wow, guys - that got personal and nasty in a hurry!
other than the dollars and cents, you don't know ANYTHING about who i am or what my story is.
i think that advice on the cruising kitty, debt, boat cost, etc. is totally appropriate, but calling this trip my "midlife escapist fantasy" is presumptuous, unnecessary, off topic and, frankly, a little hurtful.
i started this thread hoping to a) find out how much our financial circumstances differ from others and b) to illicit some stories of how people might have done it differently. i wasn't soliciting advice, and certainly wasn't soliciting personal criticism.
i'm sorry if i come off sounding like some spoiled freewheeling rich kid - it's actually not the case. i know what it's like not to have money
- i grew up about as poor as poor gets (well, in the US anyhow...).
if you want to find out more about my thought process or motivations, ask. if you want to judge with inadequate information... not much i can do about it, i guess...