Money! Money! Money! Mon-ay!

Teresa Carey Words 104 Comments

One of the top reasons that people get divorced is money. One of the top reasons people commit crimes is for money. And one of the top reasons people who read my blog or see my videos say disparaging or hypercritical remarks to or about me is…you got it… money! Here are some of my favorites:

“How many Americans could actually afford a 27-foot sailboat much less consider such a lifestyle of simple living? It is simple all right, simply incredible and egotistical in its lack of work ethic.” -Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, Canada Free Press

“Such a pretty boat. You must not live so simply to afford that boat. You live in such luxury.” -Nancy, from an email sent to me

“She looks like a rich kid” -stuntmanmike714 Youtube

“too bad most of the american population does not have the safety net of wealth/parents to do something like this” -ceelo4, Youtube

“…it would be nice if she would come clean about how she pays for this…I’m guessing dear old dad may be footing the bill while daughter sails around and finds herself.”  -Owukid, Youtube

Well, Owukid, guess what…I’m about to come clean!

People often ask me how much it costs to live on a boat, and every time I give them the same vague answer, “The cost of life afloat varies as much as the cost of life ashore.” So today, I can only attest to how it worked for me.

The secret I found to affording life aboard Daphne is in three simple rules:

Rule # 1: Work my ass off.

The highest paying job I have ever had was working as a waitress. This certainly was not the most rewarding job, nor the least stressful, but waiting tables in the right location can be financially rewarding, especially if you work two shifts each day. Of course, the hours are long and tiring. There isn’t much time to spend the hard earned cash, so more can be socked away for cruising. The most intrinsically rewarding jobs I have had were in education. I worked for non-profits with at-risk teens, with children who have autism, and at private middle and high schools.

When I moved aboard Daphne and began to travel, with the exception of about three months, I had at least a full time (or several part time) jobs at each location I was at. I seldom was without work. I was not always excited about the jobs I was able to find, and was even less excited about having to search for a job. However, in the two years and three months that I was aboard Daphne I had seventeen jobs from housekeeper to social media marketer, or dance teacher to sailor. I also made some extra cash by selling handcrafted items through my online Etsy shop. Blog readers who felt that my blog was enjoyable or worthwhile often purchased from my store or sent a gift donation to show their support for my blogging efforts.


No one provided my sustenance. I do not have a trust fund, inheritance, financial support, unemployment, or independent wealth of any degree. I also don’t expect to have this in my future. What I earned each year varied wildly. However, according to Wikipedia, I never once earned as much as the average middle class income for a single female of my age and education level. (which incidentally is 20k less per year than that of the male). Without telling you my exact average yearly income (which I don’t know off the top of my head anyway) I can guess that I flow between lower middle class and working class.

I afforded the boat by taking out a loan. There certainly are cheaper boats, but the Nor’sea came with a long history of stories and wishes that I share with my father. When it was time for me to buy a boat I didn’t consider any other boat, so a loan was necessary. The cost of the monthly payment is about the same as a small apartment. In fact, it is about the average cost of a one bedroom apartment in Columbus, Ohio or Omaha, Nebraska and less than half the cost of the average one bedroom apartment in Boston or San Franscisco. I decided I would rather be paying off a loan and eventually owning my boat outright than paying rent on an apartment. I do not pay bills for heat, water, electricity, internet, or other bills associated with an apartment. Because I don’t pay for these items to be delivered to my home without complications, I have to alter my life from what is conventional in order to have the utilities I need and want.

Rule #2: Reduce expenses by living without luxuries.

Its easy to imagine that people who live aboard boats have many of the amenities that shore life has but with the added luxury of cocktails at sunset, tropical destinations, and freedom.

These are some of the luxuries I live without:

Electricity (for the first 16 months until I purchased a solar panel. Then I lived with minimal electricity)
Refridgeration (for the first 16 months)
Internet (I find internet at the library, McDonald’s parking lot, ferry terminal, etc.)
Hair dryer (for lack of power)
Weekly Yoga class
Hot water
Running water
Health Care
Residency (and therefore access to some benefits)
Washer and Dryer for clothing
Flush toilet
Kitchen appliances

 Rule #3: Embrace an unorthodoxed lifestyle that sometimes lacks in comforts and ease.

I began to realize that America does not recognize nomadic people shortly after I purchased Daphne. I was at the USCG office to document her. When asked what my physical address was, I replied, “my boat.” It turns out, in order for Americans to “count” you need a physical address. Without it you can’t vote, drive, check out books at a library, get a P.O. box or a bank account, or pay your taxes.

It didn’t take long to realize that owning a boat costs a lot! I saved money by cutting out expenses that are typical of boat owners. With a few exceptions I did not rely on docks or moorings. This meant I couldn’t shut the door on the weather and feel secure. Instead, I stayed up all night monitoring the conditions as Daphne tossed about on her anchor. I did my own maintenance and engine work, which meant that any engine or maintenance issue that surfaced took twice as long to resolve because I was learning the skills of caring for a boat along the way.

The first day of making landfall in a new place was always a reconnisance mission to find the grocery, a shower, laundry, and toilet. A great anchorage is one where all these things are within walking distance. Yet sometimes I found myself pushing a grocery cart down the street for miles or not showering for weeks.

Some of the luxuries that I formerly took for granted while living ashore such as warmth, a shower, running water, and a toilet, required extra work living aboard. Aboard Daphne I couldn’t turn up the thermostat so my home would be warm when I returned at the end of the day. Instead, while bundled up in wooly clothing, I primed and lit my primitive kerosene heather, and drank hot tea while waiting for the cabin to warm up and the shivers to go away. I wash my dishes in salt water. I often wash my body and hair in salt water as well. And aboard a boat you can never simply flush the toilet and make it disappear. For that reason, I mastered the art of timing my large deposits with a trip ashore for groceries.

During the early days of owning Daphne I did not have electricity. I quickly learned which fruits, veggies, cheeses, eggs, and milks would last longest unrefrigerated and did without the rest. My computer went everywhere with me so I could charge it up anytime I saw an outlet. And I often fell asleep with my headlamp still on my head. With a solar panel (review of solar power generators) I had more options. I could power the refrigerator and lights most of the time. I monitored the battery level closely and charged my computer or turned on the tunes when the sun was at its zenith.

The table, converted to a bed, converted to a tool bench.

Spring cleaning didn’t mean garage sales and dust bunnies. Alternatively, I was stepping the mast, de-winterizing the engine, and deconstructing the winter cover.  Aboard Daphne I have my own version of a bed and back porch. I slept in a sleeping bag because my bed doubles as the dining table and the counter top doubles as a two-burner stove. Dinner parties of more than four required guests to share a plate for lack of space on the table. And when I want to enjoy my favorite dessert of a frozen coconut fruit bar, I have to eat the entire box in one sitting for lack of freezer.

And I live this way not because I have to, but because they are part of the cost in owning a boat on a modest budget. The challenges are great, but the rewards are greater.

