Less than a year to go! A five-year plan update.
It’s a few months into 2023 and we realize that we haven’t written an annual update on what we are doing and where we are in THE plan. Time is really flying by now. It is incredible when you spend a few years telling people you are working on a five-year plan to retire early and sail around the world and then before you know it there is less than a year to go. Nearly ten years ago, we started to dream up our wildest vision for an amazing, adventurous, fulfilling future, the idea developed organically over time but then when my dad was diagnosed with cancer we saw the danger in waiting too long. So we began creating spreadsheets, doing calculations and projections, took on extra jobs and then just put it all in grind mode. One day at a time. One extra shift at a time. One less car at a time. One job promotion and one carpal tunnel surgery at a time.
This is not to say that it was all easy, but we are not here to talk about that side of it right now. The message here is, you make a plan, you alter the plan as needed (*ahem* Covid), but then you just keep grinding forward, trusting the process. We have learned that you better chase your dreams and work on your goals because time flies no matter what, no matter if you are working too hard or if you are currently happy and healthy and hoping to stay that way. Time flies.
In 2022, we shared that we were Coasting Towards Our Goals and in 2021 we discussed our thoughts on Finding Purpose in Life After Early Retirement. We must have felt too disillusioned in 2020 to write anything, but in 2019 we posted both a how-to: How to Retire Early and Sail Around the World and a why: The Five Year Plan. It’s been fun to look back at those posts and interesting to see that there are so many things that have changed, both in our plans and in our visions and ideas of what we would be doing and how we would be spending our time on the boat. We are no longer driving to Florida to do a refit in the U.S., nor are we heading east to the Mediterranean before we head perpetually west. We will do the charter phase-out in Antigua in January 2024 and then will head to St. Maarten for further boat remodeling projects: lithium, solar, sails, etc. The plan after that is to cruise south through the Caribbean from March to July, then spend July to November in Grenada, afterwards heading towards Panama. We plan to cross the infamous Canal in March 2025 into the beautiful South Pacific, then eventually further west for a planned 7-year circumnavigation.
Instead of just lazily floating along fixing broken boat stuff, thanks to the advances in modern internet technology (Starlink), we will have the opportunity to participate in small meaningful projects on our own self-employed terms. We are still going to rent out our house, but instead of long-term rentals we’ll give AirBnb a try. Nestor is currently working on creating a truly awesome backyard, fixing up the house and recently picked up a new hobby: photography (IG: SailingTheWorldPhotography). Since my carpal tunnel surgery last fall, I have been freed up from working overtime at the hospital(s) on the weekends and have been studying to become a certified health coach while getting ready to launch a small business venture this fall. In the meantime, I am processing the fact that my job was just posted at work! After spending over 20 years working in health care, with the last 15 as a Physical Therapist, my last official day of full-time employment is Friday April 28th, 2023.
In less than two months, we will join our friends Dave and Diane and their kids, to help them sail their Lagoon 42: On Tiki Tour, from the East Coast of the U.S. to Bermuda > Azores > Portugal. This will be Nestor’s third major ocean passage (and second trans-Atlantic) and my first. When we return, he will have six months to finish up house projects and wind down at work, I will have another carpal tunnel surgery, launch my virtual physical therapy and health coaching business and work on the logistics of moving us from dry land to boat life.
We have a whirlwind year ahead and are trying to savor every last moment.
Thanks for following along!