Whether it’s as you’re preparing to cruise, or once you’ve started, it’s easy for things to derail your plans. It can be financial, health, family, friends, boat problems . . . whatever.
Life happens to us all. So how do you keep cruising in spite of it?
Review Your Options
The reality is that it may take some adjustments to your cruising plans. But in all likelihood you don’t have to abandon cruising.
The trick is to ask the question “How can we . . . ?”
- Financial: maybe find ways to work along the way, work remotely, take periodic trips “back home” to work, or opt for fewer days in a marina, fewer evenings at a restaurant or bar, fewer boat upgrades.
- Health: What can you do? If you need follow up for a condition, plan stops in cities with the appropriate medical centers, and maybe your doctor can arrange consultations with colleagues. If you need periodic treatments, figure out where you can get them. If strength and stamina are a problem, opt for coastal cruising with shorter days. Maybe you can do a short stint ashore, then return to the boat.
- Family and Friends: It can be tough if a parent, child or close friend needs help. But start by assessing what type of help they truly need. Do they need everyday assistance, or would a visit every month or 6 weeks work? Could you help them remotely? Travel could impact the budget and the need for internet and airports could affect where you go, but cruising may still be possible.
- Boat Problems: Yes, they have to be fixed. But is it possible to do a temporary repair, or partial repair, until you’re in a better location? This is what Lin Pardey refers to as “the un-stoppable boat” where you can make sufficient repairs yourself to keep going until you get to a good spot to do the ultimate repair. Obviously, the more skilled you are and the more spare parts and tools you carry, the more you’ll be able to do. And having manual backups for all the critical systems really helps!
In all these cases, thinking about how you can continue instead of just assuming that you have to end (or take a longer break from) your cruising can produce some innovative solutions.
Adjusting Our Cruising Plans
Over our 14 years of cruising, we’ve done all of these . . . as well as taking a 6-year break from cruising (2008-2014) to deal with health problems that just weren’t getting resolved otherwise. I get it when you say the work-arounds just aren’t working. But it’s worth trying them first – had we thrown in the towel at the first problem we had (losing a large part of Dave’s retirement benefits when the company declared bankruptcy), we’d only have had 2 years of cruising!
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Gaile Jones says
Thank you for this article, Carolyn. Comforting to know we’re not alone, as we have dealt with each one of these “life” issues, delaying or postponing cruising plans — including COVID in 2020! Still setting the course to do things in new ways….!