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Old 23-11-2015, 04:33   #46
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Hi Ann,
Our kids were born on board, live aboard, educated aboard. The eldest, twins, are now about to start at 'varsity. They are both self motivated and totally organised. They have sorted themselves out with jobs, their 'varsity applications and interviews and now we are in the process of buying them property each. Their siblings are no different - they get on with their school work, not in a dissimilar way to which you describe. Their schedule gets modified according to needs buts is generally maintained. All the kids we know on boats, and there are a few, are all doing fine. We do occassionally share duties with other families but usually do our own thing regarding education.

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Surely you jest!

I think they want to not dilute the experience, but who knows what the future holds. The people we knew best who home schooled were both professional people, and extremely structured. Play happened afternoons, school in the morning. Their kids were 8 and 12 during their cruise. They had to cut short their cruise due to a family tragedy, but that's another story, and they had been having a super time.

Ann
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Old 23-11-2015, 07:57   #47
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Our story is one you may not want to hear, but it's a perspective not often offered on this forum. We are in our late 30s with a young daughter. We recently resigned from our jobs, sold our home and many of our possessions, had the boat purchased and 95% ready to go, and were about 60 days from slipping the dock lines. Then we decided not to go cruising.

I had sailed since childhood and we had both spent several years dreaming of cruising. My wife actually suggested cruising before I even thought of it. Dreaming gave us a lot of inspiration to get through some of the more tedious aspects of the everyday routine. It motivated us to do a lot of sailing and to get better at sailing and managing the boat as a team. But an imminent departure forced us to hash through our doubts and to realize our dream came with sacrifices we weren't ready to make. For us, letting go of the possessions and the jobs was the relatively easy part. The ultimate reasons we decided to stay were the following, in order of importance, tempered by extensive shakedown cruising:
  1. Opting out of our network of family, friends, and community. I'm sure we would have eventually made cruising friends and met other kid boats, but zboss has offered some astute observations about fitting into the cruising community as a younger person, and the situation is even worse for parents with young children. Yes, those older cruisers will want to be surrogate grandparents to an extent, but it only goes so far. Parenting responsibilities mean that you often have to turn down invitations to join childless cruisers in their social activities. It may even limit the number of invitations you receive. In any case, it puts a limitation on the depth of friendships you can form with people in a different stage of life. Also, sailing into a new destination, will the locals there be receptive and friendly? Are there diversions and activities there other than a fuel dock and a tiki bar? Are there opportunities to fit into the local community rather than just living on its periphery? Do we even have time to stay put long enough to start making connections? As we planned our itinerary, we were often finding that the answers to one or more of these questions would be no and that that wasn't what we were looking for.
  2. When underway, one parent has to captain the boat while the other manages the kid(s). This robbed us of more family togetherness time than we bargained for. And trying to keep a young kid entertained while underway, especially while motoring, is no easy task. One way to overcome this is to spend less time underway. But then we didn't get to visit all the destinations/cover as much ground as we had hoped. In the end, we realized we didn't need to go hundreds of miles from home to re-prioritize our lives in a way that would give us more family time.
  3. Including the boat purchase price and the monthly expenses, we could spend less than half that amount on plane tickets and a boat charter or hotel/house rentals and get to much more exotic destinations than we could have reached by boat on the budget and time frame we were looking at. Obviously this is a much different experience than getting somewhere on your own keel, but we had to think of the costs vs. benefits and ultimately decided we didn't need the cruising experience badly enough to pour so much into it.
  4. We absolutely love sailing. We can tolerate living aboard if it gets us sailing, but on balance would prefer to live on land. We strongly dislike motoring on a sailboat. We don't particularly care for being boat owners. As dreamers we focused mainly on the sailing but as we did our shakedown cruising it drove home the point that sailing is but a small fraction of cruising.
I remember a while back there was a thread here titled something like "What Happens to all the Dreamers?" I guess I'm one of the few who came back to tell the rest of my story. We're not judging or questioning others choices and are very happy for the people who make it out cruising young and with small children. This is what worked (or didn't work) for us. For other families it's going to be different.

We have the occasional twinge of regret but on balance we are happy and at peace with our decision to stay. We may try again when our daughter is older, but at this point our shakedown experiences have gotten us over the urge that we once had to just head south. Reestablishing our land life has had its ups and downs, but we had to walk down the road as far as we did to learn what we know now. Thankfully, the way we live on land going forward will be the better for the experience of not going. Our boat is for sale and we're very excited about downsizing into a daysailer with an occasional big boat charter.
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Old 23-11-2015, 08:10   #48
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Bravo for sharing your story, 4arch! It is always good to hear from those with different experiences to temper the views of the large majority on CF who have already drunk the kool-aid. Thank you for adding your perspective.


