Make Money and Travel – Chartering Yachts Around the World
Owen and Amanda aren’t your typical working class young couple, their job is to travel the world aboard a luxury yacht in search of beautiful weather and unspoiled sandy beaches. They are often forced to go wakeboarding, snorkeling and sunbathing in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean.
Did I mention they’re getting paid really well to do all of this?
It’s true…but would you believe me if I said it’s damn hard work?
We first heard of this inspiring couple while driveway surfing with our friends Lynn and Hugh in West Jefferson, NC (they’re part of the family). What sparked our interest in telling their story is 1. We want to be on the water soon, and 2. The opportunity to make BIG MONEY and Travel The World. The more I talked with these two the more I realized its one helluva rollercoaster life in the charter business, but if you can hold on you’ll be taken care of financially and spiritually. Thanks to Owen and Amanda for sharing their lives in such great detail, they don’t have a blog, they don’t benefit from our article, they are just good people who are hoping to help other dreamers start their own adventure.
This is one of our longer, more in-depth Make Money and Travel articles…so you’ll have to bear with us as our next big adventure is going to be on the water, so we had a lot of questions for these two. If you’re inspired, have questions or just want to thank Owen and Amanda for sharing, please leave a comment below. Enjoy!
Describe your working situation and what line of work you’re in. Have you always had this job? At what point did you realize that you could bring in enough income to continually fund a location independent lifestyle?
We live and work on a private yacht, me (Owen) as the first mate and Amanda as chief stewardess. Both of us have to help each other out at times so our daily duties are varied. Amanda drives the tender and Owen has to help with making beds and doing laundry.
Our main income is the salary we get as professional yacht crew. We also have a small rental property portfolio developing in New Zealand (our home country). Rental income covers all of our house expenses which is great. We put a little cash towards the mortgage every month to pay it down faster.
I completed a plumbing and gas fitting apprenticeship and worked in NZ for 8 years before going to sea. Amanda was a partner in an importing and sales business in NZ after spending a few years as a travel agent. We met on our previous yacht in the south of France, only to learn that our home towns in NZ are only an hour drive apart.
Although we don’t get to choose the destinations we travel to, we are paid very well and have absolutely no living expenses…so we kind of think of our lifestyle as a “working holiday”. Yachts tend to follow favorable climates, beautiful beaches and glamorous coastal towns or cities. Our last yacht was 450ft, had a crew of 50 and is strictly private. The yacht we are on now is much smaller at only 100ft with a crew of four. It is privately owned and used for charters in the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. When the owners want the boat close we dock outside their house in Miami. Chartering is new to us, it can be very taxing on your body and mind, but the tips more than make up for the lack of sleep!
How many hours do you put in a week and what does a typical workday look like for you?
We work Monday to Friday, 9-5 when there are no guests on board. Some days we finish earlier to take advantage of a great beach and have a few sundowners! (a sundowner is a drink consumed while watching the sun go down. I prefer beer, others prefer fruity cocktails. Wine is also acceptable. Gin and Tonic helps keep the mosquitos away.)
On the larger yachts, things are much more structured and getting an early finish on a Friday afternoon is rare. Someone always needs to be on watch, everybody has an important role to play in maintaining order on the vessel. The smaller yachts are a much more casual affair. It only takes a day to wash down the entire outside so as long as the work gets done, you can afford to have a longer weekend than others.
A typical day includes lots of little odd jobs, fixing anything that is broken, cleaning, polishing stainless steel, buffing out scratches, cleaning, detailing, dusting, laundry, cleaning, changing light bulbs, oil changes, engine room maintenance, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning.