It is possible to have many of these luxuries such as a freezer, shower, or hot water aboard a boat. Its also possible to feel more security by renting space on a dock or mooring. And some sailors also have a house, car, and community to return to after each voyage. But Daphne was all I had, and that made the dream possible for me. This is the most important thing to understanding how an individual of meager financial means such as myself could own a boat and travel a bit.

Building the winter cover for added warmth and protection from the snow.

Comments 104

  1. Cindy Matwichuk

    Way to put it out there Teresa! People who are less informed are the ones most likely to quickly criticize our lifestyle choice! You are an amazing woman & your honesty is so refreshing in these often convoluted times. Thank you for the article, it warmed my heart & made me smile!

  2. Gerco

    Great post!! I had some of these comments when i was in a period of extended travel… It allways took time to explain that i did not own a house, furniture or any of the other luxuries people enjoyed. That i did and had to leave that, to make it possible for me to do all that travelling and take time not working… That it wasn’t winning the lotery that made it possible…

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      1. Chad

        A Jerk Whisperer is someone who can talk to a jerk with calm indignation and potentially change their point of view. James basically just means you do not owe the disparagers the time of day to try to convince them of your abilities to live your chosen lifestyle.
        Regards and keep doing what makes you happy,

      2. Trespas Timothy

        A person who can ‘speak’ to jerks that no else is able to…
        A supernatural gift giving one ability to communicate to/with/in ‘jerk’ dialect.
        One who is capable to sooth and ease jerk misunderstand and emotional outbursts using a language understood only by jerks.
        Blessings and peace

  3. Paul Murphy

    I just hope the two of you are having fun and enjoying life.

    As to the comments — let them flow off your sails like a bad gust of wind.

    If you are being true to yourself and having a good time — I wouldnt worry about a thing!

    Happy sailing!

    I will be on the water this coming spring!

    1. Post

      Thanks for your comments! Yes, let the bad ones flow away…in fact, I find most of them amusing. I didn’t used to though.

  4. Mike

    Voyaging is for the voyagers (I think Sterling Hayden said that?). Trying to explain frugality and foregoing luxuries in order to afford a quality life of adventure on something as unconventional as a boat to a person who has had every unconventional bone in his/her body broken by a dronelike existence in a safe job in suburbia is like trying to explain quantum physics to a two year old. They cannot possibly understand that your lifestyle is perfectly attainable by anyone who has the guts, gumption and inclination to give up a few things to go after it.. Leave the other cats to their mortages, IRAs and conspicuous consumption of meaningless baubles. BRAVO!

    1. Shannon Hudson

      Hi! I’m just now in my fourth week of living on my 25′ sloop, GOD’S ARMOR. I have to admit it is hard, but I love it! I am on the hook in New Smyrna, FL. I would love advice on actually traveling. As of now I have a job here but in a few years I would like to take her in trips. I just am scared I cannot maneuver and anchor her alone. Advice? I’m 47 female. Thanks! Shannon

  5. David

    Just doing without a car and an apartment would easily pay for a boat.

    I looked back a few years ago and it finally sunk in that I had over a period of several years (since graduating college) that, not counting interest, I had paid enough for cars to have bought and paid for a house.

  6. Jane

    Teresa – I have been enjoying your blog for a while. May I suggest? Stop defending yourself! The nasty comments and unwarranted judgments are not worthy of your time or energy. (Also, how come unearned wealth is perceived to be such a gross character flaw?)

  7. Curtis

    In 2008 life was very different then what it is today. I had a thrieving business, a beautiful home, a top of the line vehical, money in the bank, and my 37 foot yacht. Then the finacial crisis happened in the states. I lost the house, business, vehical and the money in the bank. I was left with the 37 ft yacht which was the only thing i owned. I thought to my self how am i going to be able to live on this? I was used to flying down to the boat to sail on weekends and then checking in to the Hilton at night. Now i am “forced” to live on my boat? This isn’t right. Well i moved on that boat and even though it was beautiful it was also a sacrifice. I had to watch my electrical power, water levels, shower once a week, and stay up at night due to storms while i lived off the hook. I would wear three layers of cloths because here in Canada it gets really cold for 5 months of the year.
    In 2010 i ended up losing my boat due to a personal situation and the first thought i had was how am i going to live back on land? What am i going to do with out having the ocean as my playground and the whales as my brothers?
    In life we often get caught up in things that don’t matter. We get caught up in this world full of stuff. Thats all it is, stuff.
    Since i have been back on land i spend every day looking at boats and saving every penny to be cold, dirty and at peace again. I can hardly wait to be ” forced to live on a boat again”

    1. Wally Moran

      Curtis, good for you, loved your post. Get hold of me through my website, I know of a few nice boats going cheap. You’ll have to spend some time in a boatyard, but I think you’re ready for that, lol….

    2. Marcelle

      Great story.
      Others have similar issues…like when is enough enough.
      Very inspiring…I want to to ditch the stuff and live cold and dirty too!!
      Are you back on a boat?

  8. Katie

    Theresa! This is brilliant! Well done and well voiced!

    I remember reading Voyaging on a Small Income years and years ago and it has shaped how I live on land but it is so interesting that people justify their unhappiness by putting someone else down.

    I get this a lot in my work too because I am self employed…or because I work in the field of deep joy and levity people always think I have never known hardship. So twisted!

    I think the best is to do what you are doing. Live and lead by example and I applaud your courage to just put it out there like you did…because this is helpful for those that want to do it but may be caught in the story they can’t.

    My goal for our family is to live bi coastal and have an electric bus that takes us between coasts and travels…cheers to dreams and the wonder within us that allows them to happen.

    To those who are challenging you-I wish for them greater imagination and compassion!

  9. Ron

    Teresa, such a great site you have. You truly are inspiring, positive, courageous, clever & confident to live life to the beat of our own drum like you do; to such a full degree. For the life of me, I don’t understand the insecurity that must compel someone to go through the energy, time & trouble to post negative feedback when all you are doing is sharing your wonderful story & insights on life.

    Thank you for allowing us to read along–we truly enjoy it.

  10. Wellum

    Teresa, I have seen several of your videos on living small aboard the boat and your Ted-x video – absolutely fantastic! I haven’t been able to see anything on ‘logs’ of your preparation/purchase of daphne of of your sailing trips. I would really like to read about it all from the vey beginning. Your story is truely wonderful. I have read of many cruiser’s stories over the past few years, they are all inspiring. Keep up the good life.

  11. polo

    59 honest, suppportive comments.. thanks for sharing !

    make that 60…

    Rudeness and all it represents and uninformed commentaries that somehow found or find their way to the shores of this blog and the represented creativity, honesty and generous spirit of sharing and learning should “simply”…

    flow far, far beyond the wonderful, creative, genuine, gracious and enchanting world of T.

  12. Nathan

    As somebody who is entering my fourth Winter in the UK on a 21ft sailing boat, a boat with 4ft and 6 inches of headroom (I’m 5′ 8″), I whole heartedly agree.