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Old 23-11-2015, 08:35   #49
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Well done......you have grasped a great opportunity. The kids shall also thank you when they are older. The chance to really connect as a family and the reliance on each other becomes a solid bond and one that shall endure. Folk that live on land and interact daily with others do not get this influence. Obviously, there is still a massive connection with others but then there are limited times when it is just you and your own crew - tolerance and trust blossoms.



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You aren't alone - not by a long shot. We closed last week on our new boat, and will fly down to move aboard about January 15th, so we are heavy duty into our downsizing..

To complicate the matter, we are finishing a master bedroom addition onto the house that must be complete prior to renting the house out!

And we have 3 kids as well. (8, 5, and 1)

The change is huge. We would be nuts not to be nervous, but we are also thrilled to finally be taking hold of the dream.
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Old 23-11-2015, 09:06   #50
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Cruising is not for everyone. However, the points you made are simply conjecture and are not borne out by our experiences nor those of our friends that have adopted this life style. I speak from my experience and that of many cruisers we have met. We have found plenty of younger cruisers that have taken to cruising. For ourselves, our four children were born and grew up aboard. The eldest are about to go to university now. Having young kids aboard has been wonderful - you get to spend far more time together as a family. You might well be 'opting' out of your community ..... is this necessarily a bad thing? We saw it as an opportunity to spread our wings further. The friends that wish you luck and stay in touch shall still be your friends when you return as they can share your experiences through communications and even visit you on the boat. A few of ours have done so. Those that do not wish to remain in contact are likely more superficial or possibly even jealous. As for saying parenting responsibilities deny you opportunities ....sorry but that is a poor excuse. Having the kids opens up potential, hugely. You get to spend more gime with your kids as well as many other benefits.
Will the locals be receptive? In a word, yes. Its no different to going to another suburb. Are you nervous to go to another city and worry about how you shall be treated? Why should it be different when going to the next country? Does this influence you when you go on holiday? Frankly, reading your posting made me realise that these questions are likely to be ones that many face but after analysis realise they are unfounded. As for many of the other reasons given they do not warrant a response - I am afraid that they are weak excuses. Its a blunt statement but it is reality. I await the deluge of P.C. emails.
You are 100% correct not to go sailing - there is a mind set and attitude that is required. If the attitude is negative before commencing then things shall only get worse. If this is not realised then its a problem just waiting to happen.
We have met many people that have not actually let go the lines. They always find a reason and no amount of persuading shall convince them otherwise. That is fine.
I'm not being intentionally rude - that is not my purpose but the reasons you give do apply to a percentage of the population and they are not able to adapt to fit their dreams at that particular time in their lives. Perhaps later, they might, but most likely they shall also realise that there are further insurmountable issues that shall forever prevent them ever going cruising. Its not for everyone, and for that I am also grateful.






Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
Our story is one you may not want to hear, but it's a perspective not often offered on this forum. We are in our late 30s with a young daughter. We recently resigned from our jobs, sold our home and many of our possessions, had the boat purchased and 95% ready to go, and were about 60 days from slipping the dock lines. Then we decided not to go cruising.

