The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!
20 June 2017 | Aa
13 June 2017
22 March 2017 | Eleuthera, Bahamas
14 March 2017 | Great Guana Cay and Oven Rock Cave, Exumas, Bahamas
07 March 2017 | Sampson Cay,
04 March 2017 | St Augustine, Florida
20 February 2017 | Hog Cay, Warderick Wells, Exuma Land and Sea Park
10 February 2017 | Exumas to Nassau to Exumas Bahamas
04 February 2017 | Black Point, Exumas, Bahamas
31 January 2017 | New Bight, Cat Island
29 January 2017 | New Bight, Cat Island
27 January 2017 | Cat Island
04 January 2017 | Staniel Cay, Bahamas
28 December 2016 | Warderick Wells, Exuma, Bahamas
17 December 2016 | Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas

Not Just Any ArmChair Discussion: Fast and Furious on Finances

30 June 2017
It's the TGIFF. The Final Friday of the Thank Goodness it's Friday series (wink wink).


If you're just joining and today is your First Friday with Us then Welcome Aboard!

We've been sharing the What's and Why's of our RV'ing VS Cruising Fridays in June Series. Click hereFor Part One, here, for Part Two, La Vie a Deux , and here, for Part Three, ParTAY

Today is the Fourth, and last, instalment of the Friday Series. We're getting up close and personal again: Just for Fun, Just for You, All About Us, Always on Fridays!

The questions have come at us quickly, and we've tried to theme them together. Thanks so much to all of you who've played along. It's been great fun to look at our lifestyle with your set of eyes. So, without any further ado, here's the Fast and Furious on Finances, with some added Fun at the end.

"I don't have the money to live like this" says One. "You're too young to be out here" have commented A Few. "Isn't Sailing/RV'ing expensive?" have queried some. "How do you afford this Lifestyle?" has been asked of us.

It's a response we choose to rarely Divulge in its entirety. Why? Because everyone is different. What pays for you, might not for us. And Vice Versa. Cha Ching!

So, Finances, huh? First of all, IOHO, everyone lives on the edge of what they make, non? Everyone reading this budgets differently. You DO budget, right? Everyone reading this is in a different phase of life: Are you thirty something planning to travel with/without kids? Are you retired with fixed income? Everyone has different circumstances. (Do you own rental property and are living off that income? Did you put your stuff in storage and have that to add as a monthly expense in your budget?) Everyone has different responsibilities to consider. Everyone reading this has different Expenses. There's different Needs and different Wants. Not to mention Different patience levels (I want to leave now vs I will work 5 more years and leave then). Everyone has Different tolerances to debt. (From "I will sell everything and be debt free" to "I will buy the biggest and best and borrow and pay it all off later"). As you can see, and well imagine, the list goes on and on. And on.

Other people's financial habits have absolutely no relevance on whether YOU should get out there and live YOUR dream. Might it help you decide, perhaps? Will it give you options to consider? Absolutely. Should it help you decide whether to Stay or Go? No. Only you can do that, based on your circumstances.

Our best and only piece of advice? Figure out what your Dream is. Then Research the hell out of it. Then start Financing towards it. RV'ing? (One month? One Year?) Sailing? (One Summer? Circumnavigating for five years?) Hiking the Camino? Bikepacking the Baja Divide? HouseSitting your Way across Europe? A new set of OffRoad bikes for our MoHo?

We waited a year before we bought them. Seriously! (That might work for you, or not!) It sure was hard to wait, we wanted them last year! But not having any RV Lifestyle experience with ourselves, or our travels, we didn't want to impulse buy. Questions and Answers on Forums helped us in our Research phase, but the personal variables were just too many. A year in the Life of the RV eventually confirmed that bikes would be *our thing*. So we budgeted. And we waited. And last month we bought. And today? We love them. Because they're totally *US*.

If we told you we spent $5K a month, would you give up? If we told you we spent $500 a month, would it motivate you? We think it's imperative that you figure out what YOU can live with, and what you can't live without. Figure out what it MIGHT cost you per week/month/year. (And then add some, just 'cause). We've read/chatted with many folks as we Adventure along, and we've walked away understanding one thing, the numbers vary from one end of the sea to the other side of the road.

