Having the dream of setting off into the sunset on your sailboat isn’t very original. My gosh, almost every retirement commercial finishes with that view! A nugget of easiness on calm waters in paradise – very inspiring. It is an easy dream to have but putting it to action requires a plan and, to be truthful, that plan will look very different for each sailor. We have friends who have kept their homes in Canada, renting them in their absence and returning home every summer. Others have sold their homes but maintain a storage unit in case they decide to return back to Canada. For us, we want to untether completely from land life. Our plan involves, and has involved, selling it all and moving onto the sailboat full-time for the foreseeable future.
Five years ago we sold our home and moved into the city (Ottawa, Ontario) and we have been renting ever since. We are currently in the midst of selling whatever furniture, winter gear and other stuff that we can, and donating the rest. Family will take ownership of our cars. And we will both retire from our government jobs by early April. One might say we are taking one big step off a giant cliff by selling it all. We see it as walking into a world of freedom and choice.
This year, in 2020, Mike and I, along with our pup Ocean, will begin our life afloat. We will move onto our boat (Wild Horses) in May, leaving behind our rental home and our full time careers, and embark on a journey that is 10 years in the making.
It is a great dream – living on your sailboat in the Caribbean – so when we get questions from people it is not why we have chosen to take off sailing. No, the question we most often get from friends, family and work mates is “why now?”. We both have great careers, amazing people in our lives and we enjoy all that Canada has to offer – the culture, the skiing, great hiking and pretty awesome sailing too. So, why now?
The short answer is “because it is time”. We have put aside enough rainy day money and readied our boat. T’s have been crossed and I’s dotted. We are ready. With big changes like this, of course it can be a little scary. It is easy to trick yourself into thinking of reasons NOT to go right now (we could go further with our careers, earn more money, spend more time with family). Of course, all of that is important, especially family. But life is short. So, we want to live our fullest life, spending time exploring new cultures, challenging ourselves, embracing the world. We want to live simply in terms of stuff but fully in terms of experiences.
So, why now? Because it is time. It is time to make the leap. It is time to feed the soul.
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.