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Old 20-11-2013, 08:14   #1
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Thumbs up Greetings From South Mississippi!

Good morning, cruisers!

I've browsed the site for a while, but hadn't registered until today (obviously). Let me give y'all a little backstory on myself. I am currently 29 years old, and have been serving in the Air Force for a little over 6 years. For years I thought I'd "settle" (a term in which I recently started to use describing my situation) and just stick the military out for the full 20 to receive all the benefits from retiring. By that time, I'll be 44 and no telling if I'd have a family, or kids, or if I'll even be interested in a life-changing journey.

So, about 6 months ago I started really thinking about my life and what I wanted out of it. Did I want to go through the motions of life, school > work > family > die, or did I want to take full advantage of this life while I'm here and while I have very minumum responsibilty. After much debate with myself, I decided that I didn't want to stick the job out, and that I wanted to live life. So, I got on the horn and contacted a friend who was having the same type of inner-debates with himself. I came up with the brilliant plan to sail down to the carribean late 2014, create a blog and a documentary on giving up the life you're taught to live, and actually live the life you want to live.

Now, here's the kicker. We know very, very little about sailing, besides the books and blogs I've read. I live on the water (Mississippi Gulf Coast) and I am planning on taking sailing lessons out of the yacht club, and I also have a friend who owns a 27' down in St. Augustine who has offered to take us out. We are also planning on taking a week long sailing course in California mid-2014. I've been ON the water my entire life, spend the summers kayaking / fishing / going out to the barrier islands, so I know about boating.

I know this all sounds incredibly ignorant. "Hey, let's just jump on a boat and travel through the Caribbean with no experience whatsoever!" -- but I guess that will also be part of the documentary. Focusing on something and putting in the time and effort to learn how to do it. We've had overwhelming support from our yonger friends who think it's an amazing idea, and, surprisingly, when I tell people around my office what I plan on doing when I get out, they're impressed also. But I don't think they realize we have little experience.

Do y'all have any advice / book recommendations / blogs / words of encouragement for us? 2014 is the big year for us, which we plan on spending every waking moment working on this project.

Thanks!

- John
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:25   #2
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

Welcome. what yacht club?
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:27   #3
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

catfishjohn...welcome aboard Cruising Forum....as you've said "I've browsed the site for a while" so you know you will enjoy your journey.....remember to never give up on your dream regardless of how difficult it my seem. your positive attitude will get you there..We look forward to your postings ....
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:28   #4
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

Yes, retire from the military after 20 years with an income and a skill.

There are already lots of blogs on "chucking it all" without an actual plan, and if you read them, you'll find that after some period of time, your savings will be gone and you'll have to do something else in order to pay the bills.

There are easy ways to do things, and hard ways. While what you are proposing SOUNDS like the easy way, I encourage you to think it through a bit more before you commit to it. If you come up with a 10 year plan which is realistic and still appeals to you, by all means go for it.

Sorry, but blogging and self-documenting has already been discovered, so you have to give us something better than that, or you get the big thumbs down from me and Suzie Orman.

And don't get me wrong, I'm probably more open minded than most about this. It makes more sense to me to flog you now than to wait until you've self-destructed, and only THEN point out to you that you never really had a plan to begin with.
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:33   #5
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

Tamicatana - ocean springs yacht club

Letsgosailing3 - this isn't meant to be a lifelong journey. The intent was to do it for 6 months and see how we enjoy it - then, I plan on finishing up my degree in education and being a teacher. Being a teacher has always been a dream of mine, also.
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:37   #6
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

Also, regardless of the trip - I will not be reenlisting. This isn't the life I want to live.
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:38   #7
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

Ahoy catfishjohn, welcome to the forum. I hope you are succeed in your endeavors. As one of my favorite actors once said: "Endeavor to persevere."
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:42   #8
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

OSYC doesn't have too many large cruising boats, but if you haven't met John O'Shaughnessy, he would probably be the best contact for cruising.
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Old 20-11-2013, 08:50   #9
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Yes, retire from the military after 20 years with an income and a skill. Do the harder thing and invest some of that money you're earning.

Many people re-evaluate their life paths at your age. You're talking about chucking almost 1/3 of your time spent in the AF for poverty/cruising, and the way you write about it makes it sound as if you think it will be as easy as driving across the US. It won't be.