For example, one couple we chatted with divulged they spend less than $100 a week on groceries. I can't for the life of me figure out what they eat. Lesson here? Figure out your own mathematical truth, and then go from there. The numbers might just surprise you.

A few years before we left we started to downsize. We went from two cars to one. We cancelled our cable TV a year before departure. Having recently made that comment to someone, we got this as a reply:

"Oh I wouldn't go. I just can't live without my TV shows". So there you go. We each have our own baseline of comfort. Neither is right, or wrong. It's just whatever rocks your boat, or makes your wheels go round. Pardon the pun(s).

We didn't get here without working hard. And we didn't get here without some sacrifices. You won't either.

We met some cruisers in an anchorage a few years ago, who had bought a 30+ year old boat. They were totally discouraged as every anchorage, every port, every marina became a repair in progress. We later learned they'd had enough and walked away, vowing to never return to sailing life. You need to know if you can live with the reality of your purchases.

"How much does it cost you to overnight in an RV compared to a Sailboat?" asked a few emailed questions.

When sailing we can anchor almost anywhere and that's comparable to the RV version of boon-docking, i.e.: Free!! Staying in a campground is comparable to staying in a marina. There are cheap ones and not so cheap ones. There's no services to full service. You Pick. You Pay. Your Choice. Both are almost always choices to be made, based on your budget. We have friends who stay regularly in marina's, based on their budget, and their boat requirements. We can't afford that. But it sure doesn't stop us from anchoring nearby, dinghy'ing ashore, and doing things with them.

I remember a cruiser get-together we had our first year out and someone turned to me and asked where we were going next. I mentioned "Oh, to XYZ Marina...". The lady went into shock, fanning herself, and looked at me like I had two heads: "Oh My, we NEVER go in a marina". I was distraught for days thinking we were doing something wrong by going into a marina. Today? Perish the Thought. We budget for it, and enjoy our time there.

"On the boat I can sail, the wind is free. In the RV, there's fuel to have to pay for" Ah yes, the whole sailing is total freedom discussion. We totally understand, and can totally relate, having lived both sides of the coin. Depending on passages, sailing is usually free, yes. We know of one family who refuses to start their engine. Ever. They sail off their anchor, and come to anchor, all under sail. Sure their fuel bill is probably less than nil, but it's somehow just not in my realm of patience. Does that make me any less of a sailor?

On the road, the fuel bills can add up, sometimes we fuel up twice a day if we're trying to get from place to place. It's not like we have any other choice, right? It's all part and parcel of Our Journey and The Budget.

"Is it more expensive to run the RV or the sailboat?" asks Sandy on FB.

I think, in general, boat maintenance is more expensive. They don't refer to them as BOAT (Break Out Another Thousand) Bucks for nothing. As for the RV, other than a broken windshield, we haven't (knock on wood) really had occasion to deal with repair issues. However, we should point out that back in 2011 we chose to buy a rather new(-ish) boat. It was a significant purchase initially but we were confident with the knowledge that there would be less maintenance for the first few years. We wanted to be out there exploring, not out there repairing in foreign ports. And the RV is new. But stay tuned...

As for food, well you have to eat whether you're on land, or on the water. In the RV, the access to great provisions is only a block away (which has me currently in a sate of giddy joy!) When on the Boat, it can be both frustrating (in the Bahamas the supply boat arrives once a week if the weather is good) to utterly delectable (the French Islands? OhEmGee...). I could write a whole blog post on just that!

And then there's just general Boat vs RV maintenance: there's shopping for Stainless Steel polish to RV Exterior Car Wax. There's Sails vs Tires. Changing Oil on the boat to Car Shop Appt's for Wheel Alignments. We have solar panels and generators on both Banyan and the MoHo, so we make our own power and have the maintenance on each to consider. I could go on, and on, and on... don't get me started (wink wink).

And it certainly costs more to haul the boat for H-Season storage than it does to park the RV.

