5 years of travel by land & sea~ Our costs and secrets

Adjusting our sails for a different course we are now on a route with a new perspective. Traveling with everything we own for the past 5 years has beamed a light on values and really put into bird’s eye view how we want to live life. From living on a sailboat to recently venturing by land across the United States having a baby along the way has been a soul enriching journey. Understanding since having a baby things have not changed much in the way we live and really don’t need too! All of this seems so far out, invaluable experience of how we are actually able to live life with less has not been all smooth sailing. Yet, we have managed to keep going despite the hurdles. Keeping this simple and to the point. I would like to share with you how it looks like in numbers and how it works for us living by land and sea!

Let’s dive in.

Our small dewellings

Below is a breakdown of what our monthly bills are currently and what our other costs look like yearly. A realistic view what it’s like to balance both land and sea dreams. Breaking out of the pattern of what society programs us to do, we chose NOT to buy the house on the hill with the white picketed fence. Instead, we invested in our dream – a place to call home, where we can move our house anytime we want!

2017-monthly-costs

*By “boondocking” and/or anchoring as much as possible we reduce campsite and marina costs at times eliminating $800 – $1000 per month! Keeping a rainy day in mind we always try to save money every chance we get.
Yearly-additional-costs

*The yearly breakdown as shown above are estimates based on our experience for the listed items. Always trying to be at the low end of our expenses each year has been different for us. Aware of the unexpected, by showing these numbers this is what you can expect or at least be prepared to pay at least once a year.

How we maintain.

Granted, we didn’t have everything figured out in the beginning on how we would maintain such a lifestyle. We had an idea. A dream. The drive inside to make it work, was our fuel. Taking the opportunity to sell our Technology company was exactly what we needed to get a head start. We immediately purchased our first home and sailed off into the big blue in it. Keeping our youth and our sanity, we were ready to take the chance and ride the waves of life! Sailing the Caribbean, taking 15 months off of work stretching every little bit of that money using it very wisely, was not only a dream, but a life lesson. Learning how little we could live off of was key to our survival. As the money quickly ran out we focused on utilizing technology once more to help us keep the dream alive. Arriving to the States after all those months at sea, we came back with a new outlook on life. A passion to keep living on our sailboat we were convinced we could make this work for the long haul, we had to. The goal was to maintain this lifestyle, creating a mobile atmosphere that will enable us to keep traveling from our home…

With the focus to stay close to nature and not get dragged into the concrete jungle. My husband and I set out to begin a new journey…WORK.

digital nomads

Digital nomads.

We live in a digital age. A new frontier of faster, better, newer, meant power. To us, we didn’t want any of that, and we sure in the hell didn’t want power. The only thing we were seeking was to keep a simple life of travel on the horizon and our way of working stress free! Combining two worlds that would otherwise collide we set out to find the solution. When it came time to look for work we targeted companies that would allow working remotely possible. Granted, some companies needed a little convincing and being in the IT field made things more progressive. Having an IT company prior, creating others to be mobile through the use of technology, this knowledge is what we brought to the table.  Our pitch, was our experience.

To fast forward a bit. Present day. My husband works for a technology company based in Miami managing an IT consulting practice.  He loves his job, works with awesome people, has full mobility, and his co-workers totally get a kick out of the weekly meetings asking where he is this time. Also, having health insurance through his company and a steady income was a major motivator. This company is a true gem and funny thing is they love that we live this life!

Utilizing our business experience when we ran out of money I started a virtual company designing websites to keep funds coming in as my husband looked for work. Dipping into a wide range of creative projects my small business gave me flexibility and independence.  Now, I work on an as needed basis with full creative freedom! Recently, since having a baby I have been so thankful to be able to set all this aside taking on the biggest most important job. A full time mom…. and I love it!

Since we live a minimal life there is no pressure to make a ton of money. We survive off of very little, only needing the basics, it’s a simple equation now.

All of this did not come come easy. But one thing I will say, it was definitely worth it!

If you spot a couple holding little box in the air from a sailboat or adjusting a strange long stick on the top of an RV looking for the best Wi-Fi signal…and possibly a naked baby running around, stop on by and say hi! 

