really does come down to what works for "You" .
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:14   #14
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OP, Out of curiosity, I notice in your original thread you mention your wife worked nights. What kind of work? Did that affect your decision to go? I know I worked nights as a nurse and eventually I had to stop, it was physically and mentally devastating to me....I think that Helped push me towards cruising. I didn't want to work/save anymore, I had to stop.

Also, would love to know how your budget broke down ie percentages spent on food, fuel etc. it would also seem that you prepared your boat really well so that would reduce expenses re maintenance, spare replacements etc when you are out there for just two years.

maybe there should be a new thread, " cruising on 1000$ a month" . 1000$ may be the new 500$.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:04   #15
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Good on ya for going!

But being unfamiliar with the original thread let me be the wet blanket and ask the question... left with debt and with no reentry plan and luckily walked back into be fair that is how many operate and with the exception of the debt part how I operate...

...but the question is, what would have happened if you hadn't found work?

"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
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"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
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