    I do wish I had wealthy parents though. It would be much easier if daddy gave me a trust fund, or at least was capable of doing so.

  13. Adam

    I think it’s great that you worked hard to live a dream and to hell with all the people that want to ridicule you for doing so. But hell, I’m pretty sure if you got more money, you would buy more stuff and a bigger boat 😛

    I always dreamed of living on a boat with a cat. I found your youtube site out of random just thinking about living on a boat and surprised that someone is actually doing it! Maybe one day I’ll do it too.

  14. Steve

    +72, lol. From a fellow live-aboard, a power boat liveaboard to be precise , like you I don’t have any outside money resources to call upon. I bought my 27ft clean older roomy fully self contained command bridge cabin cruiser boat by offering the seller who posted it on a large boat site payments, he keep the boat until I paid it off in 9 months , $9000 in 9 months, the boat was 600 miles from me. I lived in my old RV to save on rental costs in order to pay off the boat. Now I am ‘living the dream’ my dream, lol.
    Peace kiddo

  15. Daniel

    Hi Teresa. After reading your post I just think that you are not so free. Is just a vital choice only available for few people in the world. It´s not easy to live like that, so enjoy and do not take any notice of jealous people. Don´t feel guilty for having such an opportunity in your life.

    And now what??

  16. MerryO

    Hey Adam! You know what’s funny? I don’t think I’d buy a bigger boat if I hit it rich.

    I like the fact that I can use my boat singlehandedly, that it takes only one reverse cycle heater unit to keep it warm–just the logistics of that, forgetting about the money aspect, and that I can fit in most cozy/small marinas (don’t need a larger marina for slippage which can mean less sense of community).

    I’d guess that T would also find larger boats to have too many downsides–esp the fact that it can be too much boat to handle alone. There really are advantages to smaller boats.

    That said, if I had lots of money, I’d get a smaller yet richer boat for sure!! I’d get some old beautiful wooden boat and pay some guys to do all the varish and keep it lovely maybe! Or just a more quality boat at least. But it would still be small, just more expensive! Or who knows, maybe I’d just spend the extra cash on goodies like food, presents for people, experiences.

    Either way, my boat size won’t go up. It’s not desirable!

  17. Dana

    What irresponsible things people say…..I just ignore them.
    I’m at the stage in my life where simplicity is beckoning…trying to get rid of so many things is my project now.
    Material things mean little. You can’t take them with you.
    I’ve never seen luggage racks on a hearse!
    It’s your life…enjoy it, experience it….
    Best wishes,

  18. Jason Rolph

    At the end of the day, regardless of how much money you have, what your background is, why you even chose to take this journey and have this experience in the first place matters most to one person – you. You could have easily achieved your dream privately and, in doing so, forgo the judgement of those with opposing and, at times, unjustifiably critical opinions. My opinion? I’m grateful you shared your story, I consider it a privilege to have been invited into your world, your dreams, hopes and ambitions., to be inspired by what you achieved, to have invested in One Simple Question and to be motivated to review what I consider important in my own life.
    Merry Christmas,

  19. Sean D'Epagnier

    I too live on a 27′ sailboat, but its not as nice as a nor sea 27. In any case, I bought it for $1000 in San Francisco, but now I have sailed it to New Zealand which turns out to be a great place to be on a boat. I thought your list of things you do without is funny, because I have many of them!

    Community — well same as you.. it changes with every anchorage
    Car — I wouldn’t want one, but I had a bicycle until it rusted
    Electricity — I have 8 golf cart batteries, and a deck covered in solar panels, so I can pretty much power anything. My boat is propelled electrically, and I use electricity for cooking, my electric oven, and stove cookers, I need no fuel.
    Refridgeration (for the first 16 months) — I have this
    TV — I have youtube
    Internet — I get this all the time.. infact I can hack most wifi to make it working from upto 3 miles
    Hair dryer — I used to have one and I had plenty of power for it, but then it got submerged when I took on about 100 gallons of water.
    Shower — solar shower
    Weekly Yoga class — yeah I don’t have this one
    Freezer — I have a freezer. It is good when I catch large fish and can’t eat it all, but I don’t really like to rely on this.
    Security — no not really, but the fact that I am not connected to land helps

    Dock — sometimes I dock places until they tell me I have to leave
    Garden — Some people grow stuff on their boat, but I do not
    Running water — I pour from gallon jugs.. what could be more reliable?
    Health Care — I get this as a visitor in New Zealand! just sail somewhere they have it
    Predictability — Some things are more predictable than others
    Residency (and therefore access to some benefits) — like free money?
    Washer and Dryer for clothing — I have a bucket and the sun
    Flush toilet — I flush it alright hehe
    Kitchen appliances — I got rid of the microwave because I don’t like how the food tastes

    1. Post

      Yep, I think we are experiencing some of the same things. In the context of the blog post, you’ll see that I explain that to get many of these needs and wants, I have to make a few modifications, just like you did!

      You may have most of these things on the list, but my point was that they are modified from what people typically think of. For example, your sun shower. You have to prepare a bit more to ensure you have a warm shower when you want it. And you have to use the water sparingly, especially if you are traveling and fresh water is limited.

      Another example is the washer and dryer…a bucket and the sun is certainly not the same. I also have a bucket, but I can’t count on the sun! At least not where I’ve been sailing lately.

      The free money part confused me. Do you get free money with your residency? Tell me where!?!?! What benefits I was referring to was a P.O. box, a bank account, a library card, vote, etc. I mention that a bit in the blog post. I had to have a street address to apply for all of those. Even to properly register my boat and even to pay my taxes!

      Congrats on the internet success. I’m still working on it. I tried a multi directional antenna and it worked for a bit, but it wasn’t reliable. And I can’t find free WiFi everywhere. I’m not interested in hacking either and using up bandwidth that I didn’t pay for.

      Your dock comment made me giggle. So, I’m guessing you don’t really have a dock? At least not one you could reliably leave your boat at for a few weeks while you visited your family. When you came back, your boat might not be there! So…you “dock there until they tell you to leave?” I guess the dock and hacking the WiFi is what you are talking about when you mentioned “free money.” That isn’t my style.


      P.S. I had a bicycle too…until it fell into the Charleston river! I’m sure its also pretty rusty now. Despite my efforts, I couldn’t retrieve it.

  20. Adam

    Hello Teresa,
    I’m new here, but I wanted to leave you a comment so you can add me to the likely huge list of people your posts inspire. I too dream of taking to the sea, and leaving behind the traps and monotony of life on land. Currently I’m in the process of making it happen, working a new job that I could do well from a boat, saving up for a worthy seagoing home, and finding a couple people to come with me.

    I just have one question, if you don’t mind… Do you find it more difficult to be going at this solo? Do you find yourself often wishing for another pair of hands or late night conversation? Or, rather, do you enjoy the privacy and self-sufficiency of doing this on your own? I can’t imagine your life being easy, doing all of that on your own. Personally I have a few friends I wish to bring with me, as I’m not sure I can handle that kind of workload on my own. Perhaps I overestimate the workload? All I know about lives like yours are what I read on liveaboard blogs like this one.