Having the owners or charter guests on board means longer days so multiple 16-18 hour days are not unusual. As a member of the Yacht Crew you are always on call for the guests, whatever they want, you provide. Setting up a beach with chairs, umbrellas, towels and a cooler full of drinks. Launching the jet skis, paddle boards and kayaks. Blowing up the water toys and towing people behind the tender for wakeboarding and skiing. Snorkeling, diving and fishing. Walks, restaurant drop offs, getting more fresh fruit for the chef, all while keeping an eye on the guests and ensuring their safety. We have to remember where they misplace their sunglasses, explain how to use the DVD players, reassure them that pirates won’t board us in the night and make sure the wine is chilled to their exact preference. You have to anticipate their next move and be ready for anything at any time. As well as making beds, drying out showers and replacing towels two or three times a day, setting the table, serving breakfast lunch and dinner, making 6 different cocktails at the same time, remembering when the drier is going to finish, folding the laundry without being seen. Packing up all the equipment you put out in the morning, cleaning sea gull poop off the out board engine and picking up the anchor to move into another bay on another island or bay. Somewhere in the middle of all that you find a few minutes to eat and if you are lucky you might get more than 6 hours of sleep before you have to wake up and do it all over again.
Do you have to clean barnacles, etc from the hull of the boat ever? Just wondering, so many sailors we talk to say that’s the worst part of boat maintenance, having to go under the boat and remove junk.
Maintenance is never ending but if it got to the point that we had barnacles growing on the hull probably means we aren’t doing our jobs right. The standard of care and attention to detail is far higher than your usual mum and dad sailors…(sorry Hugh and Lynn!). Even having water spots on the windows or stainless is unacceptable. So, you live on the sea, get covered in salt water, rinse it off with fresh water and then run around and dry everything so everything is spotless. Then you do it all over again the next day. And the day after that maybe twice because the guests wanted to move the boat to a different bay but didn’t like it after 2 hours and wanted to go back to the one they were already at. Wash, rinse and repeat!
At times, you need to squeeze into tight, cramped places to clean or repair something. Usually those jobs are kept for the junior ranks. There are moments you wonder why you do what you do, but when you step back outside and look at the view, you forget you are covered in poo and grease and stinking bilge water. Then you go and have a beer at the beach.
If you are willing to say, what is the average yearly salary for someone in your line of work? How long did it take for you to start earning a comfortable/typical living for this line of work? If you don’t feel comfortable giving numbers tell us, are you scraping by, are you able to put money in savings and pay your bills or are you raking it in? Obviously it varies greatly depending on your boss.
Salaries are payed monthly and range from $2500-$3000 for an entry level role. Longevity and qualifications are rewarded well. We are doing better than entry level. All yachts have slightly different pay structures. Some yachts give generous vacation time and pay very well, others pay poorly and give very little time off. We earn a very good base salary each month and have the bonus of each getting a $500 “charter incentive” for every charter we do. We usually do around 2 charters a month. Our running average for tips is about $2250 per charter. Charters are usually 7 days. So, each earning around $5000 extra per month on top of our salaries is pretty good. The tradeoff is that you miss out on a “real life” at home seeing your family and friends regularly. Owen recently obtained a captains license and the intention is to run a yacht and take advantage of the better money on offer. A rule of thumb for a captain on the smaller yachts is being paid $1000 per foot of boat length per year. So, running a 100ft yacht would yield a $100k+ salary. A chief stew or chef would earn upwards of $45k. It all depends on the owner, the movements of the yacht and how well experienced you are in your role.
Are the entry level salaries per person? I’m assuming they’re not combined for the both of you. Same goes for tips, bonuses, etc?
All pay is per person. You get a decent base salary and depending on how generous or tight the owners are, you get bonuses too. Getting an extra month or half month of pay for Christmas is not uncommon. Tips are worked out as a percentage of the weekly cost to charter the yacht. So for us, 20% on 45,000 is $9000 split 4 ways for an extra $2250 for a week’s work, per person. So, you can imagine that doing 2 charters per month starts to get pretty exciting. Plus we get a $500 “charter incentive” from the owner per week of charter.
(Amanda and I are looking to run our own yacht in the near future and when you are a Captain and Chef couple running a 18m-22m, you can earn huge money, charters are usually at a cost of $30,000 per week, then you get to keep all the tips!)
That’s a handsome amount of pay, but a serious amount of crazy work, what does it cost to charter out a yatch?
