Pages

Friday, March 18, 2022

Home —After 14 Nomadic Years—Part 1 of 2

Our most recent move came about because of an eviction notice.
Photo by 
Maria Freyenbacher on Unsplash

How we got where we are now started with an eviction notice. More on that in Part 2. Let's start at the beginning, where Wayne and I started, with a pictorial "Cliff Notes" catch-up.

My former home in SW Washington. Sold, Feb 18, 2022 for $480K. I owned it 14 years prior.

In 2005 I got to know Wayne when I hired him to be my remodel handyman. He cleaned up after himself, so I married him.

In 2008, in the midst of the housing crises, I reluctantly agreed the mediation business I'd tried to keep afloat for three years was making it too hard to pay the mortgage. The job market wasn't much better. 

We sold our house in Vancouver Washington for what I owed the bank, about $145K, walking away with virtually nothing despite remodeling it. Recently, that same home sold, albeit with a remodel far fancier than the neighborhood merited IMHO, for $480K.

Shortly before we put our house on the market. we agreed to house-sit for friends in Vancouver, WA. Sometime after our house sold, we ended our house-sit and moved to Everett, Washington. I hated Everett. Wayne hated his job there.

"Let's buy a sailboat and leave the country," Wayne suggested. I didn't know how to sail.

Our 26' O'Day sailboat in British Columbia's Copeland Islands.

Wayne got a little sailboat for me to learn and to see if we could hack life aboard. He worked so many hours that until he quit, he didn't have time to sail it. With visions of ramming another boat on my way out or back into the marina, I was too chicken to learn on my own. Embarrassing but true.  But we had a great time after he quit, sailing up into British Columbia and back over three weeks, despite all kinds of dramas and discomforts. 

By that time, Wayne already bought s/v Journeywithout me, but with my blessing, in St. Lucia, the Caribbean. We planned to sail Journey to Australia and sell there after five years of sailing.

Our living space was roughly 150 square feet, but we had a heckuva backyard!

S/V Journey, our 36 1/2 foot Pearson 365 sailboat, viewed from the mast in Fakarava, French Polynesia.
We sailed to Australia, and a lot of places in between. We sold our boat as planned in Australia within two weeks. We tooled around Australia trying to decide what to do next. 

This Landcruiser was "home" for about four months while we finished
our Australian circumnavigation we'd started by sea, over land.
Our Australian visas were coming up for renewal about around our planned 5-year travel mark. Without knowing what else to do, we "came home" to Portland, Oregon. Only—we had no home.

Wayne likes to say "We went from world travelers who sailed halfway around the world, to homeless, unemployed bums living in my parent's spare bedroom." We felt lost. It was a dark point in our lives.

Home from summer 2017 to fall 2020 in the Pacific Northwest, parked off Collins Beach, Sauvie Island.

Close friends unexpectedly set us up with their former boat, a trawler, which practically doubled our living space; we dubbed her m/v Serendipity. She enabled us live in an area we otherwise could no longer afford.

Princess Louisa Inlet, British Columbia.

We still hadn't found our groove since we stopped cruising. The tropics spoiled us; we'd always suffered a state of gloom that matched Portland's gray winters. We returned to some of our favorite places in the area and to some new ones in Washington State's San Juan Islands and through British Columbia.  We house-sat, to get us off the boat and out from under covered moorage in the winter. Then Covid hit, and that option dried up, along ability to go to New Zealand to escape our winter.

We wanted out—again—before winter arrived. We considered shipping our trawler cross-country, but decided we were better off buying there than shipping.

We sold Serendipity and headed to Florida in a new-to-us RV, which also provided a base for us while we shopped for another sailboat. Once we found our boat, we figured we'd sail to the Bahamas for the winter, return to the US, head up the Atlantic coast from spring until fall, then return to the balmy Caribbean before the next winter set in.

While we looked, we stayed in an RV co-op community in Florida.

The RV we crossed country in, before someone sideswiped it into a guard rail.
It still provided a temporary home base while we sailboat shopped in Florida.
With bought a lovely boat, but with limited options on the market and high hopes of getting friends and family to join us as Covid wound down, the boat was bigger than we wanted or needed.

Just before we took off for the Bahamas, I sold my beloved Prius and we turned our RV over to the insurance company of the woman who slammed it into the guard rail in Oklahoma, on the way to Florida. The RV was still drivable and livable, but the insurance company determined it was cheaper to sell than fix it.

Our large and luxurious Hirsch Gulfstar 45' sailboat with a guest room but no guests.
Once again our boat sellers told us, "We're 'keeping' the boat name for our next boat, you gotta rename her." We named her s/v Gallivant and sailed to the Bahamas.

A mellow sailing moment in the Bahamas aboard s/v Gallivant.
But we didn't like the feel of a boat that big. We'd lost our zest for cruising. We returned to Florida where again house-sat while sold the boat, in the same co-op community we stayed while boat-shopping. I fell big time for Shiva, the kitty who inspired our house-sit.

Smitten by this kitten, Shiva. Her owner was less smitten and as if we'd adopt Shiva.
Shiva's owner asked if we'd adopt her kitty.

"We're homeless. We can't take in a cat," Wayne said. "And what about when we go to New Zealand?" (We were still itching to return to New Zealand, and with the boat sold, once Covid restrictions lifted, there was nothing stopping us. However, the island-nation of New Zealand quarantines pets for six weeks).

Our Florida hangout, a co-op park where we boat-shopped and stayed for the boat sale process and after.
Meanwhile, we warmed up to the idea of calling Florida and the co-op we'd already spent some time at home, at least for winters. Against Wayne's better judgment, we adopted Shiva.

And then . . . 

This post was getting too long; the rest of our "migration" story will be continued in Part 2.

Location Location
Currently, we're in Fairview, Oregon, just east of Portland, Oregon. We'll soon be moving into our home is in The Dalles, Oregon, up the Columbia River Gorge, about an hour and a quarter's drive east of Portland.

4 comments:

  1. Ya got me.....lol waiting for part two!!! The Next Beginning...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming up shortly. Will likely post tomorrow eve.

      Delete
  2. What a wonderful adventure for the both of you! So many people only dream of what you have actually done! Get the second chapter done when you can!
    David

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We feel fortunate, David. A belated boyfriend who died too young said "Life is about managing regrets."

      No matter what choice you make, there are trade-offs. While there a few things I wouldn't mid mulligans on, there aren't many, and probably not the ones folks would expect. Even if I had, then other avenues I wouldn't trade for all the world likely would never have transpired.

      As for Chapter 2, no time like the present!

      Delete