Meet a family traveling the world full time on a yacht for $ 2,500 per month

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The Sueiros had it all: great careers, a community of friends and kids enrolled in a top-notch international school in Boston.

Will was a corporate accountant and Jessica ran a graphic design business from home. Life was “comfortable, trouble-free and routine,” said Jessica Sueiro.

“Life was good” for the Sueiro family before they started traveling the world full time, but they wanted adventures and a global education for their children, Jessica Sueiro said.

Courtesy of Jessica Sueiro

However, they have been overwhelmed and are draining their finances with spending around $ 10,000 a month – not on the “pampering life” of luxury cars or weekend ski trips, but on rent, cars. tuition at a private school and an “image” that needed to be presentable. regular clothes and haircuts.

“We had the lifestyle we dreamed of,” said Sueiro. “But once we got it, we weren’t sure it was the right path for our family.”

A “ leap into the unknown ”

The family took a “summer trip” to Paris to see if they could survive in a foreign country, Sueiro said.

“Not only could we survive, but we thrived,” she told TBEN. “We lived on a lot less and we were so happy.”

So – with two children, ages 6 and 10 – the Sueiros sold 85% of their property, got international health insurance, went with paperless bills, and left Boston in 2014 to “leap into the unknown. “she said.

Since then, the family has visited more than 65 countries, with members traveling to all seven continents, Sueiro said.

The Sueiro family has lived in surf hostels, yurts, tree houses, pod hotels, boats, an RV and now a catamaran, Jessica Sueiro said.

Courtesy of Roam Generation

In the first three years, the Sueiros lived in places for nine to 12 months at a time, renting furnished houses and traveling extensively, Sueiro said. The family lived in a 21ft RV for the next 2.5 years, constantly moving around and visiting every country in Europe, plus Morocco.

They had just arrived in Japan when the pandemic hit. They eventually returned to France, where they have long stay visas, and bought a 38 foot catamaran, where they have been living since August 2020.

Yacht life for $ 2,500 per month

The Sueiros had very little sailing experience when they bought their boat, which makes getting around on the water more difficult than on land – at least for now, Sueiro said.

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She said she believed that one day “sailing would become a much easier and more cost effective way to travel”, despite boats having “a reputation for costing a fortune”.

“Our monthly budget since becoming full-time travelers has always hovered around $ 2,500 per month,” said Sueiro, who includes medical insurance but not tuition or business. “Right now… we’re a little lower than that.”

There have been accusations that our children are not being educated properly, that we have to have family money, that we are lost souls.

After the initial cost of buying and equipping the boat, the “bills have stabilized” and the family’s biggest recurring expenses are food, school, medical insurance and the boat, SIM cards and periodic repairs to the boat, she said. The general rule, she added, is to factor in 10-30% of the boat’s purchase price for annual repairs and upgrades.

“There are a lot of assumptions about this type of lifestyle … No.1 by far is you have to be rich,” Sueiro said. “I cannot speak for others, but I can tell you that we work a lot… we are also very frugal.”

Jessica and her husband worked remotely for the first three years before establishing WorldTowning, a travel coaching company for long-term travelers. Their group tours resume this fall and are almost sold out, she said.

The difficulties of a nomadic way of life

The Sueiros had $ 10,000 in property (including computers) stolen in Belgium. They were verbally assaulted in Norway and stranded in a rainy ravine in Turkey – at night.

“However, our biggest ongoing difficulty… is judging the way we live,” Sueiro said, adding that it came from educators, potential employers, doctors and business clients.

“In addition, there have been accusations that our children are not being educated properly, that we have to have money for the family, that we are lost souls, irresponsible and much more,” he said. she declared.

Largo Sueiro attended a private school in Costa Rica and Ecuador.

Courtesy of Roam Generation

The children attended private and public schools and were homeschooled (“or as we call it schooled around the world”). The two want to attend college in the United States and the older Avalon (16) is preparing by taking classes at online universities, Sueiro said.

