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redbopeep 12-13-2010 01:30 AM

The same as many of you, we've done our share of scrimping/saving and doing without in order to fund a cruising lifestyle. It's still a tightrope walk sometimes and we haven't even left North America!

Now, we're getting some very frustrating flack from family--along the lines of "you're not doing anything important, you can afford to take the time to do ____" fill in the blank with some weird fly across the country and help somebody with something task. Then there's the "you guys are not working, so you're obviously you buy ____ for relative ____" fill in the blanks with things that various relatives need. We're NOT obviously comfortable (there is a REASON we anchor instead of use marinas, ah hem...) and we DON'T have extra time (There is a REASON we're still in North America and it has to do with our own business-related time and money commitments).

I won't even go down the path of how we're not doing "anything important" since that implies that my entire lifestyle and cruising isn't of any importance>/blink.gif We're not the ones sitting around watching TV every night...we're actually doing something...

Just last week, I was in casual conversation with a "snow bird" relative who spends time in the cold North in the summers and a rental condo in the South in the winters. The relative was complaining about how hard it is to find a good rental each winter; I know the particular retiree relative's finances very well since I'd been involved in helping them make some financial decisions a couple years ago. Their retirement income is pretty substantial from a defined benefit plan. So, I innocently asked if they'd considered buying a place in the South to get around those frustrations. The response--"why don't YOU buy it for me?">/icon_eek.gif Seriously. I was floored because they were serious not joking. I just changed the subject but I was really confused. What is it about living on a boat/cruising that brings out the fangs in the relatives?

I'm a bit tired of it, entirely. I sometimes feel like posting our balance sheet on our blog so they can gasp at (and grasp the significance of) all the outflows compared to the puny inflows.

Just crying on you guys' shoulders here, but I am fed up.

Nusailor 12-13-2010 02:15 AM

Anytime. You give us so much, and listen to us whine.... I hear you by the way, I have had a few of those instances. (I am fully retired). If you don't have a 9 to 5, you aren't doing anything. LOL depending on where it comes from; sometimes it hurts, but you are talking to people who don't have the courage to step out of the "norm". Getting out at a time when you can actually do the live aboard and completely refurbish a boat and make it as beautiful as you folks have, you wonder how one can say you "aren't doing anything" . Keep up the good work I think I speak for the whole forum ; WE APPRECIATE YOU!!!!

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delatbabel 12-13-2010 02:29 AM

I am always amused that the likes of Rolex, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Longines, etc, sponsor yacht racing. They operate under the delusion that sailboat owners are rich. The simple fact is that sailboat owners are poor, we have spent all of our money on boats.

MMNETSEA 12-13-2010 02:39 AM

Reminds me of one my favorite proverbs :-

"You can choose your friends, not your relatives"

However, if the relative is a friend, that is a real bonus.

Lighthouse 12-13-2010 06:30 AM

I always get "But what do you do all day". Well, I may not be paid for what I do but I have a full day and evening - and sometimes the days are not long enough.

Just let it all run off your back "Red".

JeanneP 12-13-2010 01:25 PM

Oh! How familiar it all sounds! One sister told me that we were living in "LaLa Land" and why didn't we do something more productive? She stole just about everything I had left in our mother's house, did some truly terrible things to me and her other siblings, and is generally a mean spiteful person not at all like anybody else in the family.

And another relative broadcast to her family "Pete & Jeanne have been reaping the sour fruit of their sowing" etc., etc. That was when we balked at their demands to push up the timing of a substantial gift to their daughter (yeccch! We pulled the plug on that one). This same relative sold all our possessions stored in her mother's house without telling us what they planned.

It's not that those "things" were so important, but disposing of them should have been our choice, not theirs.

And yet, one bad sibling out of five isn't hard to take, since that sibling was never particularly nice after she got married to a real !#$%$# SOB, and none of my other siblings have had any contact with her in 10 years. The "sour fruit" relative has pushed too many family members too far, and I gather isn't so welcome everywhere anymore. Evidently her sense of entitlement finally got too much to take without our saying a word to anybody.

Peter's response to requests for money is "Funny you mention that. Things are a bit tight for us right now and I was thinking of asking you for a loan to help us over this bad patch." And asking us for time? "Sure, we've got this big project to finish, but I could probably fit it in next June. Would that be okay?"

I just toddle along, sending holiday and event cards out as if nothing has happened or been said. I continue to send a brief newsletter to all (except for my evil sister - there's a real reason nobody will have anything to do with her). We have wonderful friends, my remaining siblings are just what I want from a sibling, and sometimes when somebody gets just a bit too jealous for my taste, we find a burlesque routine to perform to flummox and bamboozle them, and reset their expectations.

Remember, we're doing what most of them would give their eyeteeth to do, except that some people neither recognize nor wish to make the sacrifices that we made to get here. We don't want to say, and they don't want to hear, just how hard we had to work to accumulate enough to do this in half the time it's taken them to accumulate more debt and "things".

Smile. Be genuinely regretful that you can't throw them a little something now and then, and cry poor once in a while. They just want to feel superior to you. I, for one, don't mind that at all.

chiroeurope 12-13-2010 02:06 PM

We are working very hard to have cruising as an option. My wonderful wife is seriously looking into it and we are saving for her to take a competent crew class over a long weekend (5 days) for us to look at the next options. We live in the UK and there are member of the family in the states who do not like the fact that we live here and have worked very hard to get where we are.

Jeanne, you and your husband are a light and a hope to many of us as is many of the members of this board. Thanks to the Ladies who post here and have given links to women sailors and what to really expect; my wife is willing to look at cruising. We are working very hard towards that goal and those who wish to judge, their choice; I try to avoid sitting in that seat as you tend to end up with a burnt bottom.