Charters depend on the age and size of the boat, owners’ requirements, location etc, we are 30m and charter for $45,000 per week. I worked on a 65m in the Med that chartered for $400,000 Euro per week. That is purely for the boat. On top of that, guests pay the expenses of food, beverage, fuel, docking, park fees, taxis and any other costs associated with having them on board. (I have met Saudi royalty too). Most people who charter are businessmen and their families looking to get away and unwind. You will no doubt hear horror stories about movie stars or musicians being total jerks, and I have seen some of that too, BUT, the TV show “Below Decks” is fabricated Bullshit. Capital B for Bullshit. Most people are very respectful and great to meet.
What are the most essential pieces of equipment, education or programs you need for working while traveling?
The absolute minimum requirement is a course called, STCW95. This is a basic fire fighting, sea survival and first aid course that anyone wanting to work on a yacht needs to have.
After that, there are plenty of optional courses for interior crew to take. Wine knowledge, floristry, bar tending/service industry experience and beauty/health care are all very useful attributes for interior crew.
The exterior crew can take courses to work their way to becoming a captain. Sea miles and time at sea are essential for progressing through the ranks. A strong service skill set is paramount to anyone wanting to work close to guests. Having Scuba qualifications and other water sport skills can be advantageous.
Engineers can hide away and keep out of sight on the larger yachts. Although the work can be grubby and hot. There is a shortage of qualified, competent engineers in the marine industry.
Chefs work long hours, have to meet all sorts of dietary requirements and stand up all day long. It can be very hard keeping the crew full and happy as well as cooking 8 paleo and 2 gluten free meals for 10 guests who say they won’t eat pork but demand a big bowl of bacon for breakfast every day.
Anyone wanting to work on a yacht needs to be a social animal who doesn’t mind living in a cramped environment close to people who might be really annoying at times. You can’t just get off and go for a walk or a drive after work to clear your mind. You might be stuck at sea for very long periods of time trying to stay positive and happy while serving people who can be very demanding and sometimes even rude.
Is there a school to take the courses you mention (Wine, Florist, bar-tending, SCUBA), or are the courses completed online?
Courses are generally all practical and can be taken at schools around the world. There are always theoretical components and criteria that need to be met. Anyone wanting to start out needs to do an STCW95 and you can find your nearest school on the net. Scuba diving is a recreational certificate that can help on some yachts but having a general interest and knowledge of water sport helps too. Maybe someone who likes wake boarding or kite surfing will find a job over someone who has never done those things before. For the interior roles, service experience is great, bar knowledge too. Some yachts hire nannies and nurses as well as massage and beauty therapists. However, the new interior crew on some yachts will get stuck doing endless laundry and cleaning duties, it is a hard and repetitive road to the top but it can be very worthwhile once you get there.
Is there a good place to “get your feet wet” for example should one seek out a cruise ship to gain some general knowledge before attempting to move into the private yacht world?
Cruise ships and luxury yachts do not have much in common. Some of the very large private yachts have commercially ticketed captains and officers as well as engineers. Only due to the complicated nature of the equipment involved. If you want to do a cadetship in the merchant navy and move into luxury yachts later you can do it. However, most of us start at the bottom and have a whole lot more fun doing it that way. You can educate yourself along the way to get captains tickets for various sized vessels. Trying to get an entry level job on a cruise ship and then moving to a luxury yacht would in my opinion be a total waste of time. The two industries are just not really comparable.
Who are your clients? Do you find them or do they find you and how? What is your rejection rate? How many clients do you pitch to finally win over one? You don’t have tell us who your clients are directly, just how you go about getting the work.
Getting work on yachts is usually best done by networking and getting your hands dirty. You really have to prove yourself as a hard worker and have the right personality for the yacht. Some captains will prefer some nationalities over others due to the visa requirements of the countries a yacht might visit. Plenty of South Africans are working on yachts but if a yacht stays in Hong Kong for 6 months and South Africans are only granted 3 weeks entry, it makes no sense to employ someone who has to leave all the time.
Owen has used a fantastic crew agent in New Zealand. Rachel Harrison at IMG in Auckland is the greatest. A good agent understands the captains requirements and matches crew accordingly. Yachts can be very specific in the requirements for crew. For example, a captain might like a male deck hand aged in his mid-twenties, who speaks English and Spanish, non-smoking and tattoo free, is a dive instructor and has at least one year of experience on yachts over 160ft.
