The story of how we got here.
Tim has always loved all things transportation. If he was up late at night, it was because he was in a deep hole watching boats splashing, trains crossing the country, or airplanes landing. If he did fall asleep, it was because he was listening to transportation related podcasts (and I would be awake trying to turn it off). On road trips, we always have to drive by the airport.
It was no surprise that Tim stumbled across an article of a couple embarking on the Great Loop. He shared it with me one night when I was in graduate school, and I thought it was cool, but pretty far out there and didn't seem attainable. I had papers and deadlines and a next job to think about. But the seed was planted and little did we know it was growing.
Our honeymoon was when we really started to think through if it was possible, and began putting some rough timelines and logistics together. We also were coming down from a high of an incredible wedding and trip, and wanted something big to look forward to-whether we actually thought it could happen or not.
There were big steps and small steps that needed to happen. We were excited but scared--so together we decided to start with the small, low-risk steps first, just to see where they would take us.
We joined American Great Loop Cruisers Association and began learning through daily emails more about the loop and lifestyle.
We talked to our financial planner to see if this would be possible, and what we really needed to start planning for to do this trip responsibly.
We started sharing the idea with family and friends. The more we talked about it we thought, maybe the more likely it could happen.
We poked around on the internet. (Obvi not hard for Tim).
But there were much bigger, scarier, riskier steps we would have to take, like what to do about our apartment, jobs, a boat, just to name a few. We weren't quite sure if we could or would ever be ready to make these moves. And then 2020 happened.
1. Leaving NYC
When our jobs became virtual, we ended up spending the majority of 2020 living with our parents (in MD and NJ). Our NYC apartment, where we were living at the time, was meant for exploring the city, not 2 people working from home. With the uncertainties of COVID, we also wanted to be closer to family, and we were lucky we had safe options to do so. Our lease was up in October, and no longer having anything tying us to NYC, we had one last NYC BEC, moved out, and converted our parents' basement into a storage unit.
2. Leaving Our Jobs
Last year, my employer offered voluntary separation packages to employees who may be ready to leave the company. It was a voluntary program, and I very much enjoyed my job and colleagues, but this created an unexpected window of opportunity that could make our Great Loop trip a reality. Tim was coming up on seven years at his company, and knew that he wanted to pursue other opportunities in his future, including owning his own business one day. Given forces already in motion, it just made sense that if we were serious about the trip, now was the time for us both to leave.
3. Buying Our Boat
Once we recognized the window of opportunity in front of us, purchasing the boat was not as scary.
Everything else was in motion and the one thing that had to happen to make the trip possible was getting a boat. Having taken the small steps of talking with our financial advisers and researching the Camano, and working closely with our broker, Murray Yacht Sales, we had the right things in place so when we met Sweet Day, we felt confident she was the boat for us.
So how we got here is like how a lot of things probably tend to happen. One part planning, one part luck, and a lot of recognizing how to seize the opportunities in front of us.