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Old 07-04-2014, 14:17   #1
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Dreams, Time and a Son

Dear sailors,

years ago (2009) i signed up in this forum because i was pursuing a dream: find and buy a cat, abandon everything and live around the world on my boat.
There was a moment i was really very close to pull the trigger: at that time i had a low budget and my possibilities were an old FP Athena or a cheaper Wildcat.
What really made me pull back was my little son that he was only 4 years old and just starting school and making his first buddies: i felt a bit guilty to eradicate him from his starting life into society and taking him to an uncommon way of life that i was not sure enought that would be best for him and his future: at the end i gave up postponing my dream.
5 years gone now, but the idea to own the cat, live aboard and cruise the seas never disappeared. Now i have a better budget, enought to buy a more confortable boat.......but my only son is now 9 and my concerns are the same. I don't stop asking myself if my choice is good or not for the future of a kid that at his age need to get involved with kids of his age; if it's a correct choice thinking about his future.......but who knows about future?
From the other side i don't think that is fair with myself, and my wife that likes the idea too, to give up for reasons that might not be correct and due to the fact that we are too worried about things that maybe are not the case. So again i don't know what to do. I mostly live like a "gipsy" meaning that i change city/country each 5/6 years (since i was a kid because of my father's job) and starting always again my life and a new business so maybe really a live aboard life around the globe should be the way.....
All suggestions, ideas and direct experience of people with ONE kid are much appreciated.
Cheers
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Old 07-04-2014, 14:21   #2
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

There are kids his age in societies all over the world.

It sounds like you are using your son as an excuse and you need to explore your real goals and fears. The worst thing you can do to your kid is tell him "We didn't do what we wanted because of you." And you will likely tell him in a thousand different ways if you are phrasing it this way to yourself and strangers on the internet.
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Old 07-04-2014, 14:34   #3
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

Why cant you live on the boat for a year and stay put. I bet he would love the idea. Just do it..
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Old 07-04-2014, 14:58   #4
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

For being a parent and wanting stability for your son I do understand. I am a child of just that. Just believe he will meet friends all over the world if you, your son, and wife do decide to go all out and pursue the live aboard dream. May make him a better man if approached about the idea right.

Have you taken him sailing? Does he spend every second he can out? What activities after school does he do if any yet? Sometimes a sport or art like band or choir may make it a tougher decision.

As being 31 now and since grade 1 I was in the same school system. My pops bounced around from school to school in his youth. Not in the country side either it was in the city area it was not to pleasant at times. He gave me what he did not have and that was a stable home. He worked real hard to keep it that way.

Now I might not be one of the very popular kids then still by far now. I am fine with that for how I know who I am. I don't need masses of people or all of that childhood drama that comes with everyone in school. Ive always been told if you had 5 people from school still close to you that is a lot. I was baffled how could our group then at least a dozen kids would ever lose contact. We would gather up after school and such it was not just in class.

Now almost 13 years have gone by since graduation Class of 01' everyone has gone their own paths. I lost touch with some who went to college. I lost others to starting a family. Some went to the military. I do not think I have seen anyone from school on a regular basis even if I talk to some 3 times a year that is a lot.

Its just once the walls of school falls down everyone scatters like water falling on the ground it seems. Some have relationships some go towards their own dreams and many get lost in the race. For me I sure would trade that to be able to sail and grow up more cultured I would think would be a result of cruising. Friends come and go. Maybe his best friend to be is not in that school and never will be. If your son really likes the water and would go for it. Even try a charter somewhere if possible make it a two week journey to get a small feel.
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Old 07-04-2014, 15:44   #5
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

Thanx for answering.
It's not a matter of fears, goals and excuses: that would be easy to understand and behave consequently. It's a matter of giving the best to the person i love the most in my life and don't want to compromise his happiness for mine. While nothing is forever, my decision would be a one way step: not living in a marina wile my son would go to the local school or spending a wile cruising and then back home to my job and family. Mine is intended to be something ideally definitive spending some time in a place then move somewere else.
Actually i am living in Rio de Janeiro and life in a marina would not be that confortable as might be in some marinas in the States; and then there are some complicated regulations in Brasil that would make impossible to buy a boat abroad, take it here and stay long term. That's why everything looks so complicated: the easy way would be just get my cat and try liveaboard here without moving for a wile, but it's a very complicated option and at the same time not that interesting imho: wile i love the idea of living on a boat, that comes strictly related to the fact of moving, not just staying in the same city where i actually live in a house.