    Either way, THANK YOU for this blog. You inspire me. I haven’t encountered many people capable of doing what you do, or living how you live. The vast majority of the people around me that I’ve gotten to know would never consider doing anything as remarkable and difficult as what you have done. Go without TV and hot water to shower with? NO FREAKIN WAY! Luckily, I’m one of those odd people that gets a sense of fulfillment from hard living, so I suspect (hope?) that I will be able to follow your example someday.

    I wish you the best of luck, and I hope to meet you on the water some day!

    – Adam

    1. Post

      Thank you for your comments. I’m glad you are enjoying my blog. I am no longer sailing solo, but am sharing a boat with my partner, Ben. I sailed solo for several years but we both felt that it would be more economical for us to have only one boat and travel together. This way, we will be more likely to travel to the destinations we want to.

      Since I have sailed both solo, with a partner, and with other people, I feel that I can answer your question about which is the best way to travel. Although, you might not like my answer because it will be very vague. My answer is: “it depends.”

      It depends on:
      -your experience
      -who you are traveling with
      -your financial situation
      -how you are alone
      -the relationship with your sailing partner
      -and most importantly; what you want to accomplish while sailing.

      I recently wrote an article for Cruising World that was published in the Feb 2012 edition about why sailing solo was important to me. That article may help you.


      1. Adam

        Thank you for your quick reply! I can definitely see the benefits of sharing your life with a compatible partner. I am going to check out that article you mention in a moment, but first I feel I should share the information that might give you a clearer picture with which to offer advice, if you choose to. This is probably going to get rather long-winded, however, so if you do not have the time, or don’t wish to read it all, I will not be offended. Simply putting it there in case you are interested.

        I have no experience. I grew up and currently live in Wisconsin. I have never been on a boat. This may sounds strange, considering the choices I intend to make, but I possess an unusual personality type that I truly believe would work very well within this lifestyle. I have spent 3 years thus far reading various cruising and liveaboard blogs and stories, watching videos, etc. I realize that reading and watching are much different than actually being out there on a boat, however, and that is why I will be spending two years on my boat at a local marina in Milwaukee while I finish my college degree, before casting off and enmeshing myself into the lifestyle completely. This way I have an out and two years to decide whether or not to use it. But currently, no experience.

        If I choose to travel with others, it would be my two best friends, Jeff and Becky. The three of us are currently roommates in a small two bedroom apartment, living modestly while attending the University of Wisconsin. I truly believe we would get on well together on a boat, and they are as excited as I to try it out. I suspect, however, that at least one of them may change their mind during the two year stay at the local marina.

        I do however prefer to be alone sometimes. I do well on my own, and often wish for solitude above and beyond what I can get here at the apartment. And this is where my question comes into play. I honestly cannot decide whether or not I’d prefer to go at this alone or living with others. Thus, these comments seeking advice and/or information. I wont be making any solid decisions until we’ve lived at the marina awhile, but even at that point, while I’d certainly have a better idea what it’s like to live on a boat, I’d still have no knowledge of the workload, hardships, or general workability of going at this alone. Also, size of boat. I’d be buying a boat before knowing whether or not I’ll be doing this alone, so I find myself at a loss as to what kind of size or configuration to look for.

        I don’t have the opportunity to obtain a loan to buy a boat with, but I do have decent employment that I can maintain even whilst living aboard a boat, as long as I have internet access. I can buy a 3G modem and subscription for internet purposes, so I figure income is handled. I plan to have around $15-20k (USD) saved up for boat buying purposes, by the time I actually begin shopping for one, and my income would be about $500-$3000 per month, depending on how much I wish to work.

        As for your “most importantly” point, well, I’m not exactly sure. One thing I wish above all else is freedom. Not the “make fun of politicians” kind of freedom, but, rather, the “ok lets go see what New Zealand is like” kind. I have been living in poor areas of Wisconsin my entire life, and there’s a world out there full of beauty that I haven’t seen even the smallest part of. There are other motivations for me as well, but while I give them just as much weight, they are much more difficult to put into words. In a way, though I’ve lived a stationary life, I feel like I have the heart of a nomad. My feet have wanderlust. I need to go places.

        One last thing I wish to ask, if you’ve gotten this far, is how you compromise with your partner? What if he wishes to travel to, random example, Hawaii, and you want to see Australia? How do you decide priorities? What happens if the two of you were to separate? Who gets the boat? I don’t mean to imply that this is likely to happen or anything, just curious. I could easily imagine similar scenarios that might cause friction between my friends and I.

        Well, that’s about all I can think of as to the requested information. Or perhaps you weren’t requesting that information as much as simply suggesting I keep it in mind? If that was the case, my apologies for this long comment.

        Off to read your article in Cruising World. Thanks again!
        – Adam

        1. Adam

          It appears Cruising World requires a subscription in order to read your article. I intend to get one when I can, as from what I can see it looks to be a useful magazine, but today is not the day it will happen. Thus, I apologize if anything I mention or ask has already been covered in that article.

          Fair weather!
          – Adam

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          If you intend to live aboard a boat and travel long distances, I recommend you first sail as much as possible aboard a variety of boats before deciding which one to buy and who to trust aboard with you. Walk down to your local marina, cruise the docks, and offer a hand during regattas or if you see people going out sailing. Post a notice on the bulletin board, and ask around. There will be people who will take you sailing. Learn as much as you can from them, read books, and watch cruising videos.

          If freedom is your top priority, then I’m not the best source for seeking advice on how to get that. At this point, my recommendation would be to see the world via “Couch Surfing” or “WOOFing” (World Organization of Organic Farms). Maintaing a boat will cost you twice as much as you expect, but maintaining a backpack with clothing and a sleeping bag is much, much, less.

          I don’t find living on a boat freeing. In fact, sometimes I wish I lived in an apartment so I could experience more of that freedom that you expressed. However, it will also depend on your financial situation and how you will meet your basic needs. Some cruisers have a lot more freedom than I do, but they either have been lucky in money, or were able to save more money than I was, or are retired. In fact, most cruisers are of retirement age, and I believe that is the reason why. Other cruisers go for only a season up to a few years, and make a sabbatical out of it, rather than a lifestyle. At the present time, I am not cruising. I am living aboard and saving money for my next venture which I hope will happen in the spring of 2013.

          In 2009 I met a young couple who had purchased a cheap boat on eBay. They had never been sailing before, didn’t know what condition the boat was in, and probably didn’t even know what to look for in a boat. They traveled down the east coast without charts or lights, were warned as being a danger by a cruise liner, drug anchor multiple times, set their boat on fire at least once, and eventually their boat sank while they were aboard. They never had more than $20 in their pocket, and lived strictly off the generosity of strangers. The entire time they said they were living true to their dreams and “finding themselves.” But in the meantime, they were putting themselves and others in danger. The romantic dream of sailing about has masked the reality of work and money that it takes.

