We spent a short weekend in Miami this past weekend… I had a work event, and we got cheap flights for Matt and the boys, so we took advantage and headed to the beach. We were happy that Hurricane Sandy moved out of the area as we arrived… so other than some really strong wind, we had a great weekend!
While we were there, we had to (of course) look at some boats… since we had narrowed down our interest to a Lagoon 380, we went to see one that was just reduced in price…
We’ve been struggling a lot lately with our plans to sell everything, save money, quit our jobs, buy a boat and move aboard – living on the boat and travelling the world. A recap of our biggest obstacles:
- Hesitation/Anxiety from the boys. The boys have been pretty dead-set on keeping our house, staying in their beloved school, and making it clear that in no way shape or form did they want to live on a boat.
- Cost of boat vs. Savings to travel. Although we could make a Lagoon 380 work for our family… a larger 420 would be ideal. But with the larger boat comes a larger loan and that would actually leave us with less savings to travel with. So, the smaller boat (which is perfect for a couple – and definitely livable for a family of four) would afford us a longer trip… the compromise is the “comfort” of that longer trip…
- Timing of trip. We are still 3+ years away from being able to afford to go… the next 14 months will get us out of debt. The next two years will be spent saving for the trip. Three years is a long time when we are both feeling like we need to make a change now… We are both wanting to do something new… and knowing we are “stuck” in our current job (income level) for 3 more years is a little frustrating…
- Newest obstacle that just cropped up in the past two weeks… our parents are getting older. Matt’s dad has been in ICU for the past two weeks with complications from spine surgery. Matt has been up at the hospital every day (barring the 2 days we were in Miami) – this is something that would be hard to do if we are half-way around the world on a boat.
With these obstacles swirling around in our minds, we have been up and down, round and round, and have changed our minds 50 times on what/how/when/where we will do/go… but we looked at boats while we were in Miami because it is still our dream.
We got on the Lagoon 380 in Fort Lauderdale. It was an older boat than the one we saw this summer and the feeling was a lot more claustrophobic… like a million times more. It seemed MUCH smaller. Apparently it is the exact same size, but because of “bulkheads” it feels more closed in. So if we stick with the 380, we will have to make sure we are getting a newer version without bulkheads or I’m not sure we will make it on the boat.
The next boat we saw was the Lagoon 410. We originally wrote off the 410 a few years ago because the feeling I had when we looked at one was the same feeling I got when I stepped aboard the older 380… bulkheads causing that claustrophobic feeling. But this 410 was newer and didn’t have the bulkheads. It felt VERY roomy! This particular boat was LOADED with all of the liveaboard features we would need. If Matt and I were ready to buy, we may have put in an offer… the only thing we don’t like about the 410 is the layout of the beds in the cabins… but otherwise it was the perfect size.
The last boat we boarded was the coveted 420. Of course, we loved it… the problem is that 420 costs almost twice that of the 380. No bueno. But while we were on the different boats, we let the boys “pick out” their cabins (like you would do if you were looking at houses) and the strangest thing happened. Zach (our 7 year old) FELL IN LOVE! He picked his room on the 420 and insisted that we purchase this boat right now. Of course, I tried to talk him out of it a little…
Me: “You like this boat? If we buy it, then we have to sell our house and move onto the boat.”
Zach: “Okay! Let’s do it! Can I keep my stuff?”
Me: “Yes, you can keep some of your stuff. But I don’t know if all of it would fit. If we move onto the boat, you will have to leave your school… ”
Zach: “That’s okay.”
Me: “Mommy will be your teacher and we will do school on the boat.”
Zach: “Okay, let’s do it. I want to move onto the boat and I want you to be my teacher.”
Me: “Well, we can’t do it right now… maybe after you finish 2nd grade.”
Zach: “NOOOO. I want to do it now!”
At this point, he literally starts crying. Full-on upset that we are not moving onto the boat that moment. He starts begging us to buy the boat. He has figured out where he will put his clothes and his shoes and his books and his stuffed animals. And he is majorly upset. We try to reason with him that even if we wanted to buy the boat, we would not be able to buy it today… which makes no sense to a 7 year old. We tried to deflect and tell him we would go get some ice cream and talk about it…. he pouted for the next hour or so that we did not buy the boat. It was the craziest thing…
For the first time since we started talking about living on a boat, we may actually have the boys on board with it… although if we don’t get the 420, he may revolt. Once again though, we are facing the “wait” until we can go…
Zach is also our water-loving, adventure boy. He loved the crazy waves from Hurricane Sandy – they knocked him over, they sucked him down, and he came up giggling every time… he would love living on a boat. He would love driving the dinghy. He would love fishing. He would love surfing. He would love to live at a beach. Austin is less enthused with those types of activities. He doesn’t like the waves. He doesn’t like the sand. He’d prefer to hang by the pool. But when Zach said he was ready to live on the boat… Austin was ready to live on the boat. That is one thing about the boys… they almost always want whatever the other wants (even if they don’t really want it… they just don’t want the other to have something they don’t also have.)
For the next three years, we are still dreaming. Slowly heading toward a debt-free life. Maybe when we go to sell our house in the spring, the boys will be less resistent to the change. Maybe we can find a beach home for two years until we can move on a boat. Maybe we buy a boat and move on board and live in a marina for the next two years. Maybe we find another path altogether that we haven’t even thought about yet.
We have no idea. We are still going around ‘n circles.