I had sailed since childhood and we had both spent several years dreaming of cruising. My wife actually suggested cruising before I even thought of it. Dreaming gave us a lot of inspiration to get through some of the more tedious aspects of the everyday routine. It motivated us to do a lot of sailing and to get better at sailing and managing the boat as a team. But an imminent departure forced us to hash through our doubts and to realize our dream came with sacrifices we weren't ready to make. For us, letting go of the possessions and the jobs was the relatively easy part. The ultimate reasons we decided to stay were the following, in order of importance, tempered by extensive shakedown cruising:
  1. Opting out of our network of family, friends, and community. I'm sure we would have eventually made cruising friends and met other kid boats, but zboss has offered some astute observations about fitting into the cruising community as a younger person, and the situation is even worse for parents with young children. Yes, those older cruisers will want to be surrogate grandparents to an extent, but it only goes so far. Parenting responsibilities mean that you often have to turn down invitations to join childless cruisers in their social activities. It may even limit the number of invitations you receive. In any case, it puts a limitation on the depth of friendships you can form with people in a different stage of life. Also, sailing into a new destination, will the locals there be receptive and friendly? Are there diversions and activities there other than a fuel dock and a tiki bar? Are there opportunities to fit into the local community rather than just living on its periphery? Do we even have time to stay put long enough to start making connections? As we planned our itinerary, we were often finding that the answers to one or more of these questions would be no and that that wasn't what we were looking for.
  2. When underway, one parent has to captain the boat while the other manages the kid(s). This robbed us of more family togetherness time than we bargained for. And trying to keep a young kid entertained while underway, especially while motoring, is no easy task. One way to overcome this is to spend less time underway. But then we didn't get to visit all the destinations/cover as much ground as we had hoped. In the end, we realized we didn't need to go hundreds of miles from home to re-prioritize our lives in a way that would give us more family time.
  3. Including the boat purchase price and the monthly expenses, we could spend less than half that amount on plane tickets and a boat charter or hotel/house rentals and get to much more exotic destinations than we could have reached by boat on the budget and time frame we were looking at. Obviously this is a much different experience than getting somewhere on your own keel, but we had to think of the costs vs. benefits and ultimately decided we didn't need the cruising experience badly enough to pour so much into it.
  4. We absolutely love sailing. We can tolerate living aboard if it gets us sailing, but on balance would prefer to live on land. We strongly dislike motoring on a sailboat. We don't particularly care for being boat owners. As dreamers we focused mainly on the sailing but as we did our shakedown cruising it drove home the point that sailing is but a small fraction of cruising.
I remember a while back there was a thread here titled something like "What Happens to all the Dreamers?" I guess I'm one of the few who came back to tell the rest of my story. We're not judging or questioning others choices and are very happy for the people who make it out cruising young and with small children. This is what worked (or didn't work) for us. For other families it's going to be different.

We have the occasional twinge of regret but on balance we are happy and at peace with our decision to stay. We may try again when our daughter is older, but at this point our shakedown experiences have gotten us over the urge that we once had to just head south. Reestablishing our land life has had its ups and downs, but we had to walk down the road as far as we did to learn what we know now. Thankfully, the way we live on land going forward will be the better for the experience of not going. Our boat is for sale and we're very excited about downsizing into a daysailer with an occasional big boat charter.
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Old 23-11-2015, 10:02   #51
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Being connected to objects is a normal part of human happiness. For some people it is a stronger feeling than it is for others.

Those of us in the "mobile" lifestyle hate having many physical possessions. They are a weight on us. Some of us choose just a few versatile and special items, and are happy with that. Handheld computers have been a huge boon in that regard!!

Once you've been separated from your belongings for a few months, you'll quickly forget about them. If you try to save them, you'll return to your storage after 3 or 4 years only to say "Why did I keep this? It was old and out of date then, and now it is just older".

Don't be afraid to let your physical possessions go. It might be more comfortable for you if you invite your friends and relatives to come and have their pick, first. This way you know that your furniture and family mementos will be protected, will be put to good use, and you will still be able to reconnect with them in the future, if you wish.
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Old 25-11-2015, 13:05   #52
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

You are young, you are strong, you and your children are well, you are excited to go, you have resources saved on land and marketable jobs that also enable you to teach your own children. Go. Go while you are young. We went while we were 30+ and would not trade those memories for anything. We loved the young sailors with kids. Now we are retired and would never be able to go again. Go.
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Old 25-11-2015, 13:52   #53
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Refecting back on the time I had small children now, I'll add this experience:

We knew that we would be returning, in that case, once the children were both school-aged. We had a good house, I had a good income that I was able to maintain while traveling, and we fully expected to return after about 3 years.

So we put all our belongings in storage and turned over the house to a rental agent.

When we returned, we had to wait for the tenants to move out (military family, we knew they would be leaving), then simply reversed the process. I never touched a box or stick of furniture, and never painted a single wall. That was entirely handled by movers and by our rental agent.
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Old 25-11-2015, 15:20   #54
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

We did exactly what you are thinking about 5 months ago. I am 41, my wife 31 and kids 4 and 6. We sold everything we owned and moved from Austin, TX. We cruised 1300 miles to Key West and we are holding here until December. We will leave here and head to the Bahamas and Cuba this cruising season. We were complete ****ing rookies and had no sea experience at all. This was my kid dream that never died. Our story has all of the hallmarks to a disaster but we've done pretty well so far. 1300 miles in the books and we liveaboard full-time.