Best wishes to all and hope this advent season and Christmas finds all well.


redbopeep 12-13-2010 06:54 PM


Originally Posted by MMNETSEA (Post 1292207960)

Reminds me of one my favorite proverbs :-

"You can choose your friends, not your relatives"

However, if the relative is a friend, that is a real bonus.

So true.

I've vented enough--thanks, folks, for letting me.>/blush.gif

chiroeurope 12-14-2010 10:05 AM

Brenda any time you need to, as we all have those persons related or not who think they can live our life better for us. When I run into that I sing a short ditty of Italian in my head and it keeps me smiling. That ditty is "un pezzi di cordo e un po' pezzo" which in English is:" a piece of rope and a little weight". Being a sailing groups I think the unsaid part is loud and clear.


Qldcruiser 12-15-2010 10:39 PM

Its ok Brenda, we own a boat so we must be rich. I have formed a belief that most people think after you have bought the boat that there are absolutely no extra costs and we just swan around drinking and enjoying ourselves. I know we kind of do the latter but it beggars belief that we are all so wealthy. So wealthy I am doing two jobs to have some form of retirement fund so I can go cruising if I have any health left.

TMS 12-30-2010 06:22 PM

This subject is very interesting to me…I’m 46 and my wife and I have been working towards going cruising for a few years. And we don’t plan to go for a few more years. We don’t even bring up cruising anymore with family. We have had such a negative response from all of my family. My mom said “are you checking out”. Wow do I have to work 60hrs a week to have a net worth in her eyes? We have worked very hard and live way beneath our means to afford the opportunity to cruise. My dad said everything he has heard about cruising is most people hate it. He is the one who has sailed with me for the last 20 years. It just blows my mind that they are not happy for us. They don’t appreciate what we have sacrificed to get to this point. The good thing is it doesn’t matter what they think. I cannot imagine what they will say when we actually do it.

I would hate to think that my family is jealous of us.

We haven’t even bought a sailboat yet.

The good thing is our friends have been much more supportive.

redbopeep 12-30-2010 07:39 PM


It is understandable that family would want you to stay close by. I think that's part of the problem for many people. However, our family have always been far-flung all over the country so being close is no excuse. Envy does strange things, it is true. Further, if people don't know much about how you're living/saving to be able to live your cruising dream, they may think of it as a pipe dream or one that is not attainable by the average person (like them?). Money is sort of weird--you don't want family knowing too much about your finances or they'll be nitpicking you to death, but if they know too little about your situation, they'll jump to conclusions, I think. In our case, my husband's family has really jumped to conclusions thinking we're wealthy and that is what is driving me nutty. My family just thinks we're selfish because we're doing what WE want instead of what they think we should do. Money isn't involved in that particular thought process.

One thing that is nice is that my older brother (50) remarried a couple years ago to a very, very young woman (he was 45 and she was 18 when they married) and he went through an analogous "hazing" by the family because of their age difference. Everyone was mean to him and condemned him (except me!) for their age difference and for some changes he's made in his life to accommodate his new wife's education and career growth. His first wife was 15 years older than him (he was 29 and she was 44 when they married), so it should be no surprise to family that when he re-married he wasn't going to try and find someone a "suitable" age as a partner! He has been our strongest supporter in our life choices. Some people "get it" that life is different for each of us and we just need to go for it! Others...well...they don't get it.

Friends are different--they are with you "by choice" and thus, if they don't like what you're doing, they'll fade out of the picture. Family is different. They feel stuck with you! Thus, they want you to conform!

Fair winds,

danblu 12-31-2010 12:10 AM

Hey wow this brings up some issues aee. Like family at Christmas time, so many are stressed and going broke buying $20 gifts for a thousand people! Then there's the work ethic, the money earnt value one puts on others and oneself. And most soldier on with their jobs that they hate and their lives that have not much meaning amongst family and friends that will desert them like lepers if they stop using alchohol or other mutual substances. Most live in air conditioned dwellings and take air conditioned cars , trains or buses to offices or factories that have nothing to do with anything natural. Normal community is paper thin I think.

Then there are those that go out and Love their neighbours by spending time helping in the community and these Saints get more in return than they give for sure.

But mostly I think society is an unrealistic kama. Most people have their thinking shaped for them by school, friends family media and there is certainly a vested interest in keeping people working. So we buy more , pay more taxes, etc. People who decide to travel about the planet are different.

Cruisers are fiercely independent, usually they have struggled to set themselves up so as not to need the 9 to 5 routine. I think most cruisers recognise the self flagellation that goes with normal society and have broken free to a degree. Cruisers Love nature and nothing comes closer than sailing on a beautiful night amongst a billion stars and a balmy breeze' dolphins under with light trails glowing, or seeing beauty in a terrifying storm, or anchoring in a safe place and going swimming and socialising .

The degree of determination and persistence that is needed to do this lifestyle is the property of Heroes! The imagination and foresight the stuff of practical dreamers and Poets. The courage and strength of character the stuff from Noble people indeed.

Really does take a lot to be different, people don't like that, want everyone to be the same and sailing as a lifestyle marks one as rather different I think. They are Jealous and so am I. Donna and I go on a "break in cruise " this southern summer to see if the reallity of cruising aligns with our views. If we do go cruising I expect we will be far richer in experiences than cash.

Happy New Year all and fair winds.

chiroeurope 12-31-2010 09:03 AM


You speak the plain truth there. I won't go into the long details of why we know this, but you do.


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