When Matt and Jessica Johnson got married, they did something that none of their friends and family had ever expected them to do: they sold their house, gave up their successful careers as a manager and financial specialist, and bought a small yacht. For almost four years now, they’ve been sailing around the world in the company of their cat, George.
Living off around $1,000 a month, they’ve already visited 16 countries, including the Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba and Peru — and they have no intention of stopping any time soon. This brave couple’s story is truly inspiring…
“It all started in 2007′, recalls Jessica. ’We were taking a break on Lake Michigan, and I noticed that Matt was inspecting the boats there very intently. Then he looked at me and said: “So Jess, we can either buy a house or spend all our savings on a boat. What do you think, which one’s a better idea?” That’s how we decided that we wanted to spend summer on the water.”
“In June 2011, we sold our house. It was then that we realised that we wanted to go on the kind of journey which would change our lives. How long it would last — 5, 6 years, maybe more — didn’t really matter.”
“We picked up George in 2012. It’s great that he’s now a member of our team. During storms he always manages to stand on his feet better than we ever do.”
“Travelling like this has really strengthened our relationship. You don’t have any time when you’re on a boat to argue with each other — here we’re part of one team.”
“Before, our lives were almost like a stereotype of the American dream — we both went to school and then university, got married, bought a house, and started successful careers.”
“But then we realized that we were wasting so much time just watching TV, doing nothing worthwhile; if we carried on like this we’d never have any real, memorable experiences to look back on when we got old. We wanted to change this — and we did.”
As we go through our life we distract ourselves from what we truly want. We say “first I should finish school”; then we say “I should find a job and a small income before I can make my dreams come true, just for a couple of years at least”; than we want a bigger income; than we want a stable life, a house, we want to be sure that if our plans fail we have a safe place to come back to; bills kick in and we need an even bigger income… and as soon as we wake up, we are 60 year old people with a life spent distracting ourselves from what really mattered.
If anything, this couple proves that the only thing that’s stopping us from living our dream is the story we keep telling ourselves as why we can’t.
They even have their own blog where they post updates about their adventures: mjsailing.com