Are we crazy?
Ok so most people don’t have the courage to ask this question, but it’s certainly one we ask ourselves on a regular basis. The short answer is we hope not, but then again, when does anyone recognize they are crazy? The longer answer is that we’ve spent a lot of time and money making this trip a reality and we’re mostly confident it will work. Realistically the worst case scenario is we decide it’s not for us and we fly home.
What about school for the kids?
The kids, Alice (12), Ella (10) and Calvin (7) will be missing 7th, 5th and 2nd grades respectively. We will be doing our best attempt at world-schooling (a variation of home schooling), assisted by the amazing schooling resources availability over the internet. Based on our 3-week adventure in China a few years ago, we are reasonably confident the kids will learn far more by traveling than they would sitting in a classroom. With that said, it is our plan to put the kids back in public schools when we return and having missed an entire grade will not be without consequences. Our hope is that between our attempts at world schooling and a heavy investment in private tutoring the kids will catch up quickly.
Who is Kyle (aka the 6th wheel)?
Kyle Harston has been one of our family’s closest friends for more than a decade. He’s lived with our family from time to time and came with us on our 3-week trip to China. When we first joked about inviting him on this adventure, every member of our family responded with a resounding YES! While adding a 6th person to our tight quarters for an extended period of time has its risks, having an extra adult on board is invaluable, especially one as awesome as Kyle.
What about all your stuff?
With just a few exceptions we sold, donated or threw away most everything we own. This was done in phases, starting in 2017 when we downsized homes from 2,800sf to 1,800sf. Most painfully this meant going from a 3-car garage to just a 1.5 car garage, which required that most of Matt’s toys go away. We are keeping our condo in Moses Lake, WA which will be rented out while we are gone. While this process was not easy, we all took comfort in knowing that when the boating adventure was over we would get to buy all new stuff. Funny thing about downsizing is that being without all that stuff is very liberating, even if you aren’t moving aboard a boat.
How can you afford this adventure?
It’s often considered poor form to discuss money, so feel free to skip this question. Thanks to a combination of really hard work and some good fortune, Matthew runs a couple of successful businesses (links here) that provide a comfortable income for our family. More importantly, we are very intentional about our spending. For us, this means living well within our means and not trying to ‘compete with the Jones’s.’ The proceeds from our home sale in Federal Way helped purchase our boat and other than the substantial cost of fuel, our boat living expenses will often be LESS than our costs living on land.
What about Matthew's businesses?
After safety, the ongoing health of our businesses is our top concern. While we obviously need the ongoing income they provide, of far more importance, is our commitment to our clients, business partners, and team members. Thanks to technology Matthew will be able to ‘work from home’ regardless of where the boat may be anchored. He will also be regularly flying back to Seattle to meet with clients.
Where will you go when this adventure ends?
Currently, our plan is to be done with this adventure and be back to Issaquah, WA by the time school starts in September of 2019. This will require finding a new home in Issaquah, but as Grandpa Nathaniel Jarvis always says “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Why is your boat named "A Boat Named Sue"?
In honor of one of our favorite songs, “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash.
Can I join your crew?
Maybe. In general, we love hosting friends, especially those who love adventure as much as we do and who don’t mind sleeping on a couch. Because of unpredictable weather delays and potential mechanical issues, we can’t be certain where we will be on any given date or time. More specifically, we need as much as a two-week window for any specific destination, which means you might be forced to make some very expensive changes to your flights. If that’s ok with you, drop us a line and we’ll see what’s possible. Just please don’t take it personally if we have to decline.
Where did you learn to drive such a large boat?
Mostly by watching the classic movie, Captain Ron. 🙂