"How do you like your Leisure Travel Van? We are considering downsizing from a 35 foot coach in which we live four months each year. We've RVed for 31 years." from CLPa on FB

We LOVE our LTV. It's absolutely perfect for What, and How, we want to explore. The 25 feet of small size of the Coach allows us to get into and all places easily, from gas stations to campgrounds to twisty-windy-narrow mountain roads. We've recently had a few conversations with couples looking to downsize, and mostly all for the same reason: maneuverability.

We love to move around. A lot. Our LTV is our car really. It's manoeuvrable like one, and we dont' need to tow one. It allows us to Adventure with great mileage, in comfort and style, with our home on wheels behind us. And we're ready to Park N Play at a moments notice. But, that's how we're looking to Adventure at the moment.

For those that like to stay in one spot for longer? Entertain a lot? Have guests? We might suggest something a tad larger...

And then, as if on cue, Izzy's question pops up: "Do you ever feel "cramped" inside on a cool rainy day in the MoHo?"

The first Day usually no. Because the forced confinement is a time for us to sit back and get caught up on news, Facebook. Blog. Clean up a bit. Dust. And ew, what's hiding in the frosty fridge? But then, if we go to Rainy Day Two in a Row? We might Bump into each other a few too many times.

Sunny asks: "Is playing Wizard more fun on the water, or on land? And what type of hat does the "land" champion get to wear?"

Well, ha, that's one for the What Happens at the Wizard Table stays at the Wizard Table type of answer. We think, however, that the Hog takes the Prize Beer in this case.

"Do you feel you have the "perfect life", home in the summer away in the winter?" asks Linda.

We sure feel like we're living the Perfect Life, and are so humbled by our experiences, and in love with our life, it makes us giddy with excitement. At the moment we've got two nomadic lifestyles on the go, which is making life rather... exciting. And last but not least, the reality of not shovelling snow is a dream come true.

"If you had to pick the cruising life or the RV one, which one would you choose and why?" asks David.

Ah, now that gets asked often and is one of the most difficult to answer. And the answer sure don't come easily. At the moment, they are both *the* vehicle by which we get to fulfill our Dream Made to Reality to explore this wonderful land we live on. But to have to pick one? We're trying to sort that out ourselves. So apologies David & Janice, at the moment, we're still trying to decide and have no answer for you.

One thing we do know for sure. Whether RVing, Sailing, Hiking, or Cycling: we're meeting others who are all out here enjoying a common interest. The love of adventure. We've all sacrificed to get here, and perhaps that's what bonds us into a tight-knit community of adventurers.

So there you go, our Fast and Furious on Finances. There's SO much to talk about, SO much to write, that it really is hard to condense it all to a few general type sentences hoping it answers your specific questions. Not knowing particulars makes it hard to pinpoint just what to say. Feel free to email us, we're always happy to chat.

But, for those of you in the planning stages, why not get your Finances On? Start working towards making your Dreams Come True. It'll be worth it, we can guarantee you that.

Not Just Any ArmChair Discussion, PartAY

23 June 2017
TGIFriday!! Time for us to get up close and personal again. Just for Fun, Just for You, All About Us, Always on Fridays!


If you're just joining and today is your First Friday with Us then Welcome Aboard! Please click here for the What and Why of our Fridays in June Series. And then click here to read our second instalment, La Vie à Deux.

And today? It's Friday and where'd the week go?? and it's time for Part Three!
"What'd you say? Part-Ay?" Asked Dave, teasingly.
"No, silly" I laughed, "Although, what a great idea. Hmm, what could we celebrate? Who could we invite?"

And then I get a little more serious, as I keep on thinking {and writing}: "Today is Part Three! And the theme today {is kind of, sort of} related to a PartAy"

Read OnOn, for our answers to the questions you, our readers, are sending us. And how and why it sort of relates to a PartAy. But first, from our armchair to yours, thank you for commenting and playing along. It sure makes writing this blog a lot easier!

"The RV lifestyle is just not the same as the Cruising Lifestyle. Is that true?" Was the gist of many of the questions submitted by quite a few of you.

Sadly, we think so. There's JUST something about the Cruising Lifestyle that JUST doesn't compare to the RV lifestyle. We don't know what it is. Perhaps the exuberant travels at sea and salt air have something to do with it? But cruisers, be it strangers or longtime friends, regularly (re)unite for SunDowners. It's a BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) and BAtS (Bring Appies to Share) type of gathering.

