Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Going Home

Well we did it!  Tomorrow morning we will head HOME!  I almost can't believe it is here, finally.  

We have enjoyed saying goodbye to family and friends. We saw the kids and the GMan.  We couldn't have asked for more.  

Traveling with Schooner

So traveling with Schooner is not the easiest but we are willing to do what is required.  Flying is much more work than sailing with her into port.  

There are many site that will help you through the process and you can even pay a service to do it for you.  Here is a site I have read through during my research  Pet Travel

I usually go directly to the country’s website.  In our case this time we are flying from Texas to Guatemala so I used Guatemala’s and the USDA site.  USDAGuatemala

This is our second time flying Schooner there which makes us familiar with this process. We are repeating what we did the first time because it went very smoothly. Here is my list

  • Vet apt more than 30 days before flying with a vet that is certified to fill out necessary forms.  This apt is for vaccinations needed.
  • Vet apt 10 days before flight to have the form filled out. $100
  • Overnight form to USDA in Austin Texas with a prepaid overnight envelope for them to return it. $50 + $38
  • Once form is approved and received take it to the Guatemala Consulate for their stamp. $10

That is it! The costs vary from area of course.  We paid around $200 this time.  This does not include the airline costs which vary also.  Now this price does not include the vaccine costs because she would receive those regardless.  

Well that is all for now... until next time my friends be good to yourself and Others

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

How do we afford all that traveling

What are we doing and HOW?  We are obviously not at retirement age, and we certainly are not from wealthy families. So how do we afford to just take off and travel for several years? Well all I can do is tell you how we do it, but know there are a ton of others doing it many different ways.

First of all we try to live frugally, which isn’t very difficult when you live on a boat and buying online is almost impossible.  We all know I am an online shopping addict… eeeekkkk  admitting it is the first step to recovery, right?  So it all comes down to food and entertainment.  We normally stay at anchor so that is free.  We cook a lot on the boat because Steve is pretty picky about his food.  Data is our biggest splurge.  We are probably online way more than we should be but it is the thing we indulge in besides food.

We probably spend about $24,000 a year in living expenses and boat maintenance.  So we work to save a few years of living expenses, then leave.  The first time we played until we hit a benchmark we set for ourselves.  When we hit that benchmark, we flew back to the states and were very lucky to find work that filled our bank account up again.  This time we want to do things a bit differently.

We want to do more….  I've written about adding in House Sitting in Europe this next summer.  We would also like to purchase a small truck for future land travel in the summers.  And we want to do all this without going back to working full time and having to stay in one place for such a long time.  It really depresses me.

So how will we accomplish this?  Well we are throwing our hats into the Remote Working Virtual World.  Yes there is such a thing and many already know all about this world.  We have met many of you and were blown away with your imagination and intuitiveness.  We are excited about trying this out and hopefully it will make all our dreams possible.

How do WE plan to work virtually? Well… both of us have always worked from a laptop in some fashion.  We are currently working on figuring out how we can do it while we travel.  Wifi has really opened the world up to everyone.  There are studies that found that workers from remote areas make more productive workers and companies are getting onboard with it. Here are a few interesting articles Remote vs Office Workers

I think we are a good fit for this type of work because it breaks the current template of an ordinary worker and we are experts at breaking out of what is considered “normal”.  We have read several stories of people taking off from the normal societal lifestyle to only return feeling awkward and uncomfortable.  This really started for us before we left because it took so much effort to stay on track and now we long for our fellow traveling friends because they are the only ones that understand us.  

Working remotely in today’s world you really have to throw out everything you every thought was the correct way of applying for a position.  You also have to think completely out of the box.  Today, you search in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for a position.  You join Facebook and Linkedin groups for your particular industry.  The only thing I have seen that is consistent with the old days is that it comes down to who you know.   So now you must contact them through social media platforms.  You must also stand out….  

So to do that I have started working with this little bundle of energy that is an expert at standing out and she isn’t afraid to tell you what you need to hear.  I found her in a Facebook remote work group.  I watched a live video about women helping other women get jobs in the virtual world and Loved how direct she was… I hunted her down. Luckily she is living in Guatemala right now so I will physically hunt her down if needed.  Hahah  

She has a lot of programs where she helps other women find jobs.  You can find her on Facebook and here is her website.  Remote Like Me

I’m at the age that if I’m going to work I want to do work that I enjoy and am passionate about.  I’m interested in working with Nonprofit Organizations so I am currently researching for organizations that touch my heart.   I am keeping my options open to anything, including teaching English online, or in person.  Working on site is still on the table as long as I’m able to leave when we are ready.  

