Ruin your dreams?? Hell no!
I'll be the first to tell you go make them happen!
We met a wise old man in mexico about 8years ago (right after we quit our jobs to go live our dreams) who after serving us ample tequila and sage advice offered some of the best advice ive ever gotten:
"How do you know when to take the leap?" we asked.
"If you're young enough to fail... always take the leap"
Only problem being... we still haven't figured out what "young enough to recover" translates to exactly. Even then we were almost a decade older than you are now, were living out of an old beat up '67 VW bus and driving Mexico and Central America
from beach to beach with only enough funds to last another year (if we were lucky).
Here we are, 8yrs later and living our real dream... the one we never thought we could achieve and certainly thought we were giving up by quitting our jobs in our 30s with no real plan for the future.
We're 18 months into teaching ourselves to sail while island hopping the caribbean
(and hopefully further) and literally having the time of our lives each and every day (though that's not to say there's not ample stress, fears, problems and chaos along the way).
Don't let anyone talk you out of following your dream (in fact, probably better to not even ask, much less listen to the responses)!!
Let me be very clear... That doesn't mean all the advice here isn't sound. It very much is!
BUT... you don't have to have all the pieces figured out first, which is the big thing most here have never figured out and why many will never actually go. Don't become one of the masses.
I say make your dream happen at any cost and figure it out as you go.
There are plenty of cruisers out here floating with us who work as they go. Plenty who change boats along the way.
Plenty who run out of money
and keep figuring it out.
Plenty doing it far cheaper than you have planned (but most probably on a far cheaper boat they bought in cash).
And Plenty more (including us) spending way more than that.
Fair to say, there are also plenty who actually realize they don't love this lifestyle a few months in after dreaming of it and working towards it their entire life. Don't wait to find out which side you're on... Go, figure it out while you spend your days enjoying what has to be among the only true freedoms left on the planet...
But also admit upfront that there is a LOT you don't know and haven't calculated in; and that's just fine as long as you're willing to make it work, change the spreadsheets as you move along and figure out how to adapt as problems/hurdles/costs arise.
Like you, we tried to buy a as "new as possible" boat so that the maintenance
costs would be low. We not only planed to live frugally, but had perfected it before leaving (living in a van for 7 years will do that)...
Getting the boat ready to be self-sustaining (so that we could then live affordably) cost far more than we had calculated and annual upkeep/repairs are impossible...except i have the bills to prove it.
We are in fact able to live frugally, but the annual boat expenses have been a huge surprise (even on top of what we'd expected from reading along here for years).
Im not going to give advice on the details of finances and which boat and taking sailing lessons
because I know I wasn't willing to listen to anyone (which is why we never bothered to ask on here).
In fact, even today, as I watch the world crumble and realize that whatever investments we have/had back home could all likely go away and leave leave us with nothing, or at least having to start over from scratch - not once has the thought process given us regret or made us think we should have played it all "safer".
Quite the contrary. Even if we were back home we'd still be watching our investments at risk, still be stressing out (but doing it quarantined in a house rather that floating off a secluded beach) and frankly... may well not have lived long enough to even see these days, much less know the type of happiness we've come to know and understand along the way.
The only one that can ruin your dreams is you.
So don't let that happen.
Go. Chase the Dream. Taste the Freedom that few will ever know...
But all of that also doesn't mean you have to go today... Certainly nothing wrong with having even more foundation in place, with taking steps and making sure you aren't stressed out every step of the way. I fully agree you should take the leap, but you have to decide the best timing of that... make the best plan you can and be willing to adjust along the way.
Its one hell of a ride!
Also... if we can help in any way don't hesitate to ask!!