When is this starting? Ending?
This dream came to be a long time ago. We took a trip to the Caribbean in January 2011, and very soon realized that this sailing lifestyle was something that called to us both. We came home, with a meagre tan, and started making a plan. We figured we could make a seven year plan to get our butts back to the Caribbean for a lifestyle change. Meaning, a big change, not just another holiday. We wanted more!
We also came home with a little stowaway, in my womb. Digory was born in October of that same year, but our plans didn't change. We knew at that point, we weren't ready. As much as we loved to adventure with our little family, neither of us were interested in sailing with a wee babe. Our kids are excellent little travellers, but it wasn't our season to go anywhere.
We also felt like it was our duty as humans to see our own backyard and try some adventures that were a little more in reach. We wanted to try some long road trips with the kids and see how we all manage.
First was Southern California, where Matt has a (very cool) cousin to visit. Our kids, 4 and 1.5 at the time managed to travel 7000kms (around 4300 miles) and still love each other at the end of it.
Ok. So we could travel with young kids for great distances. But we wanted more.
A Canadian Roadtrip.
I don't know if it's our Canadian nature, but we felt like we couldn't justify wanting to be world travellers when we hadn't even properly seen our own country. I had ventured as far as Quebec City (east coast of Canada) in my travels, but Matt had only made it as far as Edmonton, Alberta (one province away from home). We needed to paint more of our own picture of why we were proud to live in such a beautiful country.
So, we decided to drive as far as we could in our wee little Toyota Yaris hatchback. With the kids aged 5 and almost 3, we took off on a cross-country adventure that would eventually gobble up 14,000kms (about 8700 miles) and three weeks of our lives. We made it as far as Halifax and Prince Edward Island, then down through the US, past Boston and into New York City and onward home through Laura Ingalls Wilder territory, and finally home to "Beautiful British Columbia" (it's on our provinces license plate, so it must be true).
Again, we made it home and had an incredible time. We learnt a lot about each other and about what really matters to us all. Like:
- we don't need much to have a really great time all together
- we love audio books
- Matt and I do some of our best dream-scaping conversations while in the car
- we can all survive in a small space for long periods of time
coffee and cookies can make just about anyone feel better
We realized that maybe, we could do even crazier things. Our friends and family really thought we were crazy for going across the country with little kids in a tiny car, and granted, it wasn't all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns (saw two out of three of those), we would do it again given the chance. We loved adventuring together. Truly.
Making an Adventure Plan.
Alas, we are close to take off! We set this timeline over 5 years ago and we are finally here.
We plan to leave in the fall of 2016. Hopefully in October, to catch the tail end of hurricane season in the Caribbean. We assume that the boat buying process will take some time and then outfitting the boat once we purchase it will take even more time. We'd love to be sailing before Christmas.
We know that setting a firm timeline with sailing is pointless as there are so many unknowns heading our way, so we want to keep things loose and flexible. So keep in mind that none of these are firm dates, just approximates.
Depending on where we purchase our boat (somewhere between Florida and Grenada?), we'd like to sail around the Caribbean until around March or April, when we'd head through the Panama Canal towards the Pacific Ocean. From there we'd love to get to the Galapagos by June or July (for some humpback whale sightings and maybe whale sharks and blue footed boobies!), and then onwards towards the south Pacific to the French Polynesian islands. Then we could head up to Hawaii where we would head back home (Vancouver BC, Canada) for the fall of 2017.
Again, keep in mind that the timing is just a mere guideline. We take weather into consideration all the time, and if one area is too crazy for a time, we can skip it or wait. We aren't doing this for any kind of speed record. If it takes longer than we expect, so be it. If we don't see all our destinations, so be it. You'll find out rather quickly, we are fairly laid-back people and we leave the Type A tendencies to the firstborns out there.