Steve is a different story.  He is currently concentrating on the boat.  I am going to try to capture all the important information of what he will be doing to Saga Sea when we return for all of you whom are interested.  I also am hoping to get him to write me some articles to put in a NEW monthly newsletter we will send out to followers regarding mostly boat information and living on the boat.  So if you want to receive the newsletter please sign up from the blog.  I am determined to learn all the new ways of today’s media world.  

Well I hope that explains what we are planning to do to keep us out there traveling the world.  We have one week and two days left before we are sleeping in our own bed…  we can’t wait and we appreciate all the help, support and motivation we get from all of you.  We hope we are keeping you entertained and motivated to step out of the box of life.  

I plan to check back in with you all right before we step on that plane.  I have a ton of information about getting your pet approved to travel out of the country.  

Until next time my friends, be good to yourself and Others.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

House Sitting? What is that?

Why are we choosing to become House Sitters?  While being back to the States to fill our cruising account, I fell into sitting for a couple of friends who needed to leave their fur babies for work and vacations. It really worked out since we were staying with family and a break was more than appreciated. Then it opened doors to sit for new friends. Steve and I enjoyed being in different places here and there. It was much like cruising since we change locations often.

While we have been away from our boat, I've been thinking of ways to travel to places outside the Caribbean without sailing.  I'm more of a Gypsy than a sailor.  Plus we always have to wait out hurricane season in a safe place. So I began dreaming of road trips and flying to visit friends we have met along our travels. Then I recalled a couple we met along our travels that were hanging up their sailing legs for house sitting in countries such as Australia and Asia.

My research began on house sitting abroad. It may be a realistic way we can travel during hurricane season on a shoestring budget. It wasn't difficult to find several Facebook groups and websites. Within those groups, I found several people that have house sat abroad for years and were sharing their experiences and advice.  Also found websites that host people looking for house sitters and house sitters looking for houses to sit for in particular locations. Much like the community of Cruisers, there is a whole community of house sitters.

We decided to join Trusted House Sitters because it seemed to have the best support and a large amount of available sits in the areas we are going to this summer.  We have been pouring through all the information we can find.  These videos have a ton of great information on becoming a house sitter House Sitting Basics YouTube Channel.

We also joined House Sitting Academy which has even more information.  These ladies have become experts in the industry.  They have a ton of resources and advice.  

This house sitting seems to be a viable option for us to add to our nomadic lifestyle.  We seem to be happiest when traveling.  Our home is wherever we are together.  We don't need the whole house and yard, we need variety in our lives.

We plan to book a few HS jobs in Ireland,  England and perhaps Scotland this next summer.  We will do some sightseeing and visit some friends. Saga Sea will stay safe and sound in her summer marina in the Rio Dulce.  Tijax Marina takes such good care of her while we are away.  

For now, we want to cruise around the Western Caribbean during sailing season, then go House Sit somewhere during hurricane season. Next, I will try to explain how we plan to fund this lifestyle.  

So until next time my friends.... Be good to yourself and to Others

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

30 more days

Today is a good day, we have 30 more days before we will be home.  We took Schooner in for her yearly vet apt which is needed for the Health Certificate that she needs to fly back home.  She took all her shots and microchip like a champion...

We have been finishing off the little things.  We even drug our suitcases into our room to start adding things to them.  It really helps our mood.

Other than that, Steve has been working and I did a few house sits and took a small roadtrip with a friend that needed company.

We had Thanksgiving with Steve's family and I got to see my daughter and her little tribe for a bit.  I've been signing us up on the Trusted House Sitters site.  I made a nice little profile for potential clients.  I have also been learning a few programs to keep up with the latest, such as: canva, zoom, and mailchimp.

Hopefully, all will fall into place and we will find a few House Sitting gigs this next summer in Ireland and England.  Let me rephrase that, a few Awesome gigs.. haha. 

Well until next time my friend, be good to yourselves and OTHERS.. Smooches xoxo

Friday, November 17, 2017

For Pete's Sake

Steve and I have been doing a lot of reminiscing about our travels and all the people we have met along the way, or should I say characters.  We really enjoy meeting eccentric people around the world.   Most likely we are like most couples do when traveling, talking about others because we are "perfect" hahaha.  

Steve can say one word or phrase and it brings back the whole story to my mind.  I thought I would start writing down these stories before I forget them, you may enjoy them as well.  We shall see...  so let's play.... what Steve will say today....  I will text him right now and ask him to give me a subject for today's blog.

