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On June 25, I wrote a post titled What are you willing to trade? – Part 1. In that post I talked about what I feel is a reality of goal achieving (note that I said achieving, not setting), specifically that most significant goals will require some form of exchange before they can be realized (i.e. trading junk food for nutritious eating in order to obtain improved health). By noting in the post title that it was Part 1, I alluded to the fact that there was more to this discussion. I believe there should be.

While the first post talked about the trades necessary to achieve goals, an equally important thing to consider is what trades will be required once the goal is reached. This is a subject that most year-round cruisers, like us, know all too well.

Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve set a goal to live on a sailboat in the Caribbean. You’ve come to grips with the monetary exchanges that will be required to buy that sailboat, but what are you willing to trade for spending your days in the clear, warm water that you see in our photos, or those fantastic sunsets?

Would you give up:

  • Convenient, unlimited shopping, both nearby your home, or online with fast and free shipping?
  • Fast, reliable broadband internet?
  • A large, comfortable bed, and plenty of storage space for your stuff?

You may have quickly said, “Of course I would, in a heartbeat!

But would you trade easy-to-obtain (free for us Canadians) healthcare?

That may be a tougher decision for some.

What if you’re used to having easy access to your kids and/or grandkids? Would you exchange that for less-frequent visits in order to have the freedom to travel?

For many people, this is a tough one. I know it is for us.*


Over the years, we have met multiple cruisers who have had difficulty with each of the above exchanges. Some of these people, after committing themselves to cruising, simply continued to complain about the things they were giving up, day in and day out, while others conceded that they were no longer willing to make those tradea, and returned to a lifestyle similar to what they had left behind. Truthfully, the latter makes more sense to me. If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing, change, no matter what you’ve invested to get there. Life is too short to do otherwise. That said, it does make sense though, and is the reason why I am putting this in print, that the true price of a goal be weighed before making a significant commitment to it. In the long run, it’ll be cheaper both physically, and emotionally.


*In our case, with our kids/grandkids living in CA, a visit would have required a plane trip anyway, and thus is not much different from our present situation.


  1. Health care in Canada is unfortunatly NOT free. Many provinces have a monthly fee per person. BC for instance! Not to mention ,very high taxes one of the highest in the world to pay for our social programs.
    Yes proud we do not have the American style health care.
    While we are away from Canada we can get private insurance with full coverage which is not too much more expensive than our monthly payments to the provincial gov’t.

    • Of course not free, but when you live in Canada, you don’t have to think about it either.

      Care to share the source of your insurance?

    • Until the Affordable Health Care Act (Obama Care) passed, I was looking at quotes as high as $23,000/year for health coverage. My wife is diabetic and that scares them silly. That was absolutely incomparable with changing careers from something with corporate security to and something different. Though not free, the rate is now affordable, which I am OK with.

      Yes, this issue trumps all for me. No choice.

  2. I will pass on the insurance info once we are back at the boat. It is a Canadian insurance company. I don’t want to guess and get it wrong.

  3. What a delightful picture!


  4. The family visits for me would seeom to be the hardest. No broadband? Brutal.

    But nothing good comes easy. Great post, wise words Mike. I have no idea how it will really be or how the wife will take it either.

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