          The most important questions you need to be focusing on, during these two years you plan to use as preparation, are: 1) How much will this cost me? 2) How will I pay for this? 3) What experience do I need in order to keep myself, my friends, and other boats sailing near me safe during my travels?

          As you start to work out those details, you’re plan will become more clear. Your finances and skills will determine where you travel, what type of boat you’ll get, and if you should be alone or with someone else. Two years is plenty of time to prepare. Stay focused and you’ll be sailing soon.


        3. Hazza

          Hi Adam, not meaning to intrude on your post but I found your plan fascinating. I am from New Zealand and I think you should certainly head there! I feel the same about sailing, with the freedom of sailing offshore.
          Just wanted to say, don’t get discouraged! It is worth every minute, seeing dolphins in phosphorescence- flying under your keel and a million stars scattered above your head. Since visiting the US, I have come to fully appreciate the beauty of the sea. Once you go out there, it sticks with you. I have actually always found storms to be quite fun so maybe I am strange! Sailing itself is not too hard. It is the gear failure that gets most of us- having a good idea on engines and knowing your boat is essential. Try reading up on books by Nigel Calder. Also, as the live-in mast climber, having a immunity to heights also helps! Take care and remember, the wind and the waves is always on the side of the most able navigator! Cheers, Harriet
          PS everyone reacts differently to being on a yacht, especially offshore. You have to be sure of how they deal with situations. As in, you need to have experience with THEM if you are to go cruising together!

  21. Donnie

    Well, I just migrated here from a recommendation from a friend Matt. He sent me a link of one of your videos and I was amazed. You def set the pace and renew my energy and love of sailing. I started windsurfing when I was 15 to stay out of trouble. Now I am 39 and own a beautiful 35.5 Endeavour named Chiquita. I so have a passion for sailing and its always nice to see others faces when they are underway…they “get it”. Something very special about it. I am truly jealous of your travels and love watching your destinations and stories. We have big big plans to travel in the future. We are going to be purchasing a solar panel soon to help us run stuff. Seems you like talking on the VHF radio. Have you looked into becoming a Amateur Radio Operator ? It would give you global communications via voice, mail, text and receive all weather, wave and wind faxes. You can keep in touch with friends and family. There is also a large group of folks that pay attention to your travels to ensure your safety. Just a though to make life a bit easier. Keep up the videos ! We love them !
    Here is a link to our Maritime Mobile Net. You can listen it for free to hear how things work.
    Take care !
    S/V Chiquita
    N4MDX – call sign

  22. glyn

    I have enjoyed reading all your writing and watching all your youtube. You have lived out my dreams, well done.
    At 54 and with several years sailing behind me in the Irish Sea between England, Ireland and Scotland, I now think I am kinda ready to take on some liveaboard action.
    I have just one ambition which I will take with me on my next adventure – take it easy, at last.
    Like you, I have worked since I was 15 and have bought/sold houses, brought up two wonderful daughters and held down several jobs (sometimes 3 separate jobs a week in order to pay bills)
    Now, it’s payback time.
    I’ll keep you posted and, good luck with your adventures etc.

    Fair winds,

    Glyn UK

  23. Joel Florek

    Keep goin! I am just buying my first boat and have started to get rid of all the little things I can in an effort to make sure I can pay for it. Its not easy living on your own, and trying to pay all the bills to afford college, a house, car, and soon to be a boat. Unfortunately I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, one of the snowiest places in America. I am a waiter working to save every dime I can so that I can begin to sail and race throughout Lake Superior through the summer months.

    The hardest thing in life is to be raised to societies standard, and then step back and realize that for yourself it really is all flawed. The challenge comes when you know what you have to do, but everyone you love and care about sees the “nomadic life” aboard a sailboat as a failed existence. But when you take a second to look at the facts the only difference is security. Those who choose to work and press towards a professional career see the rush day in and day out. Get up, get coffee, get in the car, go to work, drive home, finish work, watch a show, go to bed, and do it again. But what you see is every sunrise and sunset, every storm as it builds and crosses the oceans, and you have seen more of the world than most will ever see, and you have only just begun.

    Its admirable, inspiring, and in 5 years im leaving it all behind for a life of insecurity to fulfill my greatest passion!

    Thank you for sharing your story and always keep your sails full!

  24. Maurizio Vallebona

    hi Teresa.

    i thank you for the right point of view of the life aboard a ship you are doing.
    as usual a lot of people talks about a lot of things that they not experimented.

    it’s the dark side of our society . Judgement of things you never know.
    You have a fresch witness of life, keep going on your things and make your road clean.

  25. Leonard H. Insall

    Hello Teresa,
    I am a retired United States Merchant Marine and have never lived a normal live just an extraordinary one.Follow your dreams kid you will never regret it.
    Leonard H. Insall

  26. Sarah H

    You get a standing ovation. Clapping, whistling, the whole bit. I wish I had the guts to own a boat a single female, never mind sailing alone. I just don’t have the know-how. The one thing I would like to encourage you to do is get some health insurance. My brother lives a very similar lifestyle to yours and was without health insurance and ended up with an extremely unexpected health problem. No one would have ever predicted this. Now he has about $100K in medical bills. I was also reading a sailing forum the other day and a sailor was writing about unexpectedly ending up in an ICU in a foreign country, can’t remember where. He said if he hadn’t had health insurance he would have had to pay $11,000 before he would have been allowed to leave the hospital. Just something to think about. Even a cheap catostrophic plan would be better than nothing. But I wish you good health.


  27. Adam

    I was once a gypsy, and lived out of my car, climbing and backpacking to my heart’s content and taking short contracts at various hospitals as a nurse. I was wrestles, and my drive came from a desire to have all of my possessions fit inside a 12×12 box. I was never able to get that small – but the lifestyle led me to a wonderful wife and an amazing daughter. I recently found your blog after the sailing bug bit me, and it makes my heart sing!

    I am snort-chuckled a bit when I read your comment:
    “And when I want to enjoy my favorite dessert of a frozen coconut fruit bar, I have to eat the entire box in one sitting for lack of freezer”

    😉 I completely agree! That sums up a lot of the experience right there. The freedom I had over the years was worth that very predicament. The good part of the predicament was that I only wanted the best ice-cream flavor in the world – vanilla with milk – once every couple of months because I would get SOOOO sick! LOL You stay fit with those sort of issues.

    When y’all are down to the Georgia coast next, we’d love to take y’all out for a good supper somewhere. Looks like the icebergs are waiting on you two though. Good luck!

  28. Lisa

    Great Post! Keep up the good work. Through your hard work and sacrifices, you afford your boat and more importantly, live the life YOU choose. You are inspiring me! 😀

  29. Ricsudukai

    It’s always amused me that if you make choices out of the ordinary people tend to get threatened. The more extraordinary the choices, the greater the perceived threat seems to be….

