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Monday, March 28, 2011

Are we ready to downsize?



One of my dreams, besides living on the beach in sunny Italy, was to own this lovely sailboat, for weekends getaways, for simple outings followiing warm ocean breezes.  This one would do well. I'd sail for a couple of days at a time, packing food and clothing and gear, but this eighteen footer would not be big enough for all my needs.
I'd want to take some working clothes and lounging clothes. I'd pack shawls and windbreakers, and then catch myself in Catalina, at a fancy place, needing heels and a ball gown. 
Oh my, never prepared for everything.
But what if this is all the space one gets for the rest of his/her days?

I bet I'd worry about other things after a while.
I would not think about my clothing. (Yes, I could definitely become a clothes horse again, as vain as anybody, drooling over those shoes,  handbags. You only live once still could be my favorite tune!)

I'd worry about fuel.
And storms.
And provisions.
And warmth.
And loneliness.

Oh yes! I'd miss everybody I left behind. Even those I didn't like.  I'd miss all my electrical appliances too! And all my books!

Most of all, I'd worry about getting hurt, sick.

Getting away from it all, including our present lifestyle, is possible and tangible.
How many people actually do it?




41 comments:

KarenG said...

This kind of thing is very tempting to me. I read about a family who moved to a boat to live and how they downsized, and decorated the boat and managed to raise two young children there. (They lived in Holland so it wasn't as strange as it sounds to Americans). But I thought it sounded very appealing.

Roberta said...

I get seasick just thinking about it.

Helen said...

By now you must know what I dream about .... one day! Love your downsize dream.

Ann Best said...

I've moved so much in the past thirty years that I've downsized a lot. But I still feel like I have too much stuff!

I can dream about getting away from it all and living on a boat. But then, I might get hit by a hurricane!

Ah, dreams....I think I'll stay where I am.

NormalToEatPB said...

Funny, because I dream of upsizing to a house instead of this apt.

Patricia said...

There is no harm in fantasizing, is there! I think about it.... :-)

dianefaith said...

I've never even been on a boat like that, but we had good friends who owned one for 5 or 6 years, then sold it just before the economy sank. They loved it for a while, and then it became more worry than joy. Makes a good fantasy, and that's worth a lot.

Kathy said...

It's hard to think of downsizing now since we are in the heart of our child-rearing with three kids, 12, 9 & 6! For the first 5 years of our marriage my husband and I rented an apatment and felt very free, it was a nice feeling, but roots are nice too!

Linda Myers said...

When we're ready to downside, we have a young family next door with a small house. We've already talked about a permanent house exchange.

Dawn said...

That's funny....because I have wanted to do that exact thing.
BUT...the reasons you stated of things you might miss or worry in doing so- are the reasons I keep put:)

Eva Gallant said...

My days of being adrift ended years ago....My next downsize will probably be to senior housing!

Grandmother said...

But what about the sunny beach in Italy? It's here!

dkzody said...

We did it for 15 months. Lived in a studio apartment in San Francisco, right down on the bay. It was a wonderful life, but it was expensive, and especially so when our rent went from $1884 to $2442. That's when we decided the money could be better used doing other things so we returned to our tiny house in Fresno. There is no view of the bay and I cannot walk anywhere except around the block in the neighborhood. There are no grocery stores or mass transit within a few blocks. It was sure fun while it lasted, though, and I'm glad I got to have that magical year.

Brian Miller said...

i dunno...i would be willing to try it...it pulls at me deeply....

ellen abbott said...

I used to do it quite regularly, going wilderness camping. usually just three days at a time, other times for a week. once for 10 days. oh it was magnificent minimal everything. coming back to civilization was quite a shock after being outdoors 24/7 even after just 10 days.

Joani said...

My dream would NOT involve water. Maybe an isolated cabin in the forest somewhere where there R cows, horses, mountain lions, rabbits.....etc....

B. WHITTINGTON said...

SOunds good to me. Probably not something I'll ever get to do but I'm open for whatever comes my way.

Right now that involves nothing coming my way.

Pretty content though here in the country with husband and a bit of land around us.
This was fun to read.
Thanks.
Barb
www.barbwhitti.blogspot.com
Writing: the ups and downs

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I think many of us dream about it. But how often do we dream realistically? How often do many of us have the guts?

Eleonora said...

My thoughts exactly every time I get irritated at Roman isolence and arrogance, and plan to pack up and move to a South African beach.
I'm not ready, yet.

Hugs

Arkansas Patti said...

That has always been a secret dream of mine but even when I was younger, I worried, "what if I get sick."
Now pirates, and not the Johnny Depp types, would worry me.

Rob-bear said...

Ah, yes. Downsizing. We're right in the midst of that.

Not a sail boat, but a canoe, on one of the rivers in Canada's Precambrian Shield territory, where I did some of my growing up. Small cottage on the rocks above the river would be dandy, thanks.

I'd best top dreaming. Shield country is about 1,500 miles from where we are. Too big a translocation.

yaya said...

