Year 10 Day 148 OMG! What Have I Done?
28 June 2017 | Simpson Bay Marina, Cole Bay, Sint Maarten
It never fails to surprise us how kind and generous people are. I think the number one thing that Mary Margaret and I will keep close to our hearts from 10 years of cruising is how kind and generous people are all around the world. While we do recognize that there is evil in the world, we have repeatedly met or received emails and blog comments showing how remarkably kind and generous people are.
We have repeatedly arrived in lands unknown to us where we have been invited and welcomed into blog readers hearts and homes. Others have taken much of their precious time to give us tours that introduced us to where they lived and exposed us to their respective cultures.
When we have been lost in a locale that we had never been before, so many times have we met strangers who have gone out of their way to take us to the obscure places we were looking for. Other blog readers (who were strangers to us) when we needed help, out in the middle of the ocean, stopped what they were doing and researched our problem, talking to experts, and then emailing to us the solution we needed to get by the problem we faced. Time and time again, we have discovered so many people who we did not know that were so friendly, so kind and so generous. It makes our hearts grow with much appreciation.
It appears that this is happening again right now but this time, we must decline the generosity that is being offered. A couple of days ago I wrote a blog that shared the cost of shipping Leu Cat from the Caribbean to Spain. It was not a trivial amount and something that would add about $35,000 to our annual cruising budget. I wrote about this just to share with people the cost of shipping a boat like ours across the North Atlantic so they would have a little bit of information for potential future use.
We try to use this blog to give people who share our dream of sailing around the world useful and realistic cruising information. We are strong believers of what is called “paying it forward”. This is where you give things to other without getting anything directly back for it. In the belief, that someday, when you really need something, people will step up and help you out. This is such a basic core value to the vast majority of cruisers and is what makes the cruising community so closely knit. It is wonderful to know that so many believe this concept so strongly.
Well, to our surprise, we have received a number of emails and blog comments with offers to help us find the money to ship Leu Cat across the sea to the Med. We are so touched by these acts of unselfishness and kindness. It really underscores how much kindness there is in a world that is currently rocked with episodes of violence and hatefulness. One such couple even offered to fund $10,000 of the shipping costing. OMG! We are just so overwhelmed!
However, we need to share some of our background and thought processes that we have not written about which helped lead to our decision to “bury the hook” and end our sailing life. We need to stop these acts of kindness and generosity because it would not be right for us to accept it.
Mary Margaret and I were both raised in the Midwest by parents of significantly different backgrounds but with the same core values. One of these core values is that we need to plan and save for the future while enjoying the present to the maximum extent possible. This basic premise led us to become very strong planners. We actually created and worked off of 5-year plans during our growing years when raising our kids and working. Each year we would review our goals and objectives for ourselves and our family and, at times, modify the 5-year plan if it looked like we would fail to successfully meet it.
This process worked wonderfully for us as we have led very successful and rewarding lives. This process resulted in us moving to various places to take new jobs when it was best for us to do so. It allowed us to raise our kids in environments that created three lovely, strong, and independent children who, as adults, have very deep core values that we are so proud of.
It also resulted in us learning how to create financial plans and budgets that would allow us to realize our dreams and quality of life that we so desired. We ended up becoming financially independent to such a manner that when Mary Margaret was 56 and I was 57 we could stop working, buy an expensive, new sailboat, and sail around the world for these last 10 years. We have stayed in and explored places that many people dream about. We have been so blessed and fortunate.
The key to this financial independence is making a realistic short and long term budget and then living within those means. At times, we have had to tighten our belts and do without those things we really wanted at that moment. However, it has taught us what is really important in life and how to succeed in enjoying those important things. And, as it turns out, the majority of those things are not expensive.
We have continued creating and modifying our 5-year plans and making our budgets during these cruising years. We will continue to do so even after we “bury the hook” and return to living a more conventional life.
With all of the above in mind, we have decided that due to age, other goals in life, a few minor health issues that need to be taken care of, and, yes, staying within our rather generous annual budget, it is time to move on to the next phase of our lives. This means giving up on our dream of sailing across the North Atlantic and spending the next few years exploring the Med and soaking up that culture.
While we are disappointed in not being able to do that, we will move on to other adventures but now they will be land based. We hope to buy an RV and explore North America again. We also hope to fly over to Europe and explore from the comfort of a car, train, plane or bus. This will allow us to meet new people and soak in their culture and history based on traveling over the land. It is a very appealing idea to us. Even though we will greatly miss the sea lifestyle we have had these last 10 years.
Thus, and in closing today’s rather lengthy blog, we are so grateful to have such kind and generous blog friends who would offer to support our sailing dream of going to the Med. Such acts of kindness and generosity truly brings tears to our eyes as it demonstrated to us that our core values are shared through this world, even in times of such meanness that the daily news tends to focus on. Thank you, thank you, thank you!