Have you ever stared out at that deep blue water, inhaled that salty air, and let the sound of the rolling waves carry you away? There’s a magic there that always brings us back. Everyone has a happy place and the ocean is ours.
We have always loved to travel from the time our boys were born. We’ve had some crazy adventures together and they always brought us to the water’s edge. Like the time we lived out of our SUV for nearly a month while camping cross country just so we could swim in the Pacific Ocean.
Another time we drove 24hrs straight from Pennsylvania to Key West so we could see those beautiful turquoise waters. Most recently we flew to Maui and camped for a few weeks to snorkel with sea turtles and catch some incredible surf.
When we couldn’t afford a big trip or even a hotel for the night we’d drive the 2hrs to the Jersey shore, spend the day and drive back. Spring, Fall, Winter, Summer… it didn’t matter what time of year, when we weren’t physically at the ocean we were dreaming of it.
We always talked about someday moving so we could be closer to the coast but we were comfortable. We had a beautiful home surrounded by family and friends, Pete had a great teaching job and our new renovation biz was booming. The boys were involved with sports, attended a really nice school district, and every weekend our house was packed with kids. Things were good, really good. We had a well-established retirement plan in place and we were saving for our future. Honestly, we were living the American Dream. So why in the world would we want to give all that up?!
We knew we wanted to see more of this world, we knew our time with our boys was passing fast and we knew we weren’t getting any younger. Waiting until we retired and had the money was far greater a risk than starting now with the little we had. We saw loved ones work their lives away for the promise of a secure future only to leave this world too early. We heard countless stories of lives cut short. We didn’t want to spend our days living for tomorrow, we wanted to live today.
Our hope was to find a catamaran in need of some lovin’ that we could afford without financing. We knew by selling our home, 2 vehicles and most of our possessions we’d have enough to cruise for at least a year. We weren’t making any long-term plans because we had no idea what to expect of this new life afloat. Would this adventure bring our family closer or would the confines of tiny living push us far apart? What if we ran out of money just fixing the boat? What if we were in a constant state of seasickness? or homesickness? So many ‘what ifs’.
Finally, we realized that if we never go, we’ll never know. We talked and talked as a family and our boys were willing to give it a try. So, we snapped some photos of our lovely home, shared with friends and family on Facebook and within a very short time had a sweet couple interested. At the same time, we had found a boat in Charleston, South Carolina in need of some TLC and within our price point.
The stars aligned and we sold our house and closed the deal on our new floating home within a few weeks of each other. It was a whirlwind, as we had expected, and suddenly we were sitting in the very messy salon of our new 40ft catamaran. We were all in. It was definitely one of the scariest and most exciting moments of our lives as we walked away from all the familiar comforts of land life.
As we write this, we are now entering our second season of sailing and living aboard as a family. We still have many ‘what ifs’ but what we don’t have are ANY regrets. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but it has been totally worth it. We have had both beautiful and terrifying moments that have taken our breath away. The highs are high and the lows are low but one thing that remains steadfast is the strong bond that we’ve formed through these times. We have dreamed together and achieved together. We now have over 4000nm under our keels and in just one year of sailing we have grown in ways we never imagined… Closer to each other and that big beautiful ocean!