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Incremental Change, Big Difference

A comment from a reader made me think back to a little over a year ago when we first cast off the bowline from a more traditional lifestyle to start living on a boat with a simpler philosophy towards family, money, consumerism, and wealth.

At the end of 2008, we just moved on our CSY 33 mono hull at the Two Way Marina near Brunswick, Georgia.  We didn’t really have a plan except to sail south to Key West and then re-examine what we learned to decide what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives.

We made in 4 months and it was an enlightening and life altering trip on many levels.  The biggest discovery was the news that Hil was pregnant!  We also decided that after 4 months on a sailboat we didn’t miss life as we knew it before.  In fact, there was NO WAY IN HELL, we wanted to go back to that life.

So we started plotting a new future.

Now, about 15 months later, we have a new (for us) 34′ Fleetwood Bounder land yacht to house us when we travel seasonally around the country working at fairs and festivals selling mini-donuts (of all things- donuts?).  When we’re not busy working, we have a great 34′ Gemini Catamaran in the beautiful Sea of Cortez to spend with family and watch our children grow up learning about nature and foreign cultures (maybe we can even sneak in a foreign language too).

It’s not all wine and roses.  We’re still digging ourselves out of a financial hole that will likely end with a bankruptcy.  Both the motor home and sailboat need work.  We’re surviving on such a small amount of money we make the lower 25% of our society look rich.  We have no savings, retirement, and our kids health care is provided thanks to the state of Arizona.

But to look back a year ago, we could never have planned or predicted where we are today.  Our path has been a roller coaster ride which required a lot of faith and determination that everything will be all right in the end.

And it has been.  We’ve never been without food, shelter, or the support of family and dear friends.  There have been a few dead ends, and false starts but we’ve carved a possible future that meets the needs we laid out after our trip south to Key West.

There’s still LOT’S OF WORK ahead of us and the road is no easier than it was when we started.  But we have been down this path before and we have some amount of confidence we can creatively solve the problems as they arise.

What’s exciting to us and frightening to others is what may lie ahead.  If we came this far in a year who can say what may present itself in our future?  We just met a wonderful woman on a a boat near us in San Carlos who owns a small ‘flat’ in Turkey.  We have friends that want to move to Australia.  A sail through the Panama Canal could be interesting.

Once you open the flood gates to possibility you gotta be ready to capitalize on the new adventures that await.  Who knows what’s around the corner?

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2 comments to Incremental Change, Big Difference

  • Jim

    3 thoughts for you:
    First, I’d gladly trade lives with you except for the fact that my stable income implies no real freedom and you would hate it. I’d rather be bankrupt and free on the open seas.
    Second, as a matter of fact, I do know what’s around the corner and it’s really no big secret. More wars, earthquakes, and famines, then THE end will come.
    My advice (third): Just simply cherish the relationships your life contains and don’t try to avoid regrets because that’s not the point.

    Regards, Jim

  • big cheese

    Hi Jim-
    I think you pretty much hit it on the head.

    We do know what lies ahead- more of the same. I guess if everything else is going to remain constant you might as well be the wild card!

    Suprisingly, once you get used to living on the skinny having pocket change for your life savings is not so alarming anymore.

    I feel the sarcasm and regret are the two biggest poison pills in our society today. Stop looking back and stop thinking it’s funny to be pessimistic.

    Thanks for the note.