Coasting towards our goals… A Five-Year-Plan update
Last year, around this time, we shared our thoughts about finding purpose in life after “early retirement.” The concerns came about after spending an extended period of fairly unproductive time on the boat. The trip was a bit longer than our typical vacations but well short of a true sabbatical. Due to pandemic restrictions, we spent our days quite aimlessly and didn’t have much to do, aside from relaxing, reading, and deciding how many days to stay anchored in Barbuda. This unstructured free time is nothing reflective of what it will really be like living on a boat, in which there are countless projects and endless daily tasks, but it got us thinking about what our day-to-day lives would be like. We will both be going from being very busy, highly productive people, with multiple jobs and responsibilities & a finely tuned schedule with little downtime, to whatever boat-life will entail. It seemed that so much freedom could be a bit scary, daunting, and possibly empty since we are so used to working a lot and in helping fields. It felt good to write about and chat about and got us thinking of how to find purpose in our future adventures.
At this point in our lives, it feels like we have reached a peak in our plans and that we will be coasting in autopilot from here. The last few years have taught us both many things, too many to recount and some too personal to share, so we are quite grateful to be in what feels like a new phase of our plans. Now that things are getting closer, with actual dates and details coming into focus, we have been able to spend time figuring out real logistics rather than just a superficial overview.
In the last year, we have become a one-car household and finally decided with certainty what to do about our house: we’ll keep it and rent it (more on that later), we have become fully transparent at both of our jobs with our bosses knowing our work end dates. We cleaned out the basement, closets, & garage again and donated tons of stuff. We helped Yolanda’s Mom sell her house, find a new house and relocate closer to her son/Yolanda’s brother, in preparation for when we take off. We have come up with and decided against crazy side plans like buying land for a tiny house in Newfoundland, gutting and decking out a campervan to drive around during the sailing off-seasons, and a few other things too silly or ambitious to mention.
After a decade of overworking a full-time job + weekends, Yolanda finally met the demons of burnout but came out the other side with a healthy new work-life balance and a renewed enthusiasm for life. Nestor has been quite active in some of the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) groups online and has come up with a brilliant and safe structure for our finances for our post-retirement days. Maybe he will write an article about it all; comment below if you’d be interested.
Detailed plans are falling into place, and we couldn’t be happier that it all appears to be lining up and working out. The last time we wrote, the pandemic had delayed our plans by about six months. Yet, somehow with his magical math Nestor was able to shave those six months back off, and we are on track for our original goal of moving onto the boat in December 2023. Next year!
In December ‘23, after we return from a whirlwind trip to Antarctica, we will finish packing up our house, stuff a few duffel bags into the car, and drive down to Florida. Our five-year charter contract with DYC will be up by the end of December, and a refit will take place in January. After a few other projects in Antigua, we will sail to Florida and spend a few more months further remodeling & updating Blue Buddha to get it ready for its new life as a blue water circumnavigator and training vessel. The 3,000 mile crossing from the Caribbean to the Med in May of 2024 will be the first leg of our multi-year sailing adventure.
If you have made it this far, thank you for following along with our journey. We have been inspired by those who have come before us and are grateful they have shared their stories with so many. In order to get to this point in our plans & learn how to pull off such an adventurous lifestyle, we have watched YouTube videos, read blogs, followed IG stories, and posted/shared in online groups. We often over-share our plans in hopes of inspiring someone else to do the same. It might seem crazy or overly ambitious, but if you want to live a life of adventure & freedom and travel the world by boat, bus, or van, it is possible. Come up with a plan and learn how to make it happen, or live vicariously through those doing it. Either way, life is short, so enjoy the ride! Cheers, Yolanda & Nestor
Recommended reading and educational/helpful social media that we are currently consuming:
** Inspiring books: Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, Swell by Liz Clark, Sailing to the Edge of Time by John Kretschmer
** FB Groups: Women Who Sail, Sailing & Cruising, Women’s Personal Finance (Women on FIRE), [FIRE] Financial Independence Retire Early