Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Realizing that I have been missing the mark.

As anyone that looks over this blog can easily see, I have missed the mark on actually blogging. This has been a location for me to post photos of trips and items of personal interest. That was not why I started this thing, and today I am going to take the first steps to rectify the situation.
Mission Statement: I hope and plan to use this blog as a way to focus in on my efforts to realize a dream. My dream is to be free of most of the "traditional lifestyle" elements that are preventing Cheri and I from cruising and living aboard full time.
Anyone that knows me would be likely to tell you how much Cheri and I talk about getting back to our boating lifestyle. Now is the time to actually implement "The Plan". A little history will help you understand the positions we find ourselves in today. We were married in '91, started extended vacations in '96 and began cruising in '01. That lasted for a couple years and then reality struck, and we got sucked back in.

Our excuse for returning to "home" was to attend my parents 50th wedding anniversary, but in all honesty, we were running out of funds. Although Cheri worked as a nurse at the Lower Keys Medical Center and I worked at Sunset Marina, it just wasn't enough. We had too many financial alligators left feeding in North Alabama.
Now we are in the position to try it again, but we both realize that we will have to slay those alligators before we can leave this time. I will try to list (in order of priority) the items we must take care of before we can make a second stab at an escape to an alternative lifestyle.

#1 - Sell our house, which we love and are conflicted when it comes to this.
#2 - Sell or Lease out our Townhouse. Selling is clearly the best option, but the market is so depressed that leasing it may actually give us a component of fixed income, as well as a place to eventually return to. (yes, I know this is conflicted too.)
#3 - Sell our Commercial Building, although it is 3/4's empty now and I would be lucky to get 60% of what it was worth two years ago when it was full and bringing in a great annual r.o.i., add to that - there is some major downtown revitalization going on close by that should dramatically increase the value in a few years. Again, conflicted about what to do.
#4 - Restore/refit our good old boat or sell her off and buy another one.
#5 - Then there is the reallocation of investments, where does one put money to be safe today and still hedge against the hyper inflation that may be just around the corner.

All of these obstacles are HUGE, but I have to keep reminding myself and my wife, Cheri, that we are fortunate to have such issues to deal with. Part of me says just "chuck it, fire sale everything, put money in several banks from Australia, to Brazil to Panama (not that we have that much). Get debit cards, online access and just shove off with good old W/D and figure it all out as we go. You know, the old "fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants" routine.

or we could take Sterling's advice:

“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea - "cruising," it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.”

Sterling Hayden

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