Yesterday was a major milestone in the quest for the dream of sailing around the world.  I sold my house.  It was a bittersweet event that I find particularly difficult to write about.  On one hand I want to write about the house and the transaction but on the other I want to write about Dani and how much I love her.  I keep trying to pull the two topics apart but I think this time they’re linked.

I sold the house at a loss.  That hurt a lot.  Its probably the one financial “mistake” I’ve ever made.  But Dani and I are resolved to overcome the immediate loss on the house by making up for it in savings.  We also have spoken at length about the future.  What can we do to overcome the financial hurdles of leaving behind jobs and going sailing?

Our answer is that we’ll never use credit again.  Adopting the Dave Ramses school of thought and not purchasing anything without cash in hand will be a hard but workable solution to catapult us past several years of lost wages and catch up with the “pack”.  We may not ever be rich but we can def still retire in comfort if we play our cards right.

When I first bought my house I didn’t think I’d ever move again.  I wanted it to be my forever home.  My dreams of sailing around the world, hiking through the wastes, and going on deep African safaris all lay dormant in my heart.  I thought that I’d never be able to live them out.  I was locked into a rat race with the rest of the world.

Its like you’re on a train with everyone else all heading to the same place and everyone tells you that its a different destination.  Its not, its just that everyone looks at it a little differently.   I was on that train too.  I had my little white picket fence.

If you try to step out of line the crowd howls about how reckless and dangerous what you’re doing is.  Everyone gets so up in arms.  I knew they were wrong, but I didn’t care to challenge them.  The dreams I aspired to were just too hard to go alone.  The crowd was too easy to follow.  It wasn’t worth it if the dream couldn’t be shared.  I was a lemming.

Then came Dani.

Never before in life had I met someone that I felt kindred to.  I had always believed that women all needed blow dryers in forests and God forbid we do anything except ride the train to “everytown” along with “everyone”.  Shop at the mall,  keep up with the Jones, get a nice car, etc etc.  And while Dani was on the train  to everytown too, she was like me in that she was looking at all the stuff we were passing by.  I could see that she wasn’t one of the people that shouts when one of the herd does something “different”.  I loved her right away.

Finding Dani was like finding love, a key to happiness, and an escape route from the common life all at once.  So I told her about my plans that I hadn’t dared mention to anyone and she made them her own.  So I had found a partner, not just for our sailing adventure, but for life.   <3

After we started dating, Dani came and saw me in Baton Rouge almost every single weekend.  She’d drive for an hour on Friday afternoon and leave either Monday morning or maybe Sunday night.  The distance between us was killing our relationship.  The long hours on the highway twice a week and trying to live in two places was hurting Dani.  Eventually I knew that I had to do something and that something was to move to New Orleans so that I could be close to her.  We moved in together and I put my house up for sale.  It was my “forever” house.  But sometimes love smashes old plans as easily as it builds new ones.  The house was up for sale in April.

As the house sat on the market longer and longer, it became a bigger and bigger point of stress in my life.  A thorn in my side.  Not only was I having to meet a payment, along with electric bills, gas, sewage, water, etc etc, but I was also not there to make sure everything was alright all the time.  I worried constantly about it.  We estimate that the house was costing at least 2000 a month when we include lawn maintenance.

During the time it was for sale I dropped my price several times.  I had two purchase agreements fall through because the siding wasn’t great.  So I signed a contract with Rhinoshield to redo the siding, 2 days later I got a purchase agreement.  Then I called Rhinoshield to cancel but found out they wouldn’t refund my sizable deposit.  It was like a last kick in the pants for sellilng the house.  Oh well.  At least it finally sold.

It has taken about 9 months to sell the house at a loss.  But that is okay with me.  I have Dani.  I have dreams.  I have the means to connect the two.  And I am content.  Selling the house was a major step on the path to financial independence that we’ve laid out for ourselves before taking our big adventure.

All that said, I’ll miss the house.  Here are a few fond memories:

What I usually did for Xmas.  You can’t see it but there is a tree in the middle window that I’d light up at night.  Simple but pretty.

When the house was stripped bare of paint removing all the old lead.

Dad came to help me replace the rotted back door.

Paige and Grant helping me repaint my “office” after I first moved in.