Ask anyone living aboard what made them go and there is almost always a story or a trigger. It is very much the case for us. The time has come for a Sea Change for a mix of reasons: wearisome work environment, health problems… but the biggest is a desire to not defer living our dream any longer.
Something which keeps some people working for ages is the lack of appealing and absorbing activity to engage in together instead of work. As a couple, finding that common interest and at the same time can be a real challenge. But that is one aspect we are not worried about! We both share a passion for cruising and work kind of interrupts our sailing! The more we cruise part-time, the more we want to do it full-time.
So the time has come for both of us to give up work. Wade has sold his business, got rid of his stock and closed down his warehouse space. The company I work for has been going through yet another restructure and the whole thing has become very tedious, particularly when I am unwell. It used to be fun, but it no longer is, so I have resigned. It is quite liberating, if a bit scary! If anyone says to us: “Your Money or Your Life” – we definitely choose our life… no more money making, but plenty of living!
The other big thing that holds people back is money. The concern of not having enough to stop working keeps many people in employment longer than they’d wish. You worry about your cashflow once the regular pay cheques no longer come.
But we reckon we will be OK. We have saved like crazy for many years, building the kitty for later, and putting dollars aside for the “boat project”, either maintaining or improving her. We are debt free, have assets behind us that will hopefully allow us to live a sustainable and comfortable lifestyle. We could wait and save some more, but how long for? We’d rather enjoy the fruits of our labour!
Health and family concerns
The last two years have been shockers for us. We each lost our Mum. There were many dark days dealing with grief and its aftermath. My lonely Dad’s words resonate with us: “Enjoy the time you have together while you can because life is not fun on your own”.
And then there has been health concerns. In my case, the stresses of my job with its constant travelling and volatile work environment as well as family concerns all ended up being a toxic mix which made managing Type I Diabetes and Osteoarthritis a challenge. As the last few months passed, I was getting worse and really struggled, feeling very unwell and unable to keep going with work.
And Wade has his own health issues. A month after Elaine passed away, he got diagnosed with early prostate cancer. It really was the last straw! He is on close watch now, with a schedule of six monthly blood tests, annual MRIs and biopsies every two or three years.
It would be easy to feel very disheartened. But we want to enjoy life and it is now high time for a change of pace. A regular need to get monitored won’t stop us from living our dream. Both of us will just trot along periodically to pathology and liaise with our medicos on Skype once we hit the high seas!
The boat is ready
The last 12 months have been focused on getting the boat ready for full-time cruising. We have equipped her, updated the electronics, given the internals a face lift, so as to ready her for life afloat. At last, we can say Take It Easy is as good as she can be.
So it’s time
So this is it, it is time for that long awaited change. We do not want to hurry anymore. We want to focus on ourselves. We want to extract all we can from our shared passion and not be weighed down with ill-health, work, or schedules. It is time to listen to yachting friends and family who often say to us: “Don’t leave it till it’s too late. Go early, go now.”
We still have a few things to sort out to pack up our land life. But in a few weeks we will take the plunge and cast off the mooring lines. It is a bit daunting, like standing on the high diving board looking down, with your heart in your mouth. But it is also really exciting. We are going to have fun, we are going to enjoy every mile of our voyage while we are still able.