Due to the particular requirements of owners and captains, your rejection rate may be very high but it could have nothing to do with your personality. It could be just that the yacht needs something you can’t provide. Once you are in, you have to work hard and keep your head down for a while. Once you are seen to be a good crew member, the pay will increase, responsibilities will increase, it will become a lot of fun. There is a lot to learn and not often much time to be taught so you will likely end up doing all the boring or difficult jobs that the more experienced crew don’t want to do. Some interior crew can end up living in a laundry ironing all day for months on end for example. As glamorous as the boats look from the outside, they are shiny and glamorous because of the constant work that goes into them. Scrubbing toilets and decks on your hands and knees is all part of maintaining the image.
What are the best 1-3 positive things about working while traveling? Those things that make you think wow; I really am living the dream.
Sitting on a beach together with a bacon cheese burger, cold beer and a pocket full of cash at the end of a long week, watching the sun go down and knowing that I don’t have to get up early and sit in traffic on my way to unblock a toilet tomorrow morning!
Coming from NZ, being so close to new countries and cities and actually having the time and means to explore and learn at our own pace. We usually take advantage of the yachts location and visit a new place when we get some time off. In the last 18 months we have spent 4 nights in New York, had a week in Paris, visited Nepal and hiked in the Himalayas, been home to NZ, driven across Australia from Sydney to Perth in a campervan, toured Rome on segways for 10 days and got engaged, lived in Antibes, France and free lanced for a few months, driven up and down the east coast of the US between Miami and Charlotte 3 times stopping over in Charleston and Savannah as well as spending time with Hugh and Lynn in West Jefferson. (H&L are the most hospitable uncle and aunt you could ever hope to have, we are so grateful to have been allowed to crash there, they don’t really know how much we appreciated our last stay with them!) We have also had a week in Puerto Rico and a week in Washington DC. Not to mention all the time we were actually at work in the Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Bahamas.
The absolute best thing about doing what we do, is doing it together. The memories and stories we are creating are unbeatable. We experience everything together and are both very lucky to have the same ideas about how long we will continue at sea and what we will do with what we earn when we get home.
What are the most frustrating things about working while traveling? Any ways you’ve found to avoid or cope with this frustration?
Having to work with people you might not actually have anything to do with if you had a land job. At least you can go home from work and forget about someone you don’t get along with when you have a land job. On a yacht, you are stuck with them. It can be a real challenge.
Missing out on interaction with your friends and family. Missing funerals, weddings, birthdays, Christmas and everything else. We are currently watching our nephew grow up on skype, its not ideal but it’s the best we can do. Owen even watched his Nana’s funeral via webcam. You have to be prepared for this reality every time you leave home, you say goodbye to everyone and you just hope that everything will be alright when you next go back. It can be very hard sometimes, you make your choices and you have to live with them.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice about starting in this line of work, what would it be?
Start early, save half your pay and get your qualifications as soon as you can. Yachting is a great way to earn lots of money, see the world, meet great people, learn essential life skills and party like never before. The one regret is partying a little too hard and not saving enough in the first couple of years. Everything is just too exciting. There is no other job in the world that pays as well and offers the opportunities that yachting does, all with zero living expenses.
The Fantasy Job
What is one of the most creative ways you’ve heard of someone funding a location independent lifestyle? The one that made you wish you had thought of it first!
We already live in fantasy land!
You live in “fantasy land” but we’re just wondering would you want to own your own boat (or maybe an RV) one day, either just for your own adventures, or maybe to charter like your employers?
The only boat we want to own would be used in a fresh water lake, pulled out on a trailer and stored in a garage. Boats are just so expensive to maintain, although we know pretty well what it takes, we wouldn’t want to have to pay for it. B.O.A.T – But Only Another Thousand. As for road trips, we love them. It’s something we would like to do more of for sure. We think touring the US would be really fun and plan to visit every single state, but it will take a few more years yet.
P.S. The Kiwi is our national bird and we take a mascot for photos everywhere, the looks we get from some people are priceless!
Now it’s time for you to think outside the box. There’s no set of guidelines and anything is possible. Would you hit the water to rub elbows with the rich and famous so you could see the world? Sure it’s not for everyone, but SuperYachts are becoming more popular! If you own one of these yachts and would like to invite us for a sundowner please send an invite in the comments below!
