In 2016, Don and I (Sally) realized that life could continue plodding along indefinitely with only marginal happiness (okay – we’re actually pretty happy, we’re very blessed, but we were NOT living the life we wanted to live!). Unless we did something about it.
For most of our relationship, we’d been escaping down to the Florida Keys several times a year to scuba dive, fish, and generally enjoy the beauty. But, with Don’s health issues and kids, careers, and day-to-day life to deal with, those trips were becoming less frequent. I wish I could point to a certain day and say “that’s when we knew!” but it didn’t work that way. We just realized it had been over a year since we’d had one of our mini-escapes to the Keys, and that was unacceptable to us. My job was already quite flexible in terms of work location, and with Don no longer working, every time we would head back north we’d wonder why, and feel as though we were going the wrong direction.
So, one day, we decided – let’s reverse the timeline. Why not spend most of our year in the Keys, doing what we love to do, and sprinkle in trips back to Tampa as needed? I should mention – we already live in Tampa, a mere six blocks from the beach, a place most people would consider a semi-tropical destination in its own right. We know we’re blessed, incredibly so – but wanted to decrease the stress and need to “keep up with the Joneses” while at the same time increasing the activities that brought us both the most joy.
At OurKeysEscape, we’re documenting this journey to pay off debts, unload the things keeping us in Tampa (including a home and a lot of possessions), and move aboard a boat in the Keys.
More On Our Back Story
Where We’ve Been: Seeking the White Picket Fence
Our Dreams & Goals
Get Rid of Stuff
This goal is integral to everything else that we want to accomplish! It’s amazing how quickly belongings add up, both in terms of space and money. We’re working on eliminating as much as possible, simplifying in preparation to live on board a boat.
Pay Off Debt
The goal is to move into the next phase of our lives with absolutely zero debt, with the possible exception of a mortgage on a piece of land. We have a ways to go – but we’re making progress!
This isn’t really a single goal – it’s a group of goals that includes continuing to hone our skills, learning more about sailing, and selecting the right live-aboard. Ultimately, it will also include selecting the perfect piece of property.
About the Authors
A lifelong water-baby, I’ve been scuba diving since I was a pre-teen. Originally from California, I’ve been privileged to have lived (and dived!) all over the world. Four years ago, I met Don – and together, we’re designing a future that moves away from the 9-to-5, white-picket-fence we thought we wanted, and builds in freedom, adventure, and flexibility. At OurKeysEscape.com, we’re chronicling our journey, covering topics ranging from finances, side-hustles and debt payoff to fishing and boat repair. Join us as we embark on a journey to the lives of our dreams.
Hi, I’m Don. I love fishing, boating, and speed. No, not that kind of speed – just anything that goes fast, such as motorcycles and sports cars. But over the last few years, health issues have caused me to slow down a bit. In the past, I’ve worked with computers, engineering, communications, and various other technologies. My hobbies have included building motorcycles, model airplanes, and car stereos. Basically, I can fix almost anything. Join Sally and I as we share the trials and tribulations of escaping to paradise.