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Old 09-30-2006, 02:50 AM   #15
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Thanks Anya for starting such a great thread.

I don't have much to contribute in the way of advise; frankly "in the same boat" (bad pun, I know... sigh)

I have found myself recently questioning the purpose of nose to the grindstone, climbing the ladder, etc. It suddenly seems shallow and purposeless. All around me I see people desperately unhappy, disillusioned, etc, but intent on staying on the same hampster wheel. It's becoming more and more uncommon for me to find people that haven't been perscribed anti-depressants. To add to this depression, we realize that 80% of Americans are in borderline out of control debt. And 80% of Americans (I'm currently "ported" in the US) will not have enough to retire on and will have to continue to work until they drop.

Go into a Starbucks (not endorsing) or Costa, sit down and look around. Statistacally, 4 people out of 5 around you are struggling with debt and/or won't be able to retire if they want to. A significant portion of these are or have been on anti-depressants. For the "just look up" crowd, keep in mind that 80% of Americans also claim to have some significant spiritual affiliation...

What's going on?! Sorry if I'm confused here, but this is at the core of my questioning the flow. I'm not saying the cruising life is going to solve my or anyone's disillusionment, but I'm more convinced the "flow" is not where I'm going to find my answers.

I really don't want to wake up and find myself 75, having spent a life at the grind stone, struggling with debt and about to be put in a nursing home somewhere.

"Selling up and Sailing" suddenly makes more sense than accumulating a bunch of junk that's just going to need to be sorted and sold at an estate sale when I'm gone (or before)...

-Andreas
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Old 10-09-2006, 11:32 PM   #16
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Anya,

Go for it.

Me and my husband are both fairly recent college grads. We currently have office jobs, but are preparing to go cruising in 1-2 years once we save up a bit. We plan to do a circumnaviagtion, but to take our time. Right now we live on our boat so that we can practice a lot to learn and get used to living aboard. It was difficult for about the first month to get used to the simplistic lifestyle, but now I wouldn't trade it for a house any day. We sold or gave away nearly everything we own except basic necessities, keep all our clothes in our car, and live comfortably in a 27-foot boat. It's really liberating. We enjoy taking it out whenever we can and we love the people we've met at the marina.

As far as the allure of crusing, for my hubby it's the sailing, for me its the travel and the simple and sustainable lifestyle. The travel bug has really got me... we are not rich at all, in fact last year I was the only one working and not making much money, but we have been to belgium, the netherlands, the czech republic, poland, morrocco, and mexico since we have been together. The best way is to travel to inexpensive countries away from tourist areas, camp or stay in hostels, and be willing to get transportation by hitchhiking, cheap trains, freight trains, walking, buying a cheap bicycle, whatever. It's much more exciting and actually affordable that way. For young women such as myself, it can take a dose of fearlessness at times. The plane ticket is the most expensive part, of course, which is why crusing is right for us - it is inexpensive and you get a more local taste of things. Cruising also fits my sustainability goals - travel without consuming massive amounts of airplane fuel.

We bought our boat (1976 Albin Vega 27) in Boston and drove it down here on a cradle we built ourselves. It was $9,000, which is a lot to us, but we have been saving up. At this point we have to be careful not to fall in that trap of just living aboard and never going anywhere, but we are quite determined about it.

You'll also need to learn to do maintainence yourself, but forums and other boaters are great resources for that. You'll need a small budget for repairs and a crusing kitty. I would suggest you start reading magazines like Good Old Boat to learn about economical cruising, or books by folks like Nigel Caulder or Larry and Lin Pardy. We frequenly go sit at the Barnes and Noble and just read their cruising magazines. :-) Also visiting marinas and boaters as much as possible. Around here, the less glamorous marinas are where you will find the most liveaboards and the most friendly people willing to help you. Other boaters are a great resource. I know that can be difficult in Atlanta, but we are not too far away in Charleston, SC, and here there are a ton of boats and boaters. The Charleston-Bermuda race is a good opportunity for new crewmembers, and there are other folks around here looking for crew all the time. I didn't know how to sail a year ago - it isn't too hard to learn. I agree with the advice of other posters about learning first aid, how to cook in a small galley kitchen, etc. You can also learn basic terminology just from books.

Maybe I'll have better advice after I've actually gone crusing, but I thought this might be a little helpful since I'm just a few steps ahead of where you are in the planning stage. Email me (tuckerma at gmail dot com) if I can help - it looks like I am geographically the closest of the other posters here, but I don't have the experience they do. Good luck!

Fair winds and following seas,

Melissa

P.S. - just in case that long, rambling post wasn't clear: sell up and sail!
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