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Old 14-01-2015, 11:08   #1
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Hello everyone![long post]

Hello everyone!

This is my first "true" post on here so it will likely be a long one.

I am a 24 year old(25 this year), I've been in a relationship for 5 years now. We are both adventurous and wanting to get out of the "american" lifestyle. My girlfriend will be graduating nursing school this year so she will have a bachelor of science in nursing.

I work in the IT industry as a high level engineer. I mainly do performance testing on servers and some minimal automation test writing. My background has been all manual testing, however my current job has been moving me more into automation. I was raised in the Fiji islands, as my parents managed resorts and eventually bought their own. I have a lot of knowledge of game fishing as I spent a majority of my time with guests out fishing as a kid. I dont have much sailing experience, however i have quite a bit of power boat experience.

I've always been drawn to the water and boats, and have always wanted to do a circumnavigation, however my family is quite large(7 children) so my parents never really had money to "share". When I turned 18, I decided it was time for me to move away and get on with my life. My parents bought me a plane ticket back to the USA and my brother let me live out of his motorhome for 6 months in our hometown until I decided it was time for me to move to a bigger city and find a real job. I moved away with $100 in my pocket, no job in sight or even an idea of what i'd be doing.

I moved to Seattle when I was 19, and met the girl of my dreams who I've been with since then. I got into manual game testing and worked my way up to where I am now. The game testing industry is pretty much a minimum wage job, and is a contract position. I have never had a full time job, its always been contract for 3-6months with a possible extention. I earn roughly about 40k a year now(still a contractor), have very little savings(less than 5k) as my parents didn't really help when i had finacial troubles(medical bills, unemployment causing credit cards to start climbing). If i were to pay off all my debt, i'd have roughly $4500 after i cashed out all my investments + 401k.

My girlfriend works for her school and makes a few hundred a month extra, she pays what she can for rent+utilities which is usually about $1200 a month. I dont push her to really pay for anything since she doesn't really have an income while I do. I generally pay for food and activities/things we do out and about. Currently we break even for the most part but I dont have enough to really put any savings away.

She never really has been out sailing, but she watched the documentary called maidenvoyage and said she'd be open to the idea of doing a sailing trip down to southern mexico for a year or two. When she said that I didn't really believe it, but she recently has talked about it more. I'm planning to hopefully take her out on a small boat for a weekend getaway in the near future to see how she likes it and if its something we actually will pursue.

Even if she doesn't want to do a liveaboard for a few years, it will be nice eventually getting a weekender for us to get away with friends, family or just us two. One of the things she likes about the idea of doing a cruise is that budget wise(atleast from what we can tell), it can be pretty cheap, and we have the ability to stop at ports of our choice for as long as we want.

I've only been living in the USA for 6 years, working anywhere from 40hr weeks to 120hr weeks depending on what company i work at, and we are growing the itch to just abandon the lifestyle here. I love technology and computers, but life is to short to sell my soul to companies that have a single purpose of making money for investors regardless of what it means. I give major props to the people who can sustain this lifestyle for years on end and think they are living the dream, but I my view, the world is so large and vast, the USA doesn't have everything right.

We both have agreed that after she finishes school, gets a few years of work under her belt, we will move aboard. We dont know where, or when, but we know that we will be leaving the country as soon as either one of us find a job.

So our goal for the next 5 years:
1: Take the GF on a boat for a weekend getaway(maybe multiple times)
2. Learn to sail(gives reason for weekend getaways)
3: Teach myself navigation/get a 100t masters license to have the ability to do charters
4: Save up $40,000 to purchase a 35-40ft boat thats in decent condition that doesn't need 10x the investment to get her seaworth let alone bluewater/offshore ready.
5: Get the hell out of here to enjoy life!
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Old 15-01-2015, 04:50   #2
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Re: Hello everyone![long post]

Welcome to CF chowdan!

Growing up as a kid in Fiji must have been amazing... Hope you get to start checking boxes on your plans as they come together...
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Old 15-01-2015, 05:39   #3
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Re: Hello everyone![long post]

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Chowdan.
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Old 15-01-2015, 05:42   #4
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Re: Hello everyone![long post]

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowdan View Post
........................
................ i'd have roughly $4500 after i cashed out all my investments + 401k.
......................
So our goal for the next 5 years:
1: Take the GF on a boat for a weekend getaway(maybe multiple times)
2. Learn to sail(gives reason for weekend getaways)
3: Teach myself navigation/get a 100t masters license to have the ability to do charters
4: Save up $40,000 to purchase a 35-40ft boat thats in decent condition that doesn't need 10x the investment to get her seaworth let alone bluewater/offshore ready.
5: Get the hell out of here to enjoy life!
'sounds like a great plan and it sounds so good to me because it pretty much mirrors what I did at near your age.....
... cashed out my first year's retirement fund
... introduced a favorite lady to sailing.....
... got the Master's license (Ocean Operators license then)....
... saved for the first boat...

So, what was my regret? Which of the choices above was the mistake?

Easy answer,- the mistake is to cash out the early 401K fund! That money now is peanuts compared to what that money will mean to you in forty years! Consider this,- You will "Get the hell out of here to enjoy life", but you will still be "here"; you will still want to make some money; you will still want to maximize your funds to allow you to stay out enjoying for a long term after making money.

Welcome to the community,- keep us posted of your adventures!
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Old 15-01-2015, 05:51   #5
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Re: Hello everyone![long post]

Since the only city you mmention is Seattle, I'm assuming you are still there.

Want to find out about sailing? And get your GF into it? Go down to the local sailing club and introduce yourself. The stick an ad on their bulletin board (or homepage) saying the two of you have no wailing experience but would like to try it and is someone willing to take you out for (starters) a day sail on a larger keel boat.

Then see if someone will take you for a weekend

You'll be surprised that you'll probably get several offers - sailors like to take people out.

The club surely has a homepage where boat owners are looking for crew, either for beer can racing (great way to learn how to sail a boat) or for weekend cruises.

At any rate - the above activities will get you (and your GF) started and are either free or will cost you very little.

Good luck
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Old 15-01-2015, 21:54   #6
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Re: Hello everyone![long post]

Howdy Chowdan!

Welcome aboard this forum.

Others above have offered good advice already.

Good luck with your future sailing plans!
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