”We sold everything, bought a sailboat and went sailing around the world!”
If you read blogs or watch Youtube channels about people cruising around in sailboats, you may have come across these words a few times. They seem to be the cruisers’ favourite urban legend. But you seldom hear the story behind the words.
It sounds simple and easy. Maybe it is for some. They may be young, nomadic types who don’t own that much in the first place. Or, if they do own things like a house, they are probably clever people who have chosen a city or a neighbourhood where it’s easy to sell – and the house will have appreciated in value during ownership. Or maybe these people don’t really have to sell everything – they can buy a boat, they can afford a few years of sailing in some tropical waters, and keep their home so they have a life to go back to once they’ve crossed enough things off their bucket list.
Then there are hand-to-mouth folks like us. At least I like to think there are other people like us – who doesn’t? – with no investments, assets, fame or fortune. We really have to sell everything to be able to afford a bigger boat and to sail further than the Åland archipelago. We live above 60° North – it’s going to take more than one summer holiday to even get out of these latitudes. And we’ll need to sail years worth of summer holidays in some warmer waters for our icy cores to melt.
Being able to work and earn money along the way is the perfect solution for some people, such as digital wizards, best selling novelists or photogenic potential Youtube stars. We have not distinguished ourselves in those categories – yet, anyway – so we basically just have our savings to resort to.
“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest.”
But the more I’ve read and researched about sailing, the more stories I’ve come across about people cruising on a small budget. It’s cheaper to live on a boat than in a house. There’s very little space so you won’t spend money on unnecessary things. Marinas are expensive but anchoring is free. We are also quite handy when it comes to scrubbing, painting, fixing and renovating, so at least we’ll be able to do most of our own boat work and won’t have to pay professionals to do it. It’s all very logical when you think about it. I know we’ll have to learn to be more frugal about many things. But we’ve never cared too much about appearances and owning things so we won’t have to change our personalities in order to change our lifestyle.
So far we have completed the first phase – we have sold the house we thought we would grow old in. Well, it seems that you grow old no matter where you live. The house and the life in the country were once big dreams that came true. But I’ve found that new dreams can be born, even when you’re living the life you dreamed of. Sometimes the new dreams can be so powerful you just have to follow them. And to be able to do that, you may have to let go of the old ones. Sailing the big seas is demanding – it’s a dream that can’t be postponed to the unforeseeable future, or until we retire. We might no longer be strong and brave enough if we wait too long.In a way, our journey has already begun. We have traded the comfortable country life for simple existence in a town studio. I feel like I’m living in an AirBnB and doing touristy things in a new town – but every morning I find myself in the same old office I’ve worked in for years, with the same old colleagues who don’t seem to know that the whole world has turned upside down.
Giving up the old home was one of the biggest steps towards the Dream. Choosing, buying and outfitting the Boat is another big step – next time I will write about that!
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