    You will never correct the opinion of those that cannot imagine any reality beyond their own, and the only way to have an argument with an idiot is to become one yourself, so not much point going there! In the Australian vernacular, bugger ’em.

    You appear rightfully content with your lifestyle choices, and your stability as a person reflect that these life decisions have been exactly right for you. After love of family what else is more important than pursuing dreams – the definition of old age is when you have more regrets than dreams so there is an easy cure against premature ageing…..

    Life, you have to enjoy the journey, it’s much more fun than the eventual destination from all reports thus far. 🙂

  30. Jeff

    I enjoy reading your blog and following your journey. It has made me revisit a number of “comfort” related arguments I have had with myself in the past.

    In my 20’s I roamed around Europe on a used motorcycle for a year and a half. Each day I decided whether to stay or go, and in which direction to leave if I so chose. I bought the motorcycle and lived on money I earned doing whatever work I could find.

    I lived out of two saddlebags and a tent bungie-corded to the back of the bike. I remember feeling so burdened by all of my belongings. One day in Athens, Greece I ran across a fellow who had just returned from two years walking around Africa. All he carried was a change of underwear and a toothbrush. He remarked that he was tired of carrying that stuff around and wished he could have managed with just the clothes on his back. Clearly, freedom is relative.

    Regarding the harsh attitudes you have encountered on the web, I think that when you begin to make the transition from just living your life to “selling” your life, people feel more free to “review” you. And, the art of critique in this country is at a pretty low state at the moment..

    Best of luck with your endeavors!

  31. Mary Larson-Dennis

    This was a great article. I have to admit, I had processed a few thoughts about your funding and had assumed “trust fund”. Thanks for 1) calling me on my assumptions (for the record, though, I never sent you any snarky emails) and 2) inspiring me. We are planning to cast off this May from Superior, WI. Your article makes me feel like we can do it. Good for you!

    Oh, and thoughts about your imaginary trust fund were absolutely borne of jealousy! Ah, well. We’re all just works in progress.

    Thanks, again, for the post.


  32. John

    keep up the good work. I agree with the simple lifestyle 100%. The pressure to conform is ridiculous and I appreciate you having fun and living how life should be.

  33. Jeff

    Those that have followed your travels and in some cases trials, know and understand the sacrifices and difficulties you have endured. Those that make negative comments obviously have no imagination and no idea o what it takes to get where you are. They don’t matter. Those who have ever dreamed of it get what you were aiming for and those that have ever set foot on a small boat have a very good idea of the kind of person you are. I have long followed your blog, thoroughly enjoyed it and shared it to friends who would appreciate what you have accomplished.

    Keep living the dream.

  34. Scott


    People don’t realize that many of the people who have boats greater than 25 feet, don’t necessarily have a yacht nor do they have lots of money. I have a 35 foot Pearson, which I purchased and saved for years to buy at the whopping price of 15 thousand dollars. Most fisherman pay this price for a small fishing boat. My boat is 38 years old. A friend of mine told me to enjoy it and not put a lot of money into it and for the most part that is what I do.Today, I spent most of the day with my arms and hands in nasty bilge water trying to figure out what is wrong with my bilge pump. I am amazed at the folks that live aboard and their resourcefulness. Like you, they find ways to make a living and some leave their boat for months at a time and come back and cruise for months. I know some that play music and sell their DVDs as they sail from port to port. It takes courage and the willingness to go without the basics that most people take for granted. I thoroughly enjoy you website especially because it gives us folks, those that only dream of being a live aboard, an opportunity to see what is like to step out of the box. Thanks!

  35. Doug Bristol

    In case you haven’t come across it, there’s a wonderful poem that applies to you and those who share your view of life. It also inspired a 1943 film, “Now Voyager”, about a young woman like you, finding her own way in the world. The poem is,

    The Untold Want
    by Walt Whitman

    The untold want by life and land ne’er granted,
    Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find.

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring life’s voyage.
    Fair winds, Doug

  36. Peter Johnson

    Hello Teresa,

    I just recently found your blog/movie/story, and I wanted to tell you how awesome I think you are. 🙂

    I don’t know why, but this makes me laugh: “How many Americans could actually afford a 27-foot sailboat much less consider such a lifestyle of simple living? It is simple all right, simply incredible and egotistical in its lack of work ethic.” If somebody that lives in a cubical disapproves of your lifestyle, chances are you’re doing something right.

    Last year I moved into a camper trailer, not because I couldn’t afford to pay rent, but because I felt that the going rates for places I’d never want to live were boarder line usury. It’s funny how many similarities there are between living in a boat and a camper.

    This trailer was about a half of a mile up the road from where I initially parked mine. One windy night a tree fell on the corner of it flipping it onto its side. No one was hurt, but I don’t think it helped his marriage/relationship with his significant other at all. Helping him flip it back over was the only time I ever talked to him. It did made me reconsider my choice in parking, since that I parked right next to canyon for the view.

    I’m looking forward to reading about your future adventures. Be safe out there.

    Best Regards,
    Peter J

  37. Jeremy

    Some quotes in response to those comments Teresa…

    If the nomadic life were too expensive, gypsies would not exist. – – – Someone

    In the intelligence vacuum of the internet, no one can hear you screen. – – – Me

    Hard work is never a problem for those who already work hard yet the fruit of worthy labor is sweeter than all the possessions of the lazy. – – – Someone

    It is humanly unnatural to question the safety promised by the many from the words of the few who tackle adventure. – – – Someone

  38. Chris


    Congratulations on not being stuck in the “matrix” like the masses. I just linked to your blog from a You Tube video and I’m inspired.

    I’m from a large family (7 kids) and I was the only one born with “fins”. I guess it’s in the soul. I was stationed aboard a Coast Guard cutter for a little over two years and being on the water was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done. (Aren’t the Bahamas incredible?! 🙂 ).

    For a while now, I’ve had this idea about living aboard a sailboat also. I miss being on the water. Now I know I have to make it happen. Thanx for sharing your experience. Good luck and Bravo Zulu.

  39. Pingback: Blog of the Week 7/28/13-8/3/13 | The Crazy Chronicles: 5 Kids and a Boat

  40. ron

    Viva la Voca!

    My hat’s off to your courage and insight. Sometimes, our situations give us an unfair advantage over the “drones” – a mountaintop perspective that the hypnotized masses have insufficient cognizance to recognize. It becomes a catch 22 for them. A slave does not always know that he is a slave (unless he has met someone who isn’t)

    The so-called work ethic is ancient propaganda, used to keep drones in their place. May many fair winds and soft sunsets be in your future!

  41. Tommy from Chicago

    I’m very impressed! You have a great attitude and don’t depend on others. You are self sufficient and a true individual. I should of went to bed hours ago but I couldn’t help myself but stay up and watch a few of your videos and read through your blog.