@ Wonderinglost: my life maybe has been similar to your dad: till my 18 years i've been living in 4 different countries and changing school several times. Has been complicated sometimes but i don't regret anything even if i actually have very few real good friends.......some of them at thousands of miles away.
But the case of my son it's not only the idea of changing very often, but it's also the fact that very often, also because he is the only son, that he will spend a lot of time alone.
He loves the sea, he loves fishing and sea nature; we live on the beach and after school he often spend hours fishing and chasing crabs
I am sure he would love the idea of life aboard, but he is still child enought not to consider some important issues as the ones i mentioned like having to say goodbye to his friends very often and not feeling "home" anywere....
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Old 07-04-2014, 16:50   #6
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

We are still children in the mind. I know I am my job is play time.

I say go for it if he really enjoys it all. Start to make the move. It will be one your whole family will never forget. Just keep lessons with you and teach him as he goes. Make it like a big field trip that never ends. Each stop a lesson of history. Teach him math while under way. Kinda like that. If shown the right stuff I feel it could be better then in a school setting. There is always a place to get a test set up for a diploma or GED as it is here in the States.

To be able to live aboard and go from place to place with a family is priceless and the friends and to be a kid around others will always be there. Especailly so young to see that life.

He may not be around peers but he will have you two. Also when he does hit the land and sees his own peers I could only guess how well he will take it knowing they will be there when he gets back.
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Old 07-04-2014, 17:12   #7
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

Why not buy the boat and spend summers cruising and the rest of the year as land lubbers? This way your son gets the best of both worlds.

Tom
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Old 07-04-2014, 17:48   #8
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

Here is another take. May not be too popular with this one but here it goes. I am not going to suggest to you what to do, but I will use myself and what my Son and I have gone through and then you make the decision that works for you. I was in your shoes right around your age with one Son. He means the world to me and is my everything so I get where your coming from. I commend you for coming on here to air your concerns and I already know what your decision will be. You are just looking for reassurance. At your age I made the decision to embark on an adventure that was a 10 year stint involving rugged mountains, horseback, streams and all that good stuff. It was my business income and it was one of my passions. I was very successful at it, from a business sense, but a complete failure from a parental sense. I dragged my Son with me, taking him away from his friends, placing him in at least 2 new schools and providing a semi remote sheltered life. His marks suffered terribly because of business demands on my part, He grew up way too fast being surrounded by adults most of the time. I could go on and on but I will stop here at that. A few years ago I sold that business, moved south, re-established a beautiful home in a safe, secure and predictable environment and made all my time available to him. He was my #1 focus. Since then, his marks have come into the 90's and he has honors. He is grade 11 now. He will be going to a well known University after next year to get his communications degree. He picked this. I was impressed. My point, and I am trying to keep this short, but 15 years in a few sentences is tough, is that I really regret what I did to him. I pursued my own selfish desires at his expense. As a father, I have the responsibility to raise my Son the best way I know how, and that means putting my own desires on the back burner until he takes flight. I blew it big time in the beginning, but never too late for a change. The last few years have been the best. I will return to the sea with more time once he is in University for a few and holding his own. I owe him that much. If my Dad had done what I did, I'm not sure how I would have turned out, maybe better, who knows. Don't get me wrong, we never lived poorly or were desperate. We had boatloads of cash most of the time and lived well. He never went without. But I do truly regret being selfish and bringing him along. I hope that pain goes away one day. You will make the right decision. The age of 9 is such a tender age. That was my Sons age when I embarked on my selfish quest.
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Old 07-04-2014, 19:32   #9
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

@Scott: of course i even considered your option, but i ended up excluding it. My idea/dream/intend of cat/liveboard involves something that is slightly different than "just" cruising. It's a matter of freedom, of definitively shift life in a different way, get rid of how things are supposed to work.....and so on.

