Just Do It! 2

Again, this is a copy of a post from my new blog (www.captainjillsjourneys.com). Please go check me out there, I’m not sure how long this blog will be here. 

I talked to a couple of old friends today. Both of them have made the move and encouraged me to ‘just do it’ too.

One friend I used to work with on the ships has made the move to Thailand. He’s still working for the same company we were at together, but he has been working in Korea for a few years now. He spends his time off in Thailand. He’s married a Thai lady and is VERY happy there.

My other friend went to high school with me on the sailing ships. He’s got the same adventurous spirit that I have, but he’s actually DONE something with his. Soon after high school, he spent 10 years living in Venezuela. He moved back to the states to raise his family, but now they’re grown and he’s looking for a change. He’s just finished his TEFL course and is now teaching in Mexico.

I’ve been trying to find something to do with myself for years now. Decades really. I’m so tied up in trying to find a way to get out of here, but I want to do it safely. I don’t really love the idea of trying to sell everything I own, cut all ties, and give up everything I’ve ever worked for in order to support myself overseas. Is that possible? I know I’ve been trying for a LONG time and still haven’t really come any closer to finding an answer.

I’ve been lucky to have had a good job (until a couple of months ago). One that paid me enough to pay the bills and put a little aside every month. In trying to find some way to support myself, so I could leave the US, I’ve started a vending machine business (total failure), bought rental properties (which I am going to have to sell since I can’t afford them if I’m not working), working on stock photography, blogging, writing.

None of those projects has yet brought me anywhere near the amount of income I need to start the process to emigrate somewhere else. Only the rental property will bring in enough money so that I can apply for residency (not citizenship) in a few places.

I’ve been hoping to get at least a couple of weeks of regular work over the holidays. That would help a LOT. At this point, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. So, now what?

I’m thinking my best alternative would be to take the TEFL course myself. At least that would give me the option to live someplace cheaper and get away from some major expenses here. Also, find a much less stressful lifestyle somewhere.

I’m still worried about so many things, pretty much all of them to do with finances. How will I pay my bills? How will I be able to keep up my ‘training’? How will I be able to keep my LICENSE? I need that license in order to work offshore and I can’t imagine giving it up after working so hard for 34+ years to earn it.

I need to renew it by December 2016. If I want to keep it after that, I HAVE TO find work at sea! So, I have about 9 months to find something else to do before I need to be back here to start the renewal process.

So, does anyone have any helpful ideas for me? Something other than “just DO it!” Some ‘it” to do?? I’m open to suggestions. Send ’em over here. 😉

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15 thoughts on “Just Do It! 2

  1. Helpful ideas? Hmmm. That is a vast interrogation. I’ve lived abroad (out of France) most of my life. The last 25 years in Mexico. And almost every day I think of “going home”. Which is not easy at all. So, wise advice? I don’t have, I know I’m sick and tired of the third world, (the gross corruption and crime everywhere) but then you can’t really throw everything away. Perhaps, the only advice I can offer right now is: “Keep your options open”. ALL your options. One of them is your license (no idea what it is, but it looks important) your license is an option you cannot lose. Keep it open. Then I suggest you take a piece of paper, draw 3 columns. 1) what you have achieved in the last n years 2) what you can throw away 3) what is indispensable. And if you like we can keep this conversation running. The beauty of blogs. Be good, Captain.