There are already lots of blogs on "chucking it all" without an actual plan, and if you read them, you'll find that after some period of time, your savings will be gone and you'll have to do something else in order to pay the bills. Just exactly why should other people fund your adventure?

There are easy ways to do things, and hard ways. While what you are proposing SOUNDS like the easy way, I encourage you to think it through a bit more before you commit to it. If you come up with a 10 year plan which is realistic and still appeals to you, by all means go for it. YES!

Sorry, but blogging and self-documenting has already been discovered, so you have to give us something better than that, or you get the big thumbs down from me and Suzie Orman.

And don't get me wrong, I'm probably more open minded than most about this. It makes more sense to me to flog you now than to wait until you've self-destructed, and only THEN point out to you that you never really had a plan to begin with.
[COLOR="Blue"] There's nothing wrong with wanting a cruising lifestyle, and it takes more than it sounds like you want to put in. I don't want to be harsh, but I have to agree all the way with this post.
[COLOR]

Ann
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Old 20-11-2013, 09:02   #10
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

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Tamicatana - ocean springs yacht club

Letsgosailing3 - this isn't meant to be a lifelong journey. The intent was to do it for 6 months and see how we enjoy it - then, I plan on finishing up my degree in education and being a teacher. Being a teacher has always been a dream of mine, also.
A sensible 10-year plan would be to get the degree first, then the job, and then take the period before you start your job for a Caribbean vacation. The first requirement is to be honest with yourself. It will be easier now than after you've been hanging out in the Virgin Islands for six months.

If you want to achieve your dreams, you'll have to put in some sweat equity. Do the harder dreams first, and save the easy, vacation dreams for later.
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Old 20-11-2013, 09:10   #11
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

Letsgosailing - completely understandable. But I already have two degrees, one in accounting and one in business management.
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Old 20-11-2013, 09:32   #12
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

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Letsgosailing - completely understandable. But I already have two degrees, one in accounting and one in business management.
Congratulations on that, but this changes nothing about my advice to you. I'm encouraging you to approach this in a way that doesn't limit or cripple your future life options.
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Old 20-11-2013, 16:10   #13
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

Here ya go:
Bumfuzzle Adventures

start with 'around the world on a 35' catamaran.'
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Old 20-11-2013, 16:34   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Yes, retire from the military after 20 years with an income and a skill. There are already lots of blogs on "chucking it all" without an actual plan, and if you read them, you'll find that after some period of time, your savings will be gone and you'll have to do something else in order to pay the bills. There are easy ways to do things, and hard ways. While what you are proposing SOUNDS like the easy way, I encourage you to think it through a bit more before you commit to it. If you come up with a 10 year plan which is realistic and still appeals to you, by all means go for it. Sorry, but blogging and self-documenting has already been discovered, so you have to give us something better than that, or you get the big thumbs down from me and Suzie Orman. And don't get me wrong, I'm probably more open minded than most about this. It makes more sense to me to flog you now than to wait until you've self-destructed, and only THEN point out to you that you never really had a plan to begin with.
Not that I am any kind of model, but I retired after 20 yrs in the Army, have been getting about 3K a month and my medical covered and will do so for life, I plan in 5 years to "live the dream" after my second retirement, but my plan is for the "dream" to be sustainable until I no longer am able to live it.
Sometimes it's better to wait, what would be sad to me is to have one year of living the dream to suddenly wake up and discover the dream is gone, and I had no way to recover it as I simply couldn't afford it anymore
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Old 04-12-2013, 14:29   #15
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Re: Greetings From South Mississippi!

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here and thanks for your service.
I retired from the Navy aftere 29 years. I had plenty of opportunities to just chuck it and go off sailing but wanted that extra security. At times my job was junk, especially in Vietnam and on some of the ships I was aboard. I stuck it out longer than I needed to and I never regretted that decision. I've had the opportunity to cruise, to liveaboard and to do all the things I wanted to with boats.
So, my advice is to don't "burn your bridges" and always keep that Air Force door open. It truly is the service that treats its members the very best. Get stationed at Hickam AFB and sail Hawaii while living on a boat there.
Good luck in whatever decision you make.
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