In the cruising community, being under the age of 50 puts you in a minority. The vast majority of folks out here enjoying the cruising life are retiree’s who’ve enjoyed good careers, owned real estate, raised kids, then cashed out and took off on a boat after the little ones flew the nest. It’s logical. The people are great, they’re out enjoying life and living their dreams.
The dark secret to this population is how many would be cruisers don’t get to go. Living back in California we would often debate waiting another five, ten, or even twenty years rather than go now in our early 30’s. Waiting would give us time to really build a nest egg and go for a more extended cruise in a nicer boat.
Then we met Jim, Bob, Sandy, and a dozen odd other would be cruisers with an alarmingly similar story. “Yeah, the wife/husband/partner and I were gonna go sailing. We had a plan to sell the house, buy a boat, fix it up and go. But then, X happened.” Enter one of many variations of health, children, family obligations, overwhelming boat issues, finances, property woes, etc.
These many encounters with would be cruisers with derailed plans saddened us and opened our eyes to how short and precarious life can be. On the other hand, we also met individuals who had cruised for a number of years then stepped back into life at home successfully. This was an eye opener. Is it possible to take time off from a successful career and enjoy life while we are free and able to go? Why, yes it is.
Turns out there’s actually a growing community of young (by which I mean under 40) cruisers out there who are not retired, and are either entrepreneurial and running businesses while cruising, or planning to go back to work either intermittently or full time at some point. We have had the pleasure of meeting many of them and it has confirmed in our minds that going early rather than at a more typical retirement age was the right decision.
So to the handful of naysayers who have peppered us with skeptical looks and pointed questions like “So you kids rich or something? How are you doing this at your age?” No, we’re not rich, we’re not retired, and we don’t regret the choice to go.
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