Belief in a Goal
In August of 2013, I listened to an audiobook that sparked an idea, a dream, that I’ve spent the last seven years working towards.
Goals, if they are desirable enough, and you believe you can achieve them, have a way of changing your life. In this life, perception is everything. The simple act of becoming aware of your dream and choosing that you will attain it no matter what, is a transformational experience.
And that’s exactly what I experienced in 2013. A single Mom, I was living paycheck to paycheck, in debt, with a credit score in the mid 500’s.
The poor feasibility of my dream was propped by enthusiasm and belief. You see, once I decided to make it happen, I instantly became free. Free of the bounds of my confining circumstances.
Every move I made beyond that point propelled me toward my goal.
Fast forward to today, and I’ve found my skipper, plus two stowaways (Lizzie & Maddox).
My credit score is in the mid 700s (and climbing), my net worth is positive, and since 2013, my income has nearly tripled. We are saving and planning for our sail away adventure.
What made the difference?
A goal. A pursuit. A sudden awareness that I was not trapped in a never-ending cycle of wake up, go to work, come home, clean house, go to bed.
There was something more for me.
And no matter how much sacrifice or hard work, I was going to get it.
In early August of 2020, my husband and I completed our ASA (American Sailing Association) certifications for Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering. We are actively pursuing skills that will be needed during our life on a sailboat.
Every step brings us closer to the goal.
Why we Chose FIAR
We chose to quit our jobs and sail away before becoming financially independent. This is our rationale:
By the time we reach financial independence and can quit our jobs forever, we’ll be too old to fully enjoy our sailing life. Our children will be too invested in their social lives to want to go.
So we charted a different course – F.I.A.R.
Financial Independence / Abbreviated Retirement is for Generation Xers who discovered FIRE later in life (later 30s, early 40s), and who have a lifelong dream they would like to pursue while they are still young enough to enjoy it fully.
The basic idea is that you save up, quit your job for 1 to 3 years, and then return when your adventure is over. Or pivot.
Learn more about FIAR.
We aren’t sure if we’ll return to our careers, launch a business, monetize a Youtube channel, or go a different route.
After we return, we may decide to go lean FIRE, or we may decide to save for another year of adventure. We’ll know more then. We don’t have to decide that today.
Extended adventures have a way of changing you. Knowing that after facing challenges and hardships abroad we will be different people than the ones who untied the bowlines, is an exciting prospect to me.
Weather-worn, wiser, and well-traveled, when our three years are up, who knows what our desires will be?
So for now, the focus is on the adventure. We’ll keep a buffer in the bank to cover the expenses that come after we return, but plan for that chapter later.
Our Sailing Plans
Our sailing plans are written in sand, at best. As we learn more about the lifestyle and how to plan a world voyage, we continue to refine our itinerary.
There are three primary destinations of interest: The Caribbean, French Polynesia, and the Mediterranean. Its difficult to reach all three without completing a circumnavigation, and for now, that seems like a lofty goal.
Our main concern with a circumnavigation (with two small children aboard) are dangerous areas of piracy in the Red Sea and the North Indian Ocean. As we connect with sailors who have made recent passages we will be better informed.
For now, the primary goal is saving to buy the boat, choosing a seaworthy vessel, and plotting a course to the Bahamas. We appreciate that we don’t need to have all the answers today. Figuring it out is half the fun.
Our desired vessel is a 40 to 45 foot sailing catamaran. A used 3-cabin owner’s version of Lagoon or Leopard is our most likely target.
Over the course of the next few months, I’ll post details about our plans. How we’ve calculated the cost of our abbreviated retirement, chosen a timeline that works for us, and keep you up to date on our progress.
When you decide to go after a dream, and you truly believe in your ability to make it happen, everything falls into place.