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    • Thanks for your suggestions. I know what you mean about the corruption, but we have a lot of that here too, just maybe not so obvious.
      I’m curious, how do you manage to support yourself outside of your home country? I have not found that any countries will offer a work visa (other than teaching for minimal pay) and I’m afraid of getting deported if I try to work without one. When I was young, I didn’t ever worry about things like that, but I really don’t want to be stuck in the USA for much longer.
      Yes, I agree with you about options! I want to keep them all open and I need MORE of them! That is why I’m considering the TEFL.
      My license is my US coast guard captains license which is required for me to get work on a boat of any sort. That is pretty much the only work I’ve ever done. Work on lots of different boats, all kinds, all over the world. I love it, but with the price of oil so low, they have laid off hundreds of thousands of us and they will not be taking us back until the price of oil goes back up again. The problem with that is: they have started requiring renewals every 5 years with extensive, VERY expensive ‘training’ to go along with that. I have all the requirements needed at the moment, but I can’t apply til I’m due (around Sept-Oct). After that, it’s a whole new ball game, I will have to get a minimum of 365 days sea time over the next 5 years to renew again (plus take a half dozen courses costing about $15,000!!). So, that is why I worry about not finding work.
      I have already been downsizing, it is going very slowly. Mostly because I was still working and traveling a lot when I was off. Now that I’m not working except a few days here and there, maybe it will go faster. Tho I am finding plenty to keep me busy instead of packing! I am going to painting class and working more on my writing, blogging and photography. I keep hoping I can somehow earn a living doing things like that instead of always being out on a boat somewhere. I would LOVE to be able to work steady offshore for about 3 months and then spend the rest of the year chilling out someplace like Bali or Thailand or dozens of other interesting places.
      Your list is interesting, I’m having a hard time thinking of anything I’ve acheived in last couple of years or that’s indispensible. Plenty I can throw away and yes, I have been working on that one already.
      Thanks again for your thoughtful response, it helps to have someone to sound this stuff out on. 🙂

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      • 🙂 How do we support ourselves? My wife is a researcher at the largest university here, and I founded and ran a Market research agency here for 20 years. Sold my shares a few years back. Still do a wee bit of consulting now and then. We are residents. Your background is interesting but I can understand that it places a burden on you for renewal. I’ve heard of people who sail boats across the Atlantic for rich people who can’t be bothered and just want to enjoy the boat safely moored. Is that an option?

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  2. I think the TEFL course is a good option. I was going to do that when we moved to Spain from Ireland but in the end my husband’s job brought in enough for the three of us (we had our three year old daughter with us). A lot of native English speakers got work quite easily in Spain but that was before the recession. Could you teach at a sailing school in the summer months and earn enough to allow you to chill out somewhere for the winter? I hope you get to fulfill your dream.

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  3. The sea is your home Captain, it always will be, it’s in your blood. Living abroad has it’s appeal but it also has many drawbacks, primarily that you are an American and you will always be perceived as such no matter what port you call on. The rental property is your best longterm source of income and it should be kept and increased if possible. Easier said than done I know but the facts remain. Just like crewing your boat it will require constant effort but the security provided is well worth the effort involved. Find one good hand who can manage and maintain the properties in your absence and take good care of him, he will pay off in spades, again easier said than done but the facts remain. As far as living abroad, you can do that with success but it will also require many sacrifices. The most common way to cope with the visa problem is to make “visa runs” as required periodically, you must exit and re-enter the host country periodically but in most 3rd world countries it comes down to whose palm you’re going to have to grease. In any scenario, it’s a temporary situation that cannot be truly relied upon and it must be viewed as such. Every ship has a home port, and yours is distinctly American. There’s no place like home Cap’n.

    IMO the current state of the world is really not conducive to safety or security for your planned transfer and I urge you to strongly consider investing in a small, albeit remote homestead somewhere in Texas, most likely out west. It’s a sea of a different sort, but you’d be surprised how well suited Old Salts are to the desert climates and the remoteness found in such places. 34 years at sea is nothing to sneeze at, you have much to be proud of, and to write about. But in my experience, the only writers, photographers or artists that ever had any money, had plenty to start with. Rest assured the oil patch will return, probably sooner than later. I reckon you’ll always be able to find a boat to Captain even if it’s not the one you want or the best pay, there’s always the inland if nothing else, with your experience I’m sure you can stay afloat until something better comes along, and it will.

    Seem’s to me the real question is not “how” to do what you want, but instead what you really want. I see a red sky in the morn’ Cap’n, war is on the horizon. Perhaps it’s time to tie up to the docks until “the pond” calls you back? If none of this makes any sense to you Cap’n, rest assured it will soon enough. Personally, I’d rather die with my roots buried in the sand of home than in the dirty streets of a foreign land, or at the bottom of a cold dark sea.

    May your next voyage be your best, and may you always return safely home Captain Jill. 😉

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