    As a Military Officer, world traveler and backpacker, I too have come to realize you don’t need much stuff with you or that big of a space. Your detractors in the comments section of YouTube were the usual idiots of the internet… making assumptions, uneducated, and jealous. It’s hard for people to visualize life outside their comfortable bubble in which they make for themselves. Our lives are much more open and like you said, your life is about existing outside that space.

    I’m especially impressed that you found one of the only “properties” left that you don’t pay taxes on. (Property tax is unconstitutional since you never really own the land.) It was pretty funny reading how the USCG couldn’t understand that you didn’t have an address outside your boat. Good luck to you.

  42. Caleb

    I admire and embrace all your accomplishments. At 23 I went to north shore Oahu for a few months that turned into 6 years, a great learning lesson of simplicity. I live with no debt, secure income and a positive outlooks.
    I do not agree with all the particulars and politics, but I congratulate you on achieving all that you have in the time that you have. Take pride in your accomplishments and continue to be an example. The American Dream, is not American, it is a dream for accomplishing ones hopes and desires.
    The media is a filth laden spawning ground for selfishness and content, do not let its followers effect your heart, they do not know any better.

  43. Bea

    I would add few more things:
    No more high heels, nice dresses ( no iron )
    If I don’t make laundry for a week – no more clean clothes.
    Only shampoo& conditioner – 2 in1, if I use separate shampoo and conditioner, I will use to much water.
    One gallon of water is enough for normal shower, if you want luxury – 2 gallons:)

    I keep my boat in shape and make some money by chartering it in high season( 4-5 months a year), also don’t have house, or anything else….. But I love my boat because it was my husband’s dream….. and my dream.

    And I love your blog, you are wonderful person.

  44. Larry

    For someone to say that owning a 27′ boat is out of the reach of the average person is to show the ignorance many people have of sailing. I did not take a loan out for my 26′ Grampian, but made an arrangement with the owner and it will be paid off after making payments for just over a year. A sailboat is not something that’s out of reach for most people so long as they don’t want the biggest and best. Anyone can afford to sail if they want to.

  45. cassy

    You go girl!! I too lived aboard a sailboat with my family for three years. Her name was Crescendo, 32 ft Pearson 10m. Hailing port, Norfolk Va. We set set sail for Marathon key Fl where we anchored in Boot key harbor.
    I was only 16 at the time but wow I took so much from that experience. I got my first job at Beaufort NC, Met a pirate named Sinbad. He had his name changed to that. Met lots of awesome folks.
    I Remember Christmas caroling in Boot Key harbor Christmas eve, In a dyer dingy…….Yes, we were part of a 8 dingy caroling party. Folks came out of their apartments to hear us crazy sailors singing our hearts out!
    Yes it was nice to make make landfall at times. Grocery runs, laundry, showers and lets not forget to take those sails onto land for folding.
    Some of my favorite memories….
    1..Waking up to the smell of breakfast as we were underway.
    2. Halyards clanging,
    3. sleeping on board a cruising waterbed,
    4.feeling snug and safe on board The wonderful Crescendo
    5. listening to the weather on vhf, guy had a nice, soothing voice.
    6. simple living,
    7. lots of family time,
    8.jamming to Jimmy Buffet while at sea,
    9.the feel of the wind as we sailed along the ocean.
    10.floating docks after being at sea during storms, yes we must have looked drunk to folks.
    11.compass sailing at night on the ocean
    12.having the you know what scared out of me by the coast guard. Yes it was off the coast of Fla, lots of pirating at the time. We were under full sail at night. They came out of nowhere, no lights, no radio contact, only the sound of engines and smell of diesel. what a night!
    13.anchor watch in Jan 1, Chesapeake Bay. you not at dock first of year, you pay no tax..So cold inside. wrapped up in sleeping bag like worm, hop off of bunk. hop to window, scrape frosty window to see outside. everything where it suppose to be. get comfortable again,. Jan 2 , pull up anchor, chain icing as it hits air…..
    14.Hellish tidal drops…Brunswick Ga. get off boat, go shopping. come back where is the the boat?????? Ahhhh there she is……now we got to climb DOWN ladder to get Crescendo…..Could not see the mast when we came back. I kid you not. Other sailors have said same thing about Brunswick Ga,
    15. petting dolphins as they swim along side Crescendo, Fla coast. Watch out for barnacles….
    16. watching rocket being launched from Cape Canaveral while on board Crescendo.
    17 ICW inter coastal waterway. kinda nice at times.
    18. My favorite body of water, lets see. Pamlico sound NC, you could always count on a rough crossing. Nice day sail from Hatteras to Ocracoke island NC. Got to love the Outer Banks NC!
    19. ice cold seat on head.. loved when dad used it before me, nice and warm. timing is everything when you gotta go.
    20. just being on board made me smile. too many memories to list them all.
    Thanks for letting me share. I no longer live on Crescendo. we bought a house. I hope to someday buy another Pearson, they are great sailboats.

  46. Laurie

    I’m not rich, nor do I have rich friends. However, I have a friend that received a $400 handbag as a birthday present, and stuck-up her nose at it because it wasn’t a Coach. She often shops for jewelry, but won’t wear anything less than 14K gold. My friend remains deep in debt, because she’s fallen for the “you are what you have” abyss of insecurity that’s common among women within my Midwestern community.

    Watch the average YouTube video created by a “beauty guru,” and you’ll soon see a vanity full of highly expensive and largely unused perfumes, makeup and hair care products. The average CHI flat iron is $100, and a MIA will set you back another $100 to $200. A single tube of YSL lipstick is $32, and it’s not uncommon for many of these “gurus” to have 8 or more tubes of YSL at $256. That doesn’t include their MAC, Bobbi Brown and Chanel collections that they “can’t live without”.

    So, I find those that have referred to you as a “trust fund baby” are completely ignorant of how much money is wasted to keep up with marketed ideals of what defines a good life. It’s not as if you were biking in a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes, while sporting a Louis Vuitton back pack. And you’re twice as beautiful wearing no makeup, sneakers and fleece sweaters as many of the beauty experts I’ve seen.

    It’s all about priorities and passion. Many buy into the hype of marketing, and their priorities and passions follow that flow. They look at themselves and say, “Teresa’s life on the Daphne is too expensive for me’, because their unable to comprehend living without a MIA, CHI, Or YSL…let alone consistent electricity and hot, fresh water.

    I’ve always wanted a boat, but never thought I could afford one. Now, when I step into my closet, I confront the tough reality that I could’ve easily bought a boat with the money I used to purchase 200 pairs of shoes and ten designer handbags over the years. What you’ve done, Teresa, is brilliant in it’s simplicity….realizing we’re only limited by ourselves and what we’re willing to do to accomplish the life we want.

    I’m just now beginning my journey. Last Friday, I quit my job of ten years and am moving to the UK. I’ve been pretty scared. There wasn’t much planning or budgeting in my decision. I just couldn’t live like that one more day. My life had grown stagnant in it’s predictability. It’s like I just woke up and decided to plunge into a future of adventure and uncertainty.