Was it hard- yes. Scary, OMG yes. Was it worth it? This is the best life I could've ever imagined. We have an extensive blog that we started 8 months before we left including our entire process, preparations, our journey so far, boat repairs, improvements, what we learned, frustrations, misconceptions, the sad lie that is Internet learning, etc. We also have a Youtube channel that is growing. We would love you to check it all out. www.misslonestar.net


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Old 26-11-2015, 07:35   #55
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

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Originally Posted by Drifty View Post
You are young, you are strong, you and your children are well, you are excited to go, you have resources saved on land and marketable jobs that also enable you to teach your own children. Go. Go while you are young. We went while we were 30+ and would not trade those memories for anything. We loved the young sailors with kids. Now we are retired and would never be able to go again. Go.
So true. I could never do now what I did in my twenties. Besides, traveling with kids in tow is about the best way to see the world. Others will not see you as a threat(single men always seen as threats in all societies) but instead invite your family into their lives. The kids will pick up foreign languages like little sponges(which they are), and the fine edge of tension will keep the sex life going and going and....
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Old 26-11-2015, 08:30   #56
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

That is always great advice! They are picking up Spanish and living in Cuba for 3-4 months should go a long way. We are all excited for our opportunities. Thankfully, our sex life hasn't suffered. Our kids can sleep through a bomb blast and my wife is much younger than I. Funny thing about sex on our boat is that sometimes we are too tired and both fall asleep. Living aboard full-time makes you so tired even when you don't do much during the day. LOL.

Are you still aboard your boat?
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Old 26-11-2015, 08:47   #57
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Nope. Swallowed the anchor. Am in my 70s now so prefer puttering around our little island off coastal Maine. Still think about getting another boat but everytime i start looking at boat ads, keep thinking about my perfect boat which would be a converted north sea mfv. Plus times have changed. In the 60s and 70s the world was mostly peaceful, and cruisers few, and it was cheap back then.
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Old 26-11-2015, 10:07   #58
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Love it!!! Gonna quote it all my doubting friends!!

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Originally Posted by akprb View Post
THE RIGHT THING – a poem for sailing Mom’s
by Becky Berger, S/V 'Ohana in Exumas, Bahamas
Mother of 2 little girls

Last night I cried.
The tears just kept flowing and I couldn’t stop.
I panicked
Are we doing the right thing?
A beautiful house with cozy beds, soaking tubs, newly planted gardens
Neighbors who wave and smile as they pass by
Good friends
Computers humming with 24-hour internet access
Cable TV
Stainless steel appliances, washing machines, microwaves
Scheduled playdates, Gymboree, music lessons, soccer practice
Babysitters

Leaving it all

Traffic jams
Kids screaming in the backseat
An organizer so jammed I can’t close it
A house so big I can’t clean it
Running on the same treadmill – scenery unchanging
CNN buzzing with the same stories
Books on the shelf unread, waiting
Glancing wearily at my husband, too tired to talk

I sleep

This morning I woke to a brilliant sunrise
Coffee brewing on the galley stove
He was sitting with the girls, giggling and waking them with kisses
I stole a smile from him as I walked out on deck
The cool breeze awoke my senses as I sat at the bow with my warm mug
I pan our surroundings – coconut palms, white beaches, a sailboat, an old wooden dock
Breathing and stretching, I listened
Waves slapped gently against our hull
A seagull calls, breaking the silence
Clocks and schedules gone
Days spent together
We talk. We laugh. We share
I am alive and life is simple
And then I decided…

We are doing the right thing

_____

Enjoy every moment!
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Old 26-11-2015, 14:04   #59
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

Could not agree more. Importantly, there is the choice ahead of when / whether to return to so called normality. This is not always an option when older. Enjoy meaningful time with the family. There is no need to heed the naysayers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifty View Post
You are young, you are strong, you and your children are well, you are excited to go, you have resources saved on land and marketable jobs that also enable you to teach your own children. Go. Go while you are young. We went while we were 30+ and would not trade those memories for anything. We loved the young sailors with kids. Now we are retired and would never be able to go again. Go.
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Old 26-11-2015, 17:16   #60
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Re: Young(er) cruisers who sold everything

I don't think that there is an inappropriate age for cruising. Our babies slept in baskets on the floor because we knew they couldn't fall from there with the boat's motion. We started cruising in our twenties. Our daughter, who grew up aboard, moved onto her own boat in her thirties. Next year I'm starting my seventies and we are redesigning some things to help with our future mobility issues.

Young, old, now, later, big, small, fast or slow,..... there is no right or wrong time to go!
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