It's always a sharing of information about where we've been, where we're going, passage routes, chit chat of weather and inevtaibely? Boat Problems (and solutions). And happens anywhere really, and always when the Sun goes down. Almost like a celebration of a day well spent. AHA!

And sometimes, when you least expect it, it can and does turn into a PartAy. Don't fret though, they don't last long. Everyone is usually home by Cruisers Midnight (aka 9 pm!)

But would that happen in a Campground? In the RV world? It sure does, but not quite as much.

When we're out and about Adventuring, we're always saying "Hello" to the people we cross paths with. The Response? Dismal to None. We are constantly amazed and perplexed at this. The few who might respond, we often come to find out later, if we pursue the conversation, are Adventurers themselves.

"I hear you can stop overnight at WalMart?" Is often asked of us and we are quietly and unashamedly happy to call ourselves WalMart'ians!!

When in transit (meaning we're going from A to B, and not really in a particular area to explore) we sure are pleased that there is a place such as this for us to stop overnight. We're not there to camp. We just want somewhere safe to park, have supper, sleep, and move on the next morning.
We sit in our spot for a little bit, feeling the vibe, and that allows us to determine whether we stay or go.

"Remember that time we drove away from the THIRD drug deal going down right outside our bedroom window?" He Said?
"Or that time we woke up at 3 a.m when the WalMart Zamboni (aka parking lot vacuum cleaner) was circling around us a few too many times?" She Said.

"It's not just about WalMart. There's also Casino's, small town waterfront piers, churches, big box stores, restaurants...." He said.
"And you can sign up for a minimal fee at Harvest Hosts Where you can overnight at participating Wineries (and/or) Farms. We hear there's one for Golfers soon coming online." She said.

Here's one of our Almost BoonDocking stops, look at the view!!

Courtesy of the Nearby Hotel, Free for the Night. Sweet.

One recent visitor to our MoHo said: "I just couldn't live without my bathtub" and another one said "I love my backyard, I couldn't live without sitting out there, enjoying the view".

Our friends Annie and Cam, on Sailing on Annecam recently commented on FB with just the perfect answer. And we echo their sentiments exactly. Our backyard, our view, changes as often as we want it to.

On the RV we have the largest back yard. Ever. And when we're on the boat? We have the largest bathtub in the world. Bar None.

Back to Being WalMart'ians. Not only do they allow you free overnight parking, but there's the ability to go shopping if you feel the need, while you're there. Which brings us directly to many of you who've said: "I just couldn't live without...", "How did you get rid of everything...?", "Don't you miss having...?"

Dave being a military man, got moved often throughout his career, probably allowing him to, with time, develop a minimalist type of lifestyle. And as for me, I'm a minimalist by nature and at heart. But did accumulate a lot of stuff that goes with raising two children and providing a home for us. Not having a lot of money, and not believing in buying something if you don't have the money for it, we made do with what we had. Besides it wasn't surprising to see that the kids enjoyed playing with the box their present came in, more than the large, shiny, colourful, automated (and expensive) present they got.

So when we were in the full throes of planning for our Retirement Dream, one of the biggest challenges we faced was to get rid of stuff. We kept a few key pieces, but sold/gave away/donated everything. We still shake our heads at how much stuff we had. Today we recognize what a liberating experience downsizing was. And would you believe that 5 years later we did it again, from 40 feet of boat space to 25 feet of RV space.

"And we still find we have too much stuff!" we both, wholeheartedly, agree.

Being minimalists by nature, we both find it a bit of a difficulty to integrate ourselves back to land life. We sure live in the land of plenty, don't we? Although we certainly appreciate having anything and everything at our fingertips these days, if we want to head out and buy it, but we still shake our heads as we drive by the many Storage for Rent spaces that now seem to exist on every street corner.

"Stuff doesn't define you! Our identity is not a combination of all our stuff." So what is it, then?

Our friends, Jeff and Izzy of MV IzzyR,

summed it up perfectly when they said, "it's all about the people we meet".

