Achieve your dream
- Ensure it's a shared dream - Don't try to drag your spouse where he/she doesn't want to go. If you don't have the same dream you are either going to have to do it without your spouse or just continue to dream.
- Create inspiration - After we decided what we wanted to do, I created a few tools to keep us inspired. A photo of Caterpillar Island with a Vagabond houseboat inserted into the picture and stuck on the fridge reminded us every day of what we were working towards.
I also created a photo slideshow on DVD of our favorite shots of the Columbia that we could watch any time. Remember, there will be days when you wonder why you are going to all this trouble, you will need inspiration.
- Dream, research, decide - When you think about your goal, think about the obstacles you will face, how will you surmount them, what are the options, what have other people done, and finally decide how you will solve those problems and put the solution into the plan. You don't need every detail solved, but you should have the big issues figured out. For example, we needed to be able to do laundry on Great Ambition and Catamaran Cruisers offered a washer/dryer option, but it required a 50A 250V service and an expensive 8KW water cooled generator. Most cheaper slips don't offer this much power and we don't want to be restricted to staying at the expensive slips. Instead we convinced them to plumb the boat for a propane dryer and stick with the normal 30A service and cheaper 4KW generator. It turned out to be a great decision, it only takes a pound of propane to dry a load of clothes and we can go almost anywhere because we don't need a special electrical hookup.
- Do a test run - That's what the Keep was for us, a test run to see if we would like living on the water. We endured the problems and then learned to enjoy tackling them. In the process we found that a floating home was not exactly what we had in mind, you can't leave the slip and go explore, or just go off for the weekend to be alone. If we had not started with the Keep we might have been stuck with all our money tied up in a floating home and feeling trapped in some crummy marina.
Good luck achieving your dream!