Changes!

We’re selling the boat! Our year on the boat was absolutely magical and we made countless memories that have not only bonded us as a family, but allowed us to grow and learn in ways we never would have if not for this adventure.

Why are we ending our sailing adventure after a year? Well, we have several reasons, and combined they are pretty convincing. First, Pat left his job as a construction project manager last year wanting to find something different that set his soul on fire. Our time on the boat gave him time to reflect and when he saw a family member achieve his dream after years of effort, it ignited a fire in Pat to pursue his dream as well. He still has a GI Bill to use and he has decided to take another stab at getting medical clearance to fly airplanes commercially. In the past he had a medical condition (kidney stones) that made his chances of medical clearance low, but he has not experienced anything associated with the condition for 15 years now, so he’s going to give it another go. We, as a family, couldn’t be happier that he is going for it again. Flying really is his calling.

Second, the kids have requested no more homeschooling. We think our homeschooling efforts were less than enjoyable for all involved due to our steep learning curve with learning to sail, learning to homeschool, and learning to work online full-time – all while sailing thousands of miles and exploring new places. I don’t think our efforts we unsuccessful – the kids learned a lot and are ahead of where they need to be for math, reading and writing (and I suspect science and social studies!), but we had many conflicts along the way. Additionally, while we met many kid boats and made many friends, we ultimately left them after a few weeks and the kids would be sad to part ways with their friends. They want to form lasting, in person friendships – which I think is totally valid. The social challenges from our time on the boat and in Costa Rica have made them more social – engaging with kids outside of their “comfort zone” (i.e. older, younger, different gender, spoken language, etc.).

Finally, once we spent a few weeks on land we realized how easy land life is! I think we didn’t even realize the level of stress we were under while on the boat. It might sound strange, but having easy access to good food, a large refrigerator, internet, and a washing machine – and not having to worry about weather systems affecting our safety, I realized that I liked Pat and the kids a whole lot more all of a sudden! While the experiences are amazing and we feel the stress levels are worth it for those experiences – when we had the other two factors involved, it really was a no brainer to sell the boat.

So, what’s next? We are putting the boat up for sale, but it likely will not sell while it’s stored on the hard. If it does, we’ll head to Portland at the end of our time in Costa Rica (December). If it doesn’t sell, we’ll go back to Grenada and sail it to Florida to sell there or somewhere along the way in the Caribbean – and then make our way to Portland. Will we go back to the regular lifestyle we had before – working in jobs that were not good for our souls and keeping schedules that left little room for enjoying each other and life? Heck no! There is no way we can go back to working 9-5, trying to climb the ladder, having one 2 week vacation per year, accumulating things, etc. Pat’s job as a pilot will eventually lend itself to flight privileges for the family – we want to continue traveling and doing so in long enough stints that we really engage in the various cultures – a month or so at a time. I plan to continue teaching online, which allows for so much flexibility, but to also incorporate teaching yoga and having my own massage business based out of our house. The kids want to attend public school, so that is the plan for right now. We hope to purchase a small home in Portland, OR and keep to our minimalist lifestyle. But honestly- we could totally change our minds in a month or two…

Here is a link to our boat sale ad if you know of anyone who is interested:

S/V Dessert First

3 thoughts on “Changes!”

  1. What a wonderful adventure you’ve had. No doubt that this is not the end of the Ryan family adventures. I so admire your brave adventurous spirit. You have taught your children so much in this time abroad and they’ve developed skills that will carry them far in the world. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds and if it’s Portland… well that’s only a 10 hour drive from San Francisco. The Lodges would be thrilled! Thanks for setting the example for all of us that we don’t have to accept life in the box. There are so many ways to live and so many ways to find happiness.

  2. I am so excited for you all! You have definitely set out on the path of making your own lives for yourselves, and this seems like the inevitable next part of that journey. Best of luck, and Pat – keep chasing those dreams!

  3. I have loved following your adventures from afar! I know this next one will be just as magical. Wishing you so much success on this next chapter of your lives!

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