One summer night years ago, Joe and I started chatting with a mutual friend at a local establishment. The mutual friend, Dave, mentioned he had just come from a sailboat race and invited us on his boat. We took him up on the offer and started sailing from the Dunedin marina the very next day. We have raced on Dave’s O'Day 23 and then his Beneteau 26, Variete, for the past 8 years. Over the years, we have had the opportunity to sail on other vessels as well, but Variete became our regular weekend adventure.
Joe and I have always traveled every chance we got; whether it’s a weekend cruise out of Florida or a month in Europe, we take full advantage of our paid time off from work! We’ve had the dream to live abroad but had never found the right opportunity to encourage us to take the leap. A series of events found us in Tortola in June 2015.
Tortola was the whole package. It had the local island feel with turquoise water, great diving, live music, close to other islands, and we instantly met amazing people! After our trip, Joe was convinced that we had to get to the Caribbean. As soon as we returned home, we knew it was time for a change. We both scoured the Internet for jobs, but we wanted to make the move long term and didn’t want to give up all our financial stability. On every island we’ve ever visited, we met couples traveling on sailboats, so we started thinking, why not us? We love sailing; how had we not thought of this sooner? If we could purchase a boat and be debt free, we may be able to make this work. And the long-term plan began.
With laser focus on a new goal to purchase a boat, we canceled our upcoming vacations, stopped eating out, saved every penny, and started to downsize. Our weekend fun consisted of making must have/wish lists as we started looking at sailboats online. After many conversations back and forth, we decided on a catamaran. This would ultimately become our main form of income, and we could appeal to more charter guests with a spacious catamaran.
In December 2015, as we sat on the couch watching YouTube sailing videos and working on our budget spreadsheet, I got up and said “what are we waiting on? If we are dead set on doing this, then let’s take the next step.” Immediately, I called my mom. Our plan was to move into her spare bedroom while we renovated our townhouse to put it on the market, and we still had to sell everything in the house. That night, we began packing items that we were going to keep, and we started prepping for an estate-type sale for everything else.
After settling into Mom’s house, we had the sale at our townhouse in Largo, Florida in February 2016. We are beyond blessed to have the support of our family; my mom, aunt, and grandparents were at the house at 5am to help prepare for the sale. Joe and I spent most of the day selling ourselves, while family helped sell the items throughout the house. Once buyers knew why we were selling everything, they were more inclined to buy something to help support our dream. We spent hours talking about our travels and dream to buy a catamaran to sail and see the world.
Until next week, Happy Sailing!