The Plan

You’re gonna need a plan of some sort.

Sell everything and sail around the world …

Sure, that sounds romantic, but when you’ve been strapped into the “suburban lifestyle” and chasing the “American dream” as long as we have, it’s not really possible without a plan. We have debts to settle, a house to worry about, careers to end, and a LOT more to do before we can just set off into the sunset.

When we do set off, we know we won’t be in a financial position that will allow us to just come and go as we please. Travel costs money – and if you aren’t smart about it, it can cost a LOT of money. We’ve done our fair share of travel planning and we’ve learned to avoid the traps that many tourists fall in but, we know that any sort of travel is going to take funds and lots of planning.

Failing to plan is planning to fail, according to someone. 

Our current plan goes something like this:

1. First off, Dwayne has to finish up his time with the National Guard. Having completed over 18 years of service, it doesn’t make sense to quit now. The plan has always been to go for the 20 year retirement. His military retirement benefits will kick in at 20 years of service and 60 years of age. That money will be absolutely necessary for things like food, diesel, and boat maintenance when he’s older. Sixty is still a decade away so we aren’t waiting that long!

2. We’ve got to sell off a LOT of stuff. We’ve raised four kids and lived in lots of places. It doesn’t help that we’ve been playing “keep up with the Joneses” for a few decades. We’ve got stuff – LOTS AND LOTS of stuff. We’re basically drowning in stuff and it takes some dedicated effort to get rid of it. We’ve got to start minimizing now in order to be ready to swap out 3500 sq. feet of living space for about 350 sq feet. We are currently working out the plans to sell off the majority of the things we own. It’s not easy when there is SO MUCH STUFF!

3. Once we get our hands on our first boat, the plan goes something like this:

The first leg of our journey will be to complete America’s Great Loop.

Well, that WAS the plan. Then we got into looking at the financials involved and scrapped that plan. As much as we’d love to visit these inland waterways, it’s not really feasible without a steady continuous income stream. Besides, open water looks more fun …

We’ve modified the plan a bit since all good plans should be flexible 🙂

We’re looking a getting ourselves an older sailboat and spending a few years to get it fixed up and ready to take on the world. Financial realities have made us realize that this is going to require saving a lot more and consuming a lot less if we want to make our dreams come true.

The first decision we need to make is which type of sailboat we really want to go with. The choice between monohull and catamaran seems to cause arguments everywhere we turn. We’ll be working on a blog post about that real soon.

4.  Once we’ve launched the last bird from the nest, we want to acquire a mid-size sailboat. We’re thinking a sailboat in the 35-45 foot range should be plenty. This will allow us to see pretty much any part of the world  that is accessible by water. Our current plans involve us setting off from the East Coast for a tour of Europe. We’d love to see London and the British Isles then set off into the continental interior. After that, perhaps we’ll sail the Med or the Black Sea.

5. After that, who knows? It’s a big world and we want to experience as much of it as we possibly can! We aren’t even thinking of planning anything past then – but that doesn’t stop us from daydreaming about it A LOT!