@Cowboy: nice one. I am sure your kid knows how proud you are about him. Thanx for your post that hitted right in the nail.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:00   #10
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

I will put the viewpoint that at the age your son is at, the parents are a huge influence on the child. If you are happy and living life to the fullest, that will be absorbed by your son and that will provide real emotional security, the most important thing. It will be real quality time together & you will have the role also of teacher as you take over the educational duties & responsibilities during the cruising years. He will meet other kids in other lands and learn more about how other people live than all the documentaries on TV, as you stay at home.

The live aboard cruising kids I have met have been universally the most well adjusted, sociable and self directed kids I have ever met. At some point they seem to click and want to learn, and go at it with real purpose.

Carpe diem !
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:28   #11
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

Your afraid that your dream will be his nightmare. What your actually doing is taking awsy from his time to experience life. Its the perfect age. No real gf he enjoys time with you and the older he gets the more he will enjoy it. We lived on our boat for 3 years and went all over. It is now my dream and my son will be 3 in 5 months. I cant wait to get a boat and take him to see the real world. Or stories of his childhood can be. We played video games all summer or we went here and there did this and that. During the summer we were each allowed to bring a friend. im telling you once my first friend went back home other friends were begging to go with. Don't sacrifice giving your son the best memories and stories he will remember plus meeting people wull help him later in life socialize face to face

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Old 08-04-2014, 02:23   #12
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

I Grew up a military kid. Travelled all over. I was NEVER short of friends!!! My triplets were home schooled their entire life, and we lived in a motorhome for a good while, be-bopping along the coast. We moved a lot (like you I'm a gypsy at heart) and They made new friends all the time. They are 18 now, all doing great, all different but good people and no shortage of stories to tell.
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:52   #13
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

Quote:
Originally Posted by CortoMaltese View Post
i felt a bit guilty to eradicate him from his starting life into society and taking him to an uncommon way of life that i was not sure enought that would be best for him and his future: at the end i gave up postponing my dream.
So you feel guilty for wanting giving him a healthier (both physically and mentally) life, and taking him out of crazy society, peers pressure, and surrounding idiocy??? Do you REALLY think that ipads and fecesbook page and following peers discussing latest media gods will be better for him, than a huge, real, amazing world full of amazing things?

It may be a good idea to read a book "Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers" by Gordon Neufeld, then you won't have this kind of doubts
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:11   #14
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

It is tough to decide. To me, the lad is old enough to get a great deal out of experiencing the cruising lifestyle: he will gain real life competencies that will give him self confidence; he will learn that "my family" are okay about doing uncommon pursuits; he will learn to make good judgments based on real life occurences; he will experience judicial risk taking; he will gain broadening experiences of other kids in other cultures.

Regardless of gender, one's children are precious, and they are what you have to give to the future.

So if you think staying put will teach him good things, great. But there are consequences. My fears would be centered around Mammon worshiping cultures, rather than being people focussed. But--hey--it is the choice of you and your good lady.

Good luck with it; it can be difficult to cast off, understanding what you are doing.

Ann

Ps. This answer is based on 27 yrs. liveaboard cruising in the South Pacific.
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Old 08-04-2014, 03:17   #15
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Re: Dreams, time and a son

we cruised on 2 circumnavigations with our kids till my daughter was 10,and my son 7yrs.
home schooled them ,they could both read and write,by age 3.

because we sailed so much,about 18,000 miles a year,and mainly with large crews,as we ran the boat as an adventure training school,we found that the kids were really lacking in contact with their own peer group.

we elected to stop cruising,and let the kids get a more formal education,we still live on the boat,but being land based has been great for the kids ,
who now have a network of friends,are now well educated,and entered into college degrees , apprentiships ,and are ready to move on to the next stage of THEIR lives.

ages 9-16 are very important years in a childs life,for personal development,taking them away sailing during that time,in my opinion would not be the best action,as those are the years that a child needs to be with other children,and THEIR peer group,to learn important life skills.
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