We often get asked the question of how and when we decided to go sailing. After all, we don’t sail!
For so long we were trying to plan the normal thing to do once Jeremiah retires.”Should we move back to where Brittany’s family is in the Tampa, Florida area? Get another regular job somewhere else? Should we go ahead and buy a house?” and so on…You know how the story goes. When it came down to it, none of those ideas were fully satisfying to us. There is nothing wrong with going that route; they just didn’t make us happy.
We don’t want to work our lives away chasing every weekend as if it is the only time you can enjoy your time. For as long as Jeremiah and I have been together he’s hated Sundays…Why? Because that meant that he’d have to return to work the following day. He hasn’t even been able to even chase a full weekend; he chases Friday nights and Saturdays. Not to mention, how much time has been lost that could have been enjoyed over his many deployments!
|Jeremiah’s homecoming from his very last deployment out of the many he has taken part in before he retires!|
So we continued to plan for our future, came up with a few new ideas. We decided we’d rather not get into the normal routine of a 9-5 job so we thought about starting something like a bar or a small business, buying houses to flip or buy a couple homes and turn them into vacation rental properties. That way we could work for ourselves, make our own schedules and enjoy more of our lives. I was fine with any of those options; I really just wanted my husband to be happy! However, Jeremiah was never really sold on either of the ideas and looking back now, I realize it’s because it wasn’t enough for him…Totally understandable after serving in the Marine Corps for 21 years, taking part in 4 deployments and many detachments. He felt he needed more even if just for a little while!
|Jeremiah and his Marines in Afghanistan|
So one morning while still lying in bed during my early pregnancy, (don’t judge, ladies you know how sick you feel during the first trimester) I received a text from the husband. “How would you feel about buying a boat and sailing the Caribbean for a year or so?” he asks. Ummm a little dumb founded I thought ok, where did you get this insane, unrealistic idea?!?! He told me that he’d explain later, he just wanted to know if I was down with the idea if we were able to make it possible (i.e.; finances, kids and etc).
Now, you’ve got to understand that he’s asking the girl that dropped everything spur of the moment, packed her little Honda Accord full and drove across the country to be with him, so yeah, duh, of course I’d do it, baby, Yorkie, English Bulldog and all! Plus, I absolutely love the beach and tropics!
|Please do visit Laho’s blog…She is amazing at photographs!|
Later that day we spoke about a lot. He just didn’t feel satisfied with the options we were exploring for after retirement, he’d been surfing the net daily for different ideas. On this particular day he Googled “living in the Caribbean” and came across LAHO’s blog and began to read…He was hooked! It was definitely intriguing once he told me about it. So we ran through the finances and realized that this really could be a possibility for us!!! That’s how it all began! From that point we have been working towards this dream and I can’t wait till it’s our reality.
We’ve kept our plans pretty quiet until recently because we still had many moving parts in our lives, we wanted to be sure that we were going to do this whole sailing thing before we made it public. Honestly, it’s come as a bit of a surprise to some family members and friends because this is far from our original plan (and from the normal day to day that most people live). To us, it’s not too far-fetched though.The plan has always been to find a way to enjoy our lives, whatever that took is what we are willing to do.
Over the past year or so we have been preparing ourselves for the big move onto the boat by making sure we have zero debt, saving our money, looking into sailing classes and researching what type of boat we would like. We also started focusing any spending. Like when we’d purchase items for each other during holidays (Christmas, Birthdays, and Anniversaries), we’d only get it if it would work on the boat. If it wasn’t going to be used on the boat, we didn’t buy it…Period!
|Mothers Day gift – One of the many baby carriers that I tried out to use to carry Rhys around when we are off the boat. I ended up choosing the LÍLLÉbaby COMPLETE AIRFLOW|
|Fathers day gift – The hanging hammock chair that we plan to hang off the boom and many beach trees|
The latest and rather large change that we recently made was downsizing our lives by moving from our single family home into a partially furnished basement apartment. Yikes! We were living in a 2500 square foot home that we had completely furnished. Now we are living in about 500 square feet of space. No more two car garage, large yard for the doggies.Nope! It’s all about downsizing now baby!
How was this possible with 5 kids, two dogs to include a pregnant English Bulldog? Well, as far as the 4 older kids, one of them, Ashen, is 18 and is beginning her adult life in California. We share 50% custody of the other 3 with their mother. Since we currently live in Virginia and she lives in California, we swap year on-year off with a 3 week swap over the Christmas holiday. The kids truly have a great relationship with both sides of their families. The time had come for the 3 children to move to California to do the year with their Mom on July 15, 2015. This allowed Jeremiah and me to plan downsizing our home. If you ask me, an already partially furnished 500 square foot basement apartment seemed rather perfect for a 4 month old, pregnant Bulldog that isn’t able to do much and a 4 lb. Yorkie. We miss the kids tremendously, but they need to spend time with their Mom as well. They will be back though!
We did lots to prepare as we worked up to the move from the house. Tons of garage sales on the weekends, we listed our larger items online to be sold and we actually threw away a lot of trash (this felt rather nice to get rid of the clutter). As far as everything we haven’t sold yet, it’s in storage until we can get rid of it all! After Jeremiah retires, we plan to do a temporary move into one of my Mothers vacation homes and then liquidate everything that hasn’t sold yet. Even though we would like to purchase a boat now, we have too many moving parts that we need to get in order, with another move being a major one of those parts, so we’ve opted to wait until we get to the vacation home to make that purchase.
|Our temporary vacation rental that my Mother let us rent from November to March and even longer if needed. She’s so sweet! <3|
Here we are in our new, rather small home and we plan to stay here until November 9th, which is Jeremiah’s last day of work before he retires. On that day we will pick up our packed storage unit, load up a moving truck and drive to our new temporary home where we will stay until we purchase our boat. We plan to have our boat seaworthy and ready to set sail by March 2016. That’s the plan but if we leave sooner rather than later, that would be great! We plan to use our time between November and when we sail away to finish selling all of our other household items, organize the stuff that we are keeping like memory boxes, our pick-up truck (we’re keeping that) and anything else that comes up. We think that a “set sail date” of March would be more than enough time to complete the items above, along with getting a little time actually sailing to help build our skills. However, we would be overjoyed if we could complete everything beforehand as we are very eager to begin this rather exciting chapter of our lives!
|The house where we currently rent the basement apartment|
|Master bedroom in the apartment – before we moved in|
|Kitchen in the apartment – before we moved in|
We are so excited for the future while making sure to enjoy the present as well! Thanks for reading!