We live in a culture that asks everyday people to go to work and then eat and sleep in little boxes. But for some, the call of the great outdoors or open sea drowns out pressure to be “normal.”
An undercurrent of semi-nomadic people exists in the United States and abroad that live outside the lines. Some travel the open roads, exploring nature’s vast beauty. Others are called to the open waters.
Whether you are land-lover boon docking it or call a seaworthy vessel home, these maverick lifestyles can be a blessing or a curse. If you fancy the idea of living on-water, here are some pros and cons about life on the high seas.
Pro: Lower Cost of Living
Consider that the average cost of renting an apartment reportedly stands at $1,231 in the U.S. If you rent in an economically-challenged area or subject yourself to low-end housing, it is true that number can be trimmed down considerably. Of course, so will your quality of life.
Now add in monthly necessities such as electricity, heat, and whatever conveniences you prefer. It’s no secret that many land-lovers are shelling out a large percentage of their hard-earned money just to keep a roof over their head. Life on a boat tends to be far less expensive.
A frugal boater can outfit a small vessel and greatly lower monthly expenses. People living on a boat report total living expenses of under $500. Keep in mind, the money you spend on a place to live directly impacts hours worked and quality of life.
Con: Earning a Living can be Difficult
Unless you are retired and can count on a fixed income flowing into you bank account each month, earning a living can be tricky.
People who work online find the least amount of challenges when in port. With decent Wi-Fi in a marina, it’s easy enough to wake-up, work and take a dip in the ocean. But traveling often means limited to no opportunity to get online. Zero and low income can have a profound impact on your quality of life.
Some boaters have embraced the economy. With a handful of skills, you can travel from port to port working as an independent contractor or short-time employee. The other option is to work a straight job and commute to and from your boat. That’s not exactly life on the high seas. It’s more like a different place to park your car. Regardless of how to slice it, earning can be a challenge.
Pro: The World Is Your Oyster
The ability to cast off and sail to new destinations at a moment’s notice provides an almost unparalleled sense of freedom. Imagine traveling with the fair weather, exploring new ports and serene islands. Epic!
Con: Limited Personal Items
Comedic genius George Carlin once did a skit about “stuff.” The more stuff you have, the more space you need to house it. If you like big-screen TVs, microwave ovens, a large refrigerator and a king size bed, well, you’re “going to need a bigger boat” as they say in “Jaws.”
Pro: Improved Health Benefits
No offense to land-lovers, but the sounds of traffic, sirens in the night and loud neighbors doesn’t allow the human body to get the necessary hours of restful sleep.
Being gently rocked by ocean waves and to nature’s tune provides the peace we were all meant to enjoy. In terms of dock mates, if you enjoy the company in a marina, stay. If you don’t, set sail for another port. Also, people living in cities and suburban areas are continually exposed to car exhaust and other forms of pollution. Spending more time on a boat removes many of things that negatively impact your health.
Lastly, research shows that living in a natural environment lowers stress levels. Stress plays a major role in high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and other health-related problems. Call this article biased if you like, but there’s really no “con” to improved health.