If you would like to share your location independent lifestyle, tell us about it in the comments below or shoot us an email to become a part of the series. You can read the full series here: Make Money and Travel
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience and also ways that how you can make ends meet.
Thanks for sharing some of your adventure. My wife and I are in our 40’s and starting to consider a more adventurous life style. Your article was inspiring and got our minds working overtime on the options of living a similar dream.
Great post guys!
I’m a kiwi yachtie myself, 4 years deep mainly around the Med but also the Caribbean and most recently Fiji (where I scored my first land based gig in a resort via superyacht connections. Wow the space!)
I think you paint a fairly accurate picture of the highs and lows we face daily but also of the grand scheme. It’s important so people are not disillusioned of the glamour…it happens often unfortunately.
But stick it out and the rewards are aplenty! Months of travel on and between each boat..(almost) all expenses paid 😉
Next stop for me after this Fiji gig…the States!!!
May see y’all over there!
Ex-yachties here and about to trade the salt for the road tar. My girl and I are starting the planning for a year long US RV trip. We are planning on eventually doing more landbased work to support our RV travel adventure – hopefully turning this into a longterm gig.
For anyone interested in the sea life, we actually help greenies (new crew) by giving them all the info on the yachting industry on a website we made = http://www.yachtjobsinfo.com
If anyone has any further questions after reading our articles, we (or our other yacht friends) will be happy to answer them.
See you on the road!
Mike and Linds
Thanks for sharing Mike. Nikki and I are planning to hit the water eventually ourselves so we’ll have to spend some time on your site in the near future. Enjoy the road!
After reviewing some or all the articles we have, if you need further guidance just drop us a line. We have developed quite an experienced “support group” and can get most questions answered. We will also then include these on our FAQ page to help others with the same concerns.
Join the United States Navy, if you want to sail for free and see the world first hand. It only takes 4 years of your life, that’s it. Welcome aboard shipmates!!! Haze grey and under way!!!!!!
Love this post. We are also yachties and have been in the business for a combined 37 years. My partner is a captain and I’m the cheffie, this year we started a 6 month on and 6 month off rotation. We LOVE living in our bus for 6 months – we actually had a 2013 Fleetwood 35B last year and it didn’t quite fit our needs so we bought a new Winnebago Journey 36M and absolutely love it! She’s nicknamed The Beezer!
This is our first summer off in nearly 15 years – that’s what life as professional yacht crew does, and I agree with Owen & Amanda, it takes a lot out of your personal life, but there are so many benefits to what we do – we think we’ve found a great balance to life and RV’ing is awesome for a yachtie’s because we’re so used to moving all the time. The best is that we get to decide where we’re going next – we have just crossed the States from Florida and are now in Joshua Tree National Park CA. Hope to see you Wynn’s along the way – we’ll be happy to share our sailing stories, tips and experiences.
From Wheels to Keels! Take care and thanks for all your time and effort.
Thanks so much for sharing. We too are heading towards southern CA so maybe we’ll cross paths and share a bottle of Port and some travel stories.
Too bad you can’t run Roy as a crewed charter! A weekend or week or two with you guys would be a blast – and a learning experience.
You could tow an r•Pod as crew’s quarters! It does have a shower. 😉
Owen – Staniel Cay! Some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. Love the Exumas.
We always joked about pulling a small Airstream behind our RV as a “Mother-in-Law” house…never thought of a charter!
We are sitting back and taking it all in right now, snorkeled the “Thunderball Grotto” today, fed the pigs and swam with sharks at Compass Cay.
You’re killing me here Owen. Next thing you gonna tell us is you did some Zodiac surfing through Big Rock Cut! 😉
Did you pick up the charter in Nassau? Did you visit the hungry iguanas @ Allen’s Cay? Will you be heading south to George Town?
Sorry, you’re causing flashbacks here. I ran captained sailing charters out of South Florida and the Bahamas thirty years ago. The Exumas (winter) and Abacos (summer) were the prize charters.
We did just finish a 8,200 mile, 26 day cross country trip with a small TT. Ya know, this US country is pretty darn spectacular too! I think Jason and Nikki have shown you some pics!