This was a comment they made to us during our first year out and we were still high from our adventurings (having sailed from Nova Scotia to Grenada) and we nodded our heads in agreement. Oh, how we thought we understood. In retrospect, and in hindsight, and after 5 years of Adventurings, both on Land AND Sea, AND five years of friendships later, we now (think) we (finally!) Get It.

And today, we couldn't agree more. The people we meet inspire us and motivate us. Or in the very worst case scenario (and it happens) show us how we don't want to be. {{ giggle }}

Our Adventures allow us to Grow. To Be. To BeCome. With time we've grown and become a sum of the people we've met and the places we've been and seen. Certainly NOT anything we might've bought along the way has withstood the test of time as much as our memories have.

"One of the most important things we all make are memories."

I don't remember the last piece of clothing I bought. The last pair of shoes I own (and for the record I own four). But I sure as hell do remember that hike we took up the active volcano that is Mt Pelée (Martinique),

and the PartAy afterwards, which consisted of baguettes and cheese, and a Lorraine.

And I sure as hell remember the 6 hour hike from Lake Louise to the Beehive (up there behind us somewhere)!

That was challenging on so many levels, we didn't think we'd make it. Yet it was one of the most invigorating and exhilarating moments of my life.

"Me too" He said.
"I don't think we walked for two days after that hike" She Said.
"Might've been three" moaned He.

"Do you have Cable? How do you watch T.V.?" is the next leading question and ties in nicely with the PartAy theme.

We don't. On the sailboat, we {{ GASP }} don't have a TV. For those rare nights when it's raining or we're feeling the need to chill, we use our laptop and load a movie or show from our hard drive.

On the RV, we have two {{ SHOCKING GASP }} TV's: in the dining area, and in the bedroom. While in most populated places, we can easily pick up public TV which is all we need. And we can link that same hard drive of movies and shows to watch, to the TV if/when we need to sit back and chill.

Last night, as the sun started to duck behind the treetops, we took a stroll around the campground. We say hello as we walk by the only couple that's enjoying an evening campfire, and they shyly smile back. Most of the RV's around us are occupied, and we can tell the TV is on as it broadcasts its telltale flickering lights out the window. Which brings us to the next comment.

Over the many recent reunions with friends, conversation often turns to "Have you seen/Have you watched..." And we remain gobsmacked at the realization of how much time people spend watching Netflix instead of...?

To paraphrase (again!) something else our friends Jeff and Izzy have said:

"Our greatest fear is to sit on that couch with the TV remote in hand".

You know what? After five years of Sea and Land Adventurings, after five years of People we've met, friendships made (and friendships lost), We totally Get This Too.

Get rid of your stuff. Put down that remote and Get off the Couch. Invite your friends over. Have some fun. Go for a walk. Meet your neighbours. Say Hi. Smile. Have a Part-Ay.

Make some Memories. They'll last you your lifetime! We promise you that.

Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed today's Questions and Answers. And now it's your turn. Message us your questions. From the reality of our home to yours, from our comfy cozy armchairs to yours, we'll do our best to answer them, as honestly as we can, up close and personal. Just for Fun, Just for You, All About Us, Always on Fridays.
Vessel Name: Banyan
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 40 Sun Odyssey
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: David & Alexandra
Welcome Aboard. I'm Alexandra, and if I'm not out Adventuring with Camera in Hand, or cheffing up a storm in my galley, I'm looking to pirate some WiFi to upload our latest tales (with way too many photos) about our most recent adventures. [...]
Extra: CHART YOUR COURSE: Our destiny is shaped by our thoughts and actions. We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
Banyan's Photos - Main
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Added 7 March 2013

The Adventures of Alexandra and David

Who: David & Alexandra
Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
We're always Somewhere South of Somewhere.

The Banyan Love is Growing.
WebPage Visits

We're on Facebook

Sailing Banyan

Instagram: #banyantravels

but we're not Tweeting.

Our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard, of Distant Shores, are incredible producers of their very own TV Show.

If you haven't already, check them out.

Their DVD's are informative and fun to watch as they travel to all four corners of the world.

You might even find Banyan in some of them!!