The New Dream a.k.a Life After Cruising
If you have followed this website for long, you know that the original dream involved a sailboat in the Caribbean. Remarkably, that dream turned out pretty much as I thought it would when I wrote about it 10 years ago. I knew then that I was not financially able to "retire" at 52, but we took off anyway. We sailed full-time for four years and spent all the money, went back to work for two years to make more money, then sailed seasonally (Nov - May on the boat) and worked or took care of family (Barb) during hurricane season (June - Oct).
During our two year hiatus, we started to think about what would be next after sailing. At the time we didn't have a end-date in mind for sailing, but we knew that for one reason or another, the sailing would probably come to an end. We saw many couples much older than us out there still enjoying it, but we also saw couples out there that shouldn't have been, either because they were no longer enjoying themselves, or because they were no longer physically up to the task, becoming a risk to themselves and others. We didn't want to become those people, so we started to think about the next chapter.
Many sailors transition to a trawler-style power boat, and then on to an RV. We decided to skip the trawler, even though doing the Great Loop (East Coast, Great Lakes to Chicago, rivers to the Gulf) was always in the back of our minds. While back in Houston working 2009-2011, we went to several large RV shows. Similar to boats, there are some basic decisions to make, like Class A motor coach, or large fifth wheel trailer? No firm decisions were made until the summer of 2013, when I found a good deal on a Class A. We became the owners of our third domicile at the end of August. Yes, our third. In 2010, our simplified life of the boat had been complicated by buying a house in Ohio for Barb's parents to live in. Now in 2013, we had added a large RV to the pile. Fortunately, by the end of 2013, we had sold the house, so we were down to two.
The winter of 2014 was our transition. As detailed in the logs in the boat section, we enjoyed one last season aboard MoonSail in the Virgin Islands. We put her up for sale when we left and she finally sold exactly a year later for a lot less than I felt she was worth. But now she is in new hands an hopefully they will enjoy her as much as we did.
So we are still cruising, just now on land. There are many similarities in the lifestyle, and many similarities in the systems of a boat and an RV. Let the new dream begin...