Family at Sea: Interview with a Family Who Lived the Dream
Mike and Brittney, the crew at Family at Sea kindly answered some questions for us regarding the sailing life. They lived aboard an Olympic Adventure 47 with their three young children and sailed to the the Berry Islands, the Bahamas, and other tropical destinations. As someone who is infinitely curious about the experiences of other cruising families, I appreciate their candid responses to my questions. The interview:
What are three things you and your family have learned through cruising that you would not have learned if you didn’t go?
Life is a lot more flexible than people think and try to make you believe. You can sell everything you own, buy it back, change jobs, change cities etc. Often these changes are the best things that will ever happen to you. You come to see the world and yourself differently.
The world is full of kind, generous people! We were selflessly helped in so many ways that it required humility on our part to accept it. As human beings we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for! Most achievements are not outside the grasp of what a person can do!
There’s a beauty and a peace about being on the water full time that’s impossible to convey.
What is the biggest struggle you face daily (as a cruising family)?
Living together and traveling by boat your family relationships are going to change drastically. Unless you are already used to living and working together everyday, it’s going to take time to navigate through the role changes that will inevitably occur as you sail together. You will learn more about your spouse than before and often character traits and personality differences will surface that you didn’t see before. Over time, your family will become closer than ever, but the initial weeks and months of changes can be stressful.
What aspect is healthiest for your kids?
Being together all the time! They love being able to spend so much time with Mom and Dad, and sibling relationships get so much closer.
What aspect is hardest on your kids?
It really depends on the ages of your children and their background, for example if they attended public school before traveling. For us personally our oldest was old enough (5 years old) to miss family back home and the emotional strain on us was hard.
How has the cruising lifestyle changed your family forever?
For me (Brittany) my relationship with God will never be the same because of our time cruising. As a family we began to see God and know Him in completely new ways outside the walls of a church building, and outside of our suburban community that was not as diverse.
If you could go back and make the decision again, would you still sell everything and go cruising?
YES! Yes! Yes!
What would you say to a family that is considering selling it all and sailing off into the sunset?
We would say to someone considering cruising: It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s ok to start with a smaller boat and go from there. Cruising looks very different from family from family so don’t think that what one family needs will be what you need too. We would also say: You’re not going to like cruising all of the time. Accepting that it will be difficult at times, and there will be challenges along the way will make it easier to embrace the whole lifestyle. Other than that, you won’t regret it! Make it happen!
There’s a beauty and a peace about being on the water full time that’s impossible to convey. -Brittney from Family at Sea
Thank you again to Mike and Brittney. I share this exchange in hopes that it might be encouraging to any other families out there who are considering the cruising lifestyle.
For more information about Mike and Brittney’s journey, please visit their blog, Family at Sea.
Not sure how a family can afford to buy a sailboat and sail away? Follow our savings progress and cruising budget details.