Changing Your Life for the Sake of Adventure

I haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on my list.Susan Sontag

I will never forget the day we decided to turn our lives upside down.

Mid-June camping in the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains, over a few beers and splashes of bourbon, my husband and I made the decision.

We were going to sell our dream home, our camper, and most of our possessions to buy a 40ft catamaran and take our family sailing around the world.

The Why, The How, The When

The dream was born in 2008, somewhere between a whiskey and coke, the dark corner of our favorite local bar, and us - a new couple yearning for adventure.


He is originally from Philadelphia where he grew up spending the summer on his family’s 42ft Irwin in the Chesapeake Bay.

As an adult he had sailed across the Atlantic, from St. Thomas to Grenada then on to Venezuela and back again. He had lived in the U.S and British Virgin Islands.

Sailing and skiing were his two passions.


I was born in Montana and raised in Sun Valley ID - a mountain girl through and through. I was the sous chef at the restaurant we both worked at.

Become a Couple

My husband Kevin and I started dating ski season of 2008.

Kevin was getting ready to go on a sailing adventure in the British Virgins Islands. He invited me. I happily accepted, and the ideas for the future went rambling on all night long.

The BVI Trip that Set Our Dream in Stone

In February of 2009 we set off for the British Virgin Islands. We chartered a 31 day bareboat cruise on a 38ft. Lagoon Catamaran with a group of friends.


  • Listened to Captain Jack and Eminence Front
  • Danced
  • Drank
  • Cooked
  • Were a family

I remember sitting off of the back of the boat with a cocktail and headphones on completely speechless, zoned out on what I was experiencing. Was the world really this big?

Could life really be this incredible?

The answer was absolutely.

The day we took the Lagoon back to Road Town BVI, I cried the entire way. The trip was ending, and for me this wasn’t going to nearly be enough.

The Dream House, The Cars, The Stuff

Fast forward to 2015 in Ketchum, Idaho.

We owned:

  • A 3,000 sq. ft. dream home with awesome kitchen
  • Enough posessions to fill the house
  • A truck
  • A Jeep
  • A camper

And we now had two little boys - Sinjin (5) and Lennon (5 months).

We lived at the base of a gorgeous ski hill.

My husband was a server at a fine dining high-end Italian restaurant and I owned my own catering company.

We had everything we could want or need and even though we were thankful, we were bored.

We were longing for something we now had both tasted.

We never let the dream of moving onto a boat die once we had children, but we were guilty of pushing it back constantly. We knew what we wanted and needed to do and that June camping trip was the beginning of making it happen.

The Day We Pulled the Trigger

The day after our camping trip that June we sat down and make a list of steps to take.

First, we had to move to the coast. It’s hard to plan to move onto the water when you live 5,000 ft up in the mountains.

My husband is the youngest of five boys. They all live on the east coat and one lives here in Charleston, SC.

We had been to Charleston visiting a few times and we both really liked it. There was an opportunity for Kevin to get his Captains license and work at one of the marinas while we lived and planned for the next move.

Two months later we were living in Charleston. The excitement of it all along with a little luck finding a renter for our home and finding a home to rent in Charleston made us move quickly.


The Klinges Boys

The Klinges Boys

What Kind of Boat?

We always knew we were going to purchase a catamaran between 40-45 feet long (depending on the price).

We are looking to buy a used 40ft Lagoon or a 45ft Fountaine Pajot.

If you’re cruising with a family you’ll want abundant storage. We have considered monohulls but kept coming back to the conclusion that a catamaran is best for us.

Thinking About Cruising?

Things to consider when deciding to become a cruising family:

  • Schooling for the children
  • What are your reasons for going?
  • Living as a family in close quarters
  • Being homesick and how to deal with it
  • Budgeting with your cruising kitty
  • How long you would like to go
  • How long you can afford to go
  • Top destinations
  • Long passages
  • Socialization

There are more, but these are what we’ve thought about most.

Schooling While Cruising

There are so many options available. We are considering “unschooling” or “boat schooling”.

You teach your children as you travel. When possible, rather than use a textbook, you show them through their own eyes.

This doesn’t mean you don’t keep some standards of study.

Many cruising families (us included) find that planning and worrying about home schooling your children can be daunting. We want the best for our kids and we don’t want them to be behind in traditional school when they return to it.

From speaking with many other cruising families that have been doing this for years and lots of research and reading I have not once heard of this form of travel to be detrimental to a child of any age - very much the opposite.

Pushing Off the Dock

We will be purchasing our boat early spring of 2017. We are naming it SVRovin after my husband’s parents’ boat.

Our house was placed on the market just one week ago.

I’d rather have a passport full of stamps than a houseful of stuff.

We plan on leaving the United States late Fall of 2017 headed to the British Virgin Islands. From there, after taking our time in one of our favorite places, our rough plan is:

  • Heading south to the Grenadines
  • Through the Panama Canal over the South Pacific
  • Over to New Zealand, Australia, Asia, India, and South Africa
  • Back home

We plan to be gone for 3-5 years, and we cannot wait. Any time you plan to live off the grid, plan to live life differently. There are so many challenges.

I have found that even in the planning, the current challenges and the expectation of the challenges to come has made me feel so alive, excited, and appreciative.

You can do anything you want if you set your mind to it! Just remember to embrace the feelings of when you thought life couldn’t get any better.

In those feelings and memories you will always find the drive to explore.

1 Comment Changing Your Life for the Sake of Adventure

  1. Picture of jean lea jean lea August 29, 2017

    Yay! So happy for you 4 and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!

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