Take care and have some conch salad, grouper sandwich and a Kalik on me!
So, we pick up charter today, heading for the Exumas with two families. Get online and search the beach pigs on Big Major for something weird and wonderful to look at..life is never dull on a yacht!
Kim & Don Greene
We like boats for short periods of time, but we really couldn’t do it long term. But international overland travel, well, that’s another story! We spent six years driving around the world in a custom-built expedition vehicle before starting Harvest Hosts. It wasn’t location independent at the time, but you guys are creative enough, we’re sure you could figure out some way of making money doing it 🙂
Kim you guys are just way too adventurous. We always thought if the Sailboat thing doesn’t work out we’ll just travel Europe by Camper…and yes, I do think we can figure out a way to make a little cash while traveling 🙂
How nice of them to say we were about the most hospitable uncle and aunt they could have….I guess they want to come back! Seriously though, we thoroughly enjoyed having them stay, as we did having Jason and Nikki driveway surf, looking forward to having them all come again…..that’s what makes life more interesting!
FYI – I lived that life 30+ years ago, crewing on an 81′ sailboat, that did a circumnavigation, not so much $$ back then, but the trip of a lifetime for me, in my 20’s….and then to meet my bride in FL was the icing on the cake!
I think you two have a bit more RVing left in you, ride the horse in the direction its going, then when time is right, move aboard and head out to sea…..
Hook, Line and Sinker. As long as you provide the Ginger Nuts we’ll be back. Till we meet again whether it be on the road or on the water.
I’m on this web site because we’re RVers but my daughter did the “yacht thing” for five years. It was a 12 passenger with 15 crew. She was cleaning when she started but moved to a sous-chef position soon after. I was able to visit her on the boat when docked in Barcelona.
The pay was exclellent, and tips very generous but the owners didn’t charter it often, mostly used it themselves so there was lots of down time for the crew (with full pay) and she had five weeks vacation, no expenses, plus they paid for her flight home once per year. She saw a lot of the world plus did several Atlantic crossings.
The crew’s lifestyle includes partying hard between charters but she also paid off her student loans, and bought a condo here so she had something to come back to when she was ready to settle down.
She was on the same yacht the entire time and got to be friends with the owners. She quit in 2008 – at that time the downturn in the economy actually affected the very rich. This owner sold the yacht soon after and these jobs became much harder to find. Maybe it’s picked up again since then?
At that time, you definitely needed an agent to find work. Her “in” was through a freind who had landed work by hanging around the docks where the luxury yachts regularly stop for weeks at a time for servicing: Fort Lauderdale, Barcelona, Amsterdam.
Thanks for sharing Marianne, it seems like a tough life but you can be compensated very well.
This life is fascinating, but I don’t know that I would do well at being “on call” 24/7 or at being polite in the face of rudeness as mentioned in the article. 🙂
That being said, if you are the type of person who can suck it up and keep your eye on the big picture, what a great opportunity this would be.
I don’t see you two working on a yacht for someone. You’re both very independent and use to being your own bosses. Definitely go for chartering or another business while owning your own sailboat.
Agree, I don’t think we could work for anyone again. I think our best bet would be to hire on a captain for a few weeks to sail with us. We could document the entire thing and make a movie or something 🙂
I have an idea…why don’t you go with Captain Owen and chef Amanda if they have their own gig? You all would get along like a house on fire and you could drink PG Tips and eat ginger nuts together. 🙂
Sounds like a bloody plan!
Owen, we can provide the funding for a new boat and you can help us learn how to sail…neither one of us will make money right away but we’re all pretty self reliant so I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to bring in some “bacon”. Now we just need to decide Cat or Mono?!?
Power Cats all the way!
Wow Owens actually alive. He dropped off the planet a few years ago and haven’t heard from him since. I guess living the dream sometimes means losing touch & friendships. Congrats on your engagement Owen.
And well done on yours Amy, February being the month for your nuptials I hear? I never really fell off the planet, in fact I’ve been sailing and hiking all over it old friend! See you in November 🙂
…and there you have it, reuniting old friends via Make Money and Travel, haha!
