Me and my wife just decided to do the same, we will be bying our first boat next ear, probably an tanzier 7.5 or something in the same size range. This will be to get as much experience as possible on a smaller boat, we will buy a 30+ '' when we get closer to our big trip!
I am in the service myself but reteirment time is not for another 15 years!!! I'm MSE op in the canadian army (Mobile service equipment operator) I just spend 10 years as an armored crew man and we are posted to Halifax, wich will greatly help get ready for our dream!!
Well good luck to you, I hope you find everything you are looking for!!