    I discovered your life on the Daphne yesterday, and your videos and blog have been very helpful to me in soothing my anxiety. So, thank you so much for making your journey public. You’ve truly helped me.

  47. Mirosan

    Hi Theresa, very well put. Thank you. Living small and simple only appears so to those with small minds.

    With respect to the pic of you on Daphne and the winter cover – which I love, the structure looks really heavy and expensive and hard to put away. Could you not build something more lightweight? Something like the poly tunnels used in veggie plots? You can make the hoops as sturdy as you like. What do you think?

    Bestest wishes.

  48. aaron

    I love my life, I love my wife, I love my baby. I wouldn’t change it. But I wish I wish I wish I could live two lives so that I could live one like yours also. I’m not jealous of rich people with lots of toys and fancy cloths. I hardly even know the emotion. But I am jealous of you.

  49. Lance Emil

    You absolutely DO NOT need to defend yourself nor your lifestyle; if anything, the landlubbers do. Really enjoy the blog and vids. See you on the high seas.

  50. Doug leidy

    I work for years to do the same thing. I had not running water or hot water. Or stove for over 2 years. People only see what you have at the end not what you had on the way. I just got another sailboat last year. A westsail 32. It will take me another year to get her in shape but I got her cheap and I can do all the work. If you work hard enough you can get what you want but if you think it’s going to drop in your lap with out compromise then you will never get anywhere. Loved your videos. Sail far live free.

  51. Peter

    Never mind the idiots that are critical. If it is not about the money they will look for something else. Couple of years ago a Dutch girl of 16 circumnavigated alone, she had to face the same bull. Some people are just scared and ignorant and watching someone going out there succesfully brings the sorry state of their own lives back to them. That’s why you get criticism. Never mind them, enjoy!

  52. Norman King Franklin III

    This is a true inspiration to me and my hopes to one day be a live aboard. Ihave it mostly planned out and Hope to join you on the Blue Road in 3 years or so. Thank you for this article, as strange as it is I look forward to living without the luxuries a home provides.

  53. JB

    Yep, living aboard has its issues! When I started yet another temporary job as a technical trainer I had to go through a security background check by the FBI. They sent two ladies down to verify that I lived on a 24′ sailboat…so down the dock they walked, in heels and business suits, to look at my boat after talking to the dockmaster (I, of course, was in another state working at the time and this was told to me by said giggling dockmaster). Yep, that’s how rumors get started!

  54. Luke Spedding

    Your an amazing inspiration for everyone out there that wants to live a fuller life, too many people nowadays put to much effort into acquiring “this thing” to get “that thing” to show this person how great they are because they got “this thing” that they didn’t need in the first place. It’s always been a dream of mine to live on a boat and even if I don’t manage to do it i am glad that there is somebody out there that is living their dream. I wish you all the best

  55. Chad

    Have you thought of publishing a comprehensive “What you need.” type booklet for cruising? Things like what food items you found to be longest lasting with or without refrigeration. Much of what is needed depends on the particular individual but it would be nice to have reference to something for starters.
    I love how you do not sugar coat, even though you present it with a giggle and a smile, the reality of living aboard. I think your input on many things regarding life aboard would be well taken if you decided to publish such a work.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  56. Andy

    It’s amazing how people assume liveaboards must be rich to afford their lifestyle,.. while never considering the fact that the conventional life, i.e, having kids, buying a house and/or paying several decades worth of rent is vastly more expensive that owning a small sailboat.
    They should really be asking themselves why more people aren’t doing this, or something similar.

  57. George

    man…the haters. anyone who accuses you of not having a work ethic has never owned a boat of any kind. most people don’t realize that it can cost less to live aboard than it does to live in town…

  58. Terence

    This has been an interesting read. Thanks, though you get no sympathy for having to eat a box of popsicles in one sitting. Also saw you on TED which was interesting as well. Good job!

  59. Frank Kelly

    Hi Teresa! Congratulations on having the fortitude to go on out and do that which makes you most happy! Are you still sailing? You are a charming young lady and it was a pleasure to watch the vids and read your blog here. It’s actually something I’ve always wanted to do. I actually bought a 23 Catalina, but my son sold it out from under me when I was out of town working! It’s funny now but wasn’t then. Sail on sail on sailor, as the Beach Boys would say!

  60. stuckonland

    Ok so you removed some extraneous costs, exchanged one set of burdens for another, and now have a boat.

    When are you going to sail around the world’s coastlines?

    1. Post
      Teresa Carey

      Actually I have! This post was written a long time ago and for the past few years I’ve sailed from Newfoundland to Panama, the Carib, Bermuda, Belize and ports in between! Most of it is chronicled in this blog and associated social media. Follow along! Lots of sailing and a lot of work. I’m ready to slow down a bit and have a different adventure.

      1. stuckonland

        I’ve seen most of your vids

        You’re wonderful and living my dream. Are you going to continue on around … brazil, cape horn, chile, peru, …? Or if you’re north greenland, iceland, ireland..

        1. Post
  61. glenn miller

    I am soon about to take the plunge and cast off the rope. Looking for an inexpensive slip/ mooring southern South Carolina/ north Georgia. I live ne of atlanta and will have to commute for a few months while refitting. How far up the savanna river can i get with a 3.5 ft draft? Any help will be much appreciated.

  62. Bryce

    Teresa, you are an inspiration to myself, and obviously to many; furthermore, as a middle-aged male who’s done the family thing, and who has teenaged son, I’ve found it most beneficial praising you in face of difficulties. I say to myself n to my son,”if a young girl can sail the world, how hard could it be.” I hope you find yourself at sea to your dying days, and I hope to be on the water myself soon. May Mary guide n bless you always.

  63. josh

    Hi Teresa,
    I enjoyed reading your posts. I got terminated from work just over a month ago. I have just had a lucrative job offer but one that will come with an inordinate ammount of obligation and commitment.
    My heart is on the water. I’m reading your post and writing this because I know I may end up miserable with this job opportunity.
    About two years ago I read a blog about a smoke jumper that took a season off to canoe the Mississippi.
    I think that sounds like the adventure I want.

  64. Steve

    It’s sad that she felt she had to justify her life to others; I’ve sailed extensively and have lived on 24’/25′ boats with sometimes up to five people and a dog; I worked hard to be able to afford that lifestyle, harder than I’ve worked on land; however, that’s when I’ve been the most content, experienced the most peace.

    Good for you and I hope you keep going. One thing I’ve learned is that, if you follow your dream, whether it’s sailing or being a better you, people who cannot or do not follow their dream try to take you down with them. Please ignore them, for your mental health and sake.

  65. Matt Borel

    I appreciate your sharing how you make this lifestyle work. I was directed here by the Kirsten Dirksen video, in which you made really good observations about people misjudging how much comfort and convenience they really need. It’s not that the average person can’t do what you have done, it’s that they can’t have their normal life AND do what you have done. Most of us are brainwashed into thinking we must have the former. I really liked your comment on nomadic living too.

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