I started in May my first season working in Alaska on a island I work as a server, housekeeper and massage therapist I make pretty good money up here but it’s a lot of hard work you get exhausted working on 4 or 5 hours of sleep so nap time after housekeeping is important. Working and living on a island is harder than I thought it would be when you are only allowed to leave if there is a boat going into town. My days off are every other transition day when we receive new guests me and another therapist rotate days off. Some of my coworkers go longer without a day off because of their position. But it’s been a very good experience and challenge.
Thanks for sharing Brittney, sounds like an interesting job.
I can imagine the two of you fitting into that lifestyle, even though I feel kinda sad about you not being RVers anymore. I can’t wait to hear what you do next.
It will be a little bit longer before we hit the water….we’re not done making waves in the RV industry just yet 🙂
Not everyone wants kids, not sure of your plans but I think it’s a great life. Hard work and lots of opportunity to meet lots of new people..
You two do live an interesting life, but Imimagine eventually you will want to start a family and put down roots again. How long does this lifestyle usually last for a couple?
I’ve seen it last permanently with home schooling. It is a crossroads we are at. Our son is turning 3. We have to decide to home school him or only travel 3 months per year. It’s a tough call trying to decide if he would fare better with the positive and negative social experiences public school offers vs what is likely to be a far better education at home.
Tough decision Mark, we have met so many wonderful and talented kids over the past few years who live on the road full-time. Of course it’s not for everyone…
I lived with my husband and our twin boys on a 43′ sailboat for 2.5 years. We home schooled them in grades 2-4. It was an amazing and enriching family experience that our twins (now 18 and headed to university) still talk about. There are a lot of home schoolers on the water so you can find a support network fairly easily. We based our curriculum largely around the places we traveled which gave our boys a perspective of lifelong learning recognizing that opportunities to learn are all around you…not just in books. Wouldn’t have changed our experience for anything!
Thanks for sharing Lynn, and yes your boys are definitely “go getters” when it comes to running and schoolwork! Can’t wait to see where they end up.
Your current age range is different than ours was but we saw quite a few with 3-5 year olds. You have to be more vigilant but it can be done. As far as exposure to public school, our boys adapted well when they got back into land based school in 4th grade and were much more self assured and confident in who they were before we left. It has carried through and they continue to be well grounded. I think part of this is due to the fact that they interacted a lot with adults while we were sailing and had a more mature outlook when they went back to school.
Thanks for the advice Lynn. That’s kind of where I am at mentally with the whole decision process. I don’t feel like public school offered me a tremendous amount of value until I was in the high school years. Some of those friendships made from 14-18 years old I still have though. But on the same token I feel like he would get a better more personal education from us from K-2nd or 3rd grade so I’m definitely not too worried early on. We’re PA residents for now and I heard that the PA cyber school program is excellent.
I wonder if there is a support group of home schoolers to take field trips and socialize them. It seems like something that would be helpful for travelers and traditional homeschoolers alike. I bet it exists, google will tell me 😉
We are RVers rather than boaters and I don’t think I will ever own a boat bigger than 30ft so I don’t think we’ll ever live on a boat for the next 20-30 years. So I am primarily looking for land based opportunities and ideas regarding that.
The one thing that stinks is that he’s far too young to remember all the things we’ve been seeing but he loves travelling nonetheless. He practically jumps into his car seat when the motorhome gets moving. Has no issue with any of it. I guess they are truly adaptable.
Jason, sorry to threadjack your article with unrelated content! This whole yachting worker world is a whole subculture I never even knew existed. It sounds exciting!
This series is all about providing people with the insight to make money and travel, since your kids aren’t old enough to make money I think schooling is a relative subject 🙂
home schooling beats government (propaganda schools) hands down. you can teach and show the kids what the real world is like; have them gain valuable life experiences via travel. The social part is the hardest to teach them, but use tools like rvillage.com to hang out with other kids.
There was a TV show called Below Deck you should check out. I have just watched the clips on the internet so I can’t comment on how realistic the show is.
Hmmm, see my comments regarding that “reality” show above Peter!
Peter, It looks like Owen made a comment in the article about the show being VERY unrealistic…(he used another term…)
…a more colorful term perhaps 🙂