“Will and I have adopted a philosophy that ‘no one votes on the way we live our lives’,” she said, adding that the current shift to remote working is softening attitudes towards alternative lifestyles. .

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Inspired by a movie

The Careys were an “ordinary family” living in a three-bedroom house in Adelaide, Australia – until they were inspired to navigate the world after watching a documentary on Laura Dekker, the youngest person in the world. go around the world alone.

The couple saved for more than two years, took sailing lessons and bought a 47-foot “invisible sight” boat in Grenada, an island nation in the Caribbean.

The Careys worked for the Australian government, had mortgage debt and a credit card before they started traveling the world, said Erin Carey.

Courtesy of Roam Generation

“We jumped on board and did it our way,” Erin said with a laugh. “We ran aground, our engine stopped … we had to be towed.”

Despite being “non-sailors,” the couple and their three young sons sailed around the Caribbean before crossing the Atlantic Ocean 18 months later, she said.

The family returned to their home in Australia at the start of the pandemic, but soon realized that life on earth was not for them. The family always “rushed” to school and sports, and the children read less and stayed more at home, said Carey.

We are a family of five and we probably spend around $ 4,000 a month.

“We weren’t spending time with the family,” she says. “There were very few times at home where we really felt alive.”

The Careys sold their house and returned to their boat in the Azores in March of this year.

The advantages and disadvantages of life on a boat

Despite the freedom and adventure, Carey said it was okay to get sick from the lifestyle because “it’s so hard to live on a boat”.

Cramped quarters, blocked toilets and no hot showers or cars (“we have to lug our groceries everywhere”) are just the start. “Rolly anchors,” a nautical term for a rocking boat, prevent quality sleep.

But the days are not rushed. The kids take classes through Acellus, an online school, for two hours each morning, while Carey runs a PR agency called Roam Generation from their yacht. Then the family can take a hike or go to a museum, or the kids can play or fish with other kids in the marina. They started reading again, she said.

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“The kids on the boats, for whatever reason, are really exceptional,” said Carey, who uses a private Facebook group called Kids4Sail to connect with other boating families.

Courtesy of Roam Generation

Are children rare in the community? Not at all, said Carey.

The community of “cruisers” is well connected and families with “children in the boat” are looking for each other.

“A lot of times people will change their plans and go where the kids’ boats are because happy kids make that lifestyle so much better,” said Carey.

Cruising: not just for the ultra-rich

To finance full-time life on a boat, some people save money to sail for a predetermined amount of time, while others sell or rent their home. Others run businesses independent of their location from their boats. Many are retired.

“We’re a family of five and we’re probably spending around $ 4,000 a month,” she said. “There are people who do it with literally $ 500 a month, and then obviously there are people who live on superyachts.”

Carey, whose family eats several times a week and occasionally rents a car, said she thought what they were spending was “fairly average” for cruise families.

Courtesy of Roam Generation

Without a mortgage or a car, Carey said “living on the boat is cheaper than living in our house at home”. However, “things on boats break all the time … so you have to be prepared.”

“Your veil is tearing, there is $ 5,000 of it,” she said. “They say the boat means ‘Bring another thousand’.”

Carey said while cruising is “much more difficult” in the Covid era, boat sales are “through the roof.” While the coronavirus has caused some to return home, it has prompted many others to embark on a lifestyle on board.

Carey then seeks to travel to the Mediterranean, then return to the Caribbean around Christmas.

Cruisers (who celebrate Halloween in Grenada here) are largely highly educated and motivated people, but “topics like wealth, social status or employment rarely arise,” said Carey.

Courtesy of Roam Generation

“I think that’s the beauty of life on a boat, it’s so unfamiliar,” she said. “I actually really like that I literally have no idea where we’ll be in three months.

Carey said that while life on a boat is tough, it just “takes a really determined and tenacious process to find a way to make it work”.

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