Aubrey and I were talking to the Pastor of our church this morning before the service and he asked us about our plans. I couldn’t help but notice his big eyes as he gazed back at us. This has become a regular occurrence as we have transitioned from a family with a boat and a dream to people who have “set a date” to leave on a true adventure. I have chatted with others who have taken up the cruising lifestyle and live aboard their boats. It turns out that the Liveaboard community is rather large both in the US, on the open water or abroad. We have had an amazing outpouring of support for our journal which was visited about two thousand times just yesterday.
We have grown to embrace the movement of having less and minimizing our expenses. It seems that many people came before us and got smart by owning their property and having less expenses rather than paying a bank for them over time. I know I have heard older people giving young ones the same advice since I was a kid. It is hard to believe that there are people who actually don’t have a garage with two cars, two refrigerators, one freezer, five tables and an attic filled with stuff they don’t touch on a regular basis, as an American. I came up with the excess listed above by thinking about about our own situation. Who really needs dozens of guns and hundreds of shoes, really? I used to see the yearly house cleaning as a chore but I felt glad when I dropped off a few loads of things to the local charity. Lately, I think about how much excess I have maintained throughout my life and how much money I have paid to banks to the “use” of their property. It is disgusting and I try not to beat myself up too much.
I am proud to say that we are down to one SUV that we will keep until just before leaving. I kept my Harley motorcycle, which I will ship to St. Croix, USVI once we get settled. I don’t have one loan or owe anyone anything. We have done a lot of research on the cost of things there and I was happy to learn that we can get a 2010 Jeep Wrangler for $5000, all day long. Imagine that! We plan to have one Jeep on the island. I have talked to many people who have lived on the island for a long time and disconnected from the mainland. They all reported that they are happier living with less. A few of the people said that they had to live around others who were content and not trying to have more than their neighbors. Our decision to move, explore and give our family a fresh start makes more sense to me everyday.
I’ve overheard Aubrey talk to my new Mother-in-Law a couple of times on the phone and it makes me chuckle. It caused me to wonder if she has taken out a contract on me? I listened to Aubrey tell a friend about our immediate plans and decided to think like a person who heard it for the first time. It did sound a little nuts but I’m still living in an oversized house with a bunch of stuff I don’t need. I guess I am still judging myself by old expectations that helped to justify my actions. People who have only been to the Caribbean on vacation who arrived on a plane can’t understand my mentality. I am a lucky man who is not dependent on a 9-5 job, in a certain location, based on my military retirement. My previous sacrifices has availed us to a life for which I am truly grateful. I am grateful for the opportunity that my new education will bring our family. I will be honored to be an educator in a deserving public school system and I will be doing exactly what I want to be doing when the days comes. Until that day, I will be living my dream. My dream has tuned into our dream. I am anxious about tomorrow and for the fist time in a long time, I feel like a kid again.