Alright, he said Nova Scotia Pete...  Let me start off by saying we adore, Pete.  He is a very caring and giving man, and because he is he does some extraordinary things.  He is a good friend to have.  

We met NS Pete in Isla Mujeres in 2014.  He came into the anchorage in his 1980 36' Cherubini Hunter. He solo sailed down from Nova Scotia.  Steve and I call him NS Pete because there are other sailors in the area named Pete.  We give everyone a nickname when talking between us to help keep on track.  We have met so many people during our travels and it is difficult keeping track of them all.  A few years ago I started keeping a log of all the people we meet.  It helps us also recall names and stories.

One night in the Isla Mujeres anchorage, there was a call over the VHF radio.  Someone was calling for assistance because they were close to land without any charts of the area.  Three men in their 20s were sailing from Cuba without any charts.  Crazy! Right?!  There are some crazy people out there for sure.  

So we stayed up listening to the radio.  We did not answer the call because we did not feel we are in any position to go help.  We did hear Pete answer the call, and let me rephrase the time this call was at.. it was around midnight if I remember correctly.  

Listening to the VHF replaces television entertainment.  Many of us listen like busy buddies.  Which I am very good at, but the VHF is a great communication device.  We love that it is still used out at sea and we enjoy the anchorages that keep morning nets active.  Thanks, all who volunteer for that chore, it isn't as easy as you would think, I know I have tried it out a few times.  

We also heard another sailor provide help to the ones on the vessel in distress.  The other sailor teamed up with Pete, pulled anchor and motored away into the dark seas.  We listened as they met up and guided the boat into the harbor.  

Pete had a habit of staying up late drinking his beer.  He was very much a night owl.  One that doesn't sleep in half the day.  I am not sure when he sleeps.  We would often see him in the early mornings on deck.

Pete also had a dragging problem  He had a million small anchors and if he was in an anchor that had poor holding we would inevitably hear him in the middle of a windy night dragging around.  He would try out all the spots in an anchorage and still somehow end up beached.  But he always found a way off....  he was a true salty sailor.. haha  

We learned that Pete had spent over ten years in the Canadian Coast Guard.  That kind of explains things.  He will go out in any conditions to help people.  We know of him helping others, even towed a much bigger boat back to the Harbor.  

We would run into NS Pete in different countries in the Western Caribbean.  It was always good to hear about all his adventures.  He was even stabbed by a girl he met in one of the harbors.  She joined him on his travels and they ended up separating with a stabbing and a visit from the local police.  HAHA cracks me up.  

We were saddened when early this year we read he had lost his rudder while under full sail.  He was in 25 knots of wind, traveling 7.5 kts when his rudder simply fell off.  It was his turn to put out a mayday call. He was right outside the Honduras Bay Island, Guajana, so he was helped out by a cargo ship.  

The ship took him undertow but it was too powerful, he asked to be released after he saw his boat was being torn apart by the seesawing it was made to endure.  He was then towed by another boat but the tow lines broke.  A Honduran Navy boat took him under towed, well after they got his tow lines out of their propeller blades.  They released him in a place they thought was inside the reef.  They instructed him to drop anchor but the water was too deep and within minutes he was on the reef with 25-30 knots of wind.  The Navy Ship returned but found themselves on the reef right off his stern, so they had themselves a “reefer party”.  Hahah.. They both were finally off the reef around 1pm the next day.  

What a story right!?  Well, that is the NS Pete story.  I know there are so much more that I just haven’t heard yet.  Actually, when I contacted him he gave me just a snip of another juicy one… He said he was served with court papers for hitting a convicted child molester in Guatemala of all places.  I would think they would for sure turn a blind eye to that incident.  But I don’t have the details…

Well folks untik next time be good to yourself and OTHERS..

Monday, November 6, 2017

Pictures Galore

Since we talked about our trip in our SaturdayMorning Coffee Chat on our Youtube video, which I hope you have subscribed to because we are going to make one every week,  I decided to give you pics of our trip and of my little GMan

Isnt my little GMan the cutest

Here is where we stayed while in Miami

Our supplies all packaged up

We saw this at a marina in Miami.. love it

Peruvian dish

Italian pastries

Argentinean dish

MJ Sailing's Boat

MJ Sailing crew and Cynically Sailor and His Salty Side Kick,

Our friend Mark and Yogi

Schooner ready to fly

My loves catching up on sleep

Well if you missed the details of the trip they are on the video on the previous post

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Be good to yourself and Others