Ryan-and-Olivia-Frank

Our Secrets

Working to keep the dream alive, dipping into the unknown with every new adventure has been a balancing act that has kept us on our toes. Below are some of our “secrets” that have helped us stay afloat through the years. And honestly… ever since we reduced our lives to a more simple free flowing lifestyle it has given us more room for life. We are living for the ride, not the destination.

Buy used.

We buy everything used if we can. Our small dwellings. Heck practically all of our baby items are used or are hand- me downs. A waste-less frame of mind we are doing our best not to add to the mass production and over consumption uprising. While buying used is always good for the environment, it feels good in the pocket too!

Give.

Giving to us is something we do on a daily basis. As much as possible. I am a strong believer of this karma. Even the smallest thing can be somebody’s treasure. Material things to us have so much more meaning when it can be used by someone else. If we are not using it we are giving it to someone who can. Never expecting anything in return, indiscreetly and just when we needed it the most this karma has brought many treasures back to us. Life is so amazing that way! Giving is key to maintaining a minimal lifestyle…. and keeping a good heart healthy!

Do it yourself. 

When it comes to anything my husband is Mr. fix it. When it comes to finding a solution to a problem, we work our way towards a solution together always finding a way to make things work. Using what we have and relying on each other to figure it out. There have been times when we were out at sea there was no internet to look things up, or stores for supplies. But this was when we did some of our best work, accomplishing some pretty wicked feats! Its pretty astonishing what happens when you believe in yourself. From engine problems, fiberglass, pumps, hydraulics, broken valves, electrical issues, haircuts, clothes, laundry, even growing our own food! Doing it ourselves… this quality has saved us thousands of dollars.

Let go.

Honestly I would like to tell you there is a big secret to all of this, but really it all comes down to letting go. Letting go has been our biggest strength. The initial let go was difficult only due to the fact we were getting rid of a ton of stuff. But letting go of this stuff is what allowed us to achieve such a dream. NO more bills. NO more things that hold us down. For some it could be physical treasures that have memories attached to it, even the thought of leaving the comforts of familiarity that could be hard to let go. Or it could be fear, fear of what might happen in the future. But don’t worry, if you have the courage to let go and chase your passion I can tell you from experience the only thing you will regret is not doing it sooner. And things… things are better kept close to the heart.

Lastly, but most importantly. Go for it!

While all of this might not be a big secret, it is the leap of faith that will get you places. Many of us are paying for a house that keeps us in one place. Spending money on vacations, things that we will never use. What if your passion to travel can be fulfilled if you gave up the comforts of convenience? Will you be willing to do so? Fear holds too many people back. Too much time is wasted on over thinking things. Planning. Worrying. Waiting for the right time. Most of the magic that has happened in our lives has been by simply going for it…..You never know until you try. So go for it!

This is how it works for us, and you know having a baby has not changed much in numbers and very little in how we live either (I’ll get to that one in a future blog post). By keeping it minimal it has opened our eyes to a whole new world where we have no fear of our future. The best part about this life is we are happy. We have found the Ying to our Yang and what really counts in life, the true treasure above all is each other. No matter what your dream is, what you do in life, my best advice is do makes you happy. In the end it will all work out.

Olivia Frank

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.

5 Comments

  1. Mandy Temo April 26, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Loved reading about your adventure and budget; I’m hoping to sail in the BVI in the next year or two.

  2. Sara April 26, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Loved this! Given me complete travel envy and all I want to do now is sell everything and go! Hopefully one day I will be able to do just that. Thank you for sharing your adventures <3

  3. Anna April 26, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Wow, this is awesome! Thanks for the tips.
    http://annalovelife.com/

  4. Ashlee April 26, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Loved this post! Definitely inspired me to travel more and not be afraid to take risks.Thanks for sharing – this has definitely given me things to think about (:

    Ashlee
    ashleemoyo.com

  5. Barbara April 27, 2017 at 5:11 am

    Love your tips! So wise for everyone. And we can all buy more used.

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