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A reader recently commented that I couldn’t possibly live in poverty because I have a fancy dog and a girlfriend.  I wasn’t really sure how to react so I simply…

voyaging on a small income

According to the US government I live in a state of poverty.  According to the guys sitting on the beach staring out at my boat as I come and go I am the one percent.  Well which one is it?

My total voyaging expenses for the last two months were less than 80 bucks.  I used 1 gallon of fuel which is much more than I anticipated but other than that didn’t spend a penny on the boat.  I still have several months of provisions on the boat and free food keeps finding its way into my lockers.  So how much does voyaging really cost?  I’m not sure but it seems to be almost free.  Today I met Tom who publishes the Flicka Friends news letter, he tried to give me a beautiful GPS and a laptop.  I don,t use GPS and have a computer but his absolute generosity was beyond anything I can comprehend.  Meeting Tom was an amazing treat, I have been reading his news letters since the mid 90’s and he is a huge fan of mine.

A new but very good friend of mine set out with less than $400.00 and is now half way around the world, his stories are hands down better than any book, article, or blog post I have ever read.  If he would let me write his book it would be an all time best seller.

Living a spartan life gives me opportunities I may never have at home, like donating to my favorite charities or having time to mess about in boats.  While in Port Townsend when most people were hard at work I ran into one of my all time favorite blog heroes and while I missed out on meeting his beautiful wife I have a feeling I will be having a drink and sharing stories on their boat before long.  Jim is an excellent man and I can hardly wait to meet Karen.

That’s what this lifestyle has to offer, actually living your life.  I can’t measure what boat choices cost, how much provisioning will be or what future expenses may come around the corner.  What I can measure is that this life if you choose it is almost free and there is good paying work everywhere should you need to stop for a few weeks to re-stock the kitty.

One thing I can measure is how much It doesn’t cost.  I don’t pay a mortgage, home owners insurance, property taxes, car insurance car payments, health insurance, cell phones, internet… My entertainment is people, walks on the beach, sharing and exploring and meeting the most wonderful human beings imaginable.  I have a huge extended family of sailors and it grows every day.  The sunsets I see are just as beautiful as the ones on the huge yacht anchored next to me but I don’t have to rush home every Sunday to be back at the grind to pay boat payments.  Healthy living is my only insurance policy and believe it or not find time to do everything I can possibly think of every day.

I live in total poverty on paper, I left on this voyage without a single penny yet have been living a lifestyle few will ever know.  This life can be hard here and there and while I sort out this and that will still have to sacrifice from time to time but every day the burden of finances becomes less and less as does my voyaging budget.  In a few short weeks I will retire from the rat race once and for all.  If you choose to live this lifestyle I can assure you that it can be done on any budget  If you need more proof that life is but a dream have a good read.

PS Ask anyone you please but if you ask me I’m not the so called one percent, they have nothing on my life.