I call this dreaming thing: "going to my happy place". Your happy place sounds lovely and I think everyone should have a dream to work toward and enjoy if given the opportunity!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It's a lovely dream -- sailing free wherever your heart desires and not being owned by stuff. Maybe the weekend dream is the happy medium. A number of people in my community have been full-time RV-ers and they say that, after a few years, they yearned to set down roots and have a particular place to call home -- even though some of them still hit the road a few months each year. There is a lot to be said for down-sizing and simple living, though.

#1Nana said...

If you need something a little bit bigger, we've got a 28 foot Yankee sailboat we'll sell you. My husband is the sailer, but his affair with sailing is over. The boat sits on its trailer in our shop waiting for the spouse to let her go.

the walking man said...

Them that value the worth of less actually do it. Everyone else dreams of it.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

You have hit on another dream of ours with this post. We did actually purchase something similar to keep on the lake but(long story)it never made it. Still dreaming :)

Diana said...

We're working hard to downsize our stuff...just went through 2 large boxes of things that moved with us 8 years ago, and kept only a handful of items...that we had had the wherewithal to let it all go then.

I dream of a simpler life...not sure how to get there, but taking small steps feels good.

fiftyodd said...

My husband has worried me several times during our 33-year marriage mentioning how about selling up, buying a boat and sailing round the world. My only and abiding fear would have been shipwreck. So we have a small boat and fish in the nearby lagoon (see blog homepage.)

Journeyin' Lady... said...

Seventeen years ago we down-sized to a 36' fifth wheel RV and have been full time RVers since. I have everything I ever had in a large home just not so much - I have my sewing machine, we have two laptops and, critical to preserving my marriage, especially during football season, two TV's! We've been to all 50 states at least once and can't imagine not being able to move our home if "itchy hitch" sets in. Love the lifestyle.

becky said...

Just sold our second car, downsizing our traveling freedoms a bit...in exchange for leaving a smaller footprint. Hope to feel good about it...

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

I think about down-sizing quite frequently, but presently there is really no need to do so. I like my things about me. I did rid myself of most of my personal library & visit our community library instead of buying.

Once upon a time I thought about sailing about after retirement. My ex & I even had a sailboat (25 foot Hunter). But now I am perfectly happy to be here at home. I get the occasional travel bug & we'll go on a little trip, but mostly I'm happy here.

Raven said...

I am SO ready to downsize! I am constantly thinking about why in the world I have a bathroom cupboard full of bottles and jars...and how I could possibly use more than a few shirts, a couple pairs a pants and 7 each socks and panties. AND why I need my pantry/frig full of every item known to man. And why do I need that knickknack? that gadget?

Your boat is beautiful. We plan to get a 40' to 50' liveaboard, rent out our house, and sail away until we are too darn old to sail anymore. Pirates and storms be damned! We all have to go somehow...give me the adventure!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun. For maybe a day or a week. Then I would miss my books. My laptop. My cats. My dog.
Trish
www.synchrosecrets/com/synchrosecrets

potsoc said...

A few years ago I moderated a study group on the history of navigation nd navigators. One of the participants, an English lady, said that she had sailed around the world during 18 years. When asked why she stopped sailing, she shot back:"I was fed up with being wet!"

Donna said...

Sounds just thrilling...do it, don't worry and have fun!!!

Çelik said...

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Pat transplanted to MN said...

I know I could not do that for all the reasonbs you share and more, now that I have spent a lifetime acquiring my "stuff" and inheriting some wonderful things, what to do with all them. That's why I will never be a full time RV'er. Have to have a base, then that has complications in arranging for care while on the RV road. Oh we do complicate our lives, don't we. Jerry could easily sell it all off and hit the roads...

rosaria said...

Well, thanks for dreaming with me. I do know people who picked up and went.
We did too, when we retired.
We left Los Angeles and moved to Oregon, in a tiny seaside town, with one main street and beautiful vistas.
Our dream was to live by the sea.
I can tell you that if you know what you want, don't wait for a good time to do what your heart dreams about all the time. Do it as soon as you have a window of opportunity.

We have not looked back.


We are contented with a small cottage overlookning a lake, adjacent to the ocean.
Everyday, we pinch ourselves and giggle till the sound of the surf drowns our little noises.

Thanks for sharing your dream.

rosaria said...

p.s. I do not own that lovely sailboat. It's somebody else's reality.

online memorial said...

I love the way you're writing your articles. They are just like revelations. BTW, the idea of getting a boat is extraordinary

Banjo Steve said...

Be careful what you wish for.... I have a good friend who purchased a 32 foot Cape Dory (sailboat). He indeed loves it, but the time and $ for maintenance is astounding. Ya gotta REALLY love it, for sure. I know that, though I have considered getting such a boat, it would be the dumbest thing I could do. I'm content to be his lead crewman.

Love the experience of downsizing. Kids are gone, pets are gone, job is gone ....... but the wife is still with me (thank goodness).