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The short version we tell people is that we sold everything and took off. But the long version isn’t so simple!
While we were home for the holidays I got the news that Star Fleet – the business I sold in 2014 – shut down. It was so heartbreaking to hear that a business that had been in operation for 22 years when I sold it could not last 3 years with the new owners. All the employees lost their jobs, and clients who put deposits down were not getting their money back.
And…I lost money. Lots of money. Not only that, but I still owned the property where the business was located, and had now lost my main tenant. And I had a mortgage. Paying the mortgage without the expected income was quickly dwindling our savings. We even had a few discussions about the possibility of selling Starry Horizons in New Zealand. Thank goodness we are in New Zealand, a place where I have all the internet I need and I can easily call my lawyer, sign documents, or discuss strategy.
I’d been actively trying to sell the land since we left. It was my largest asset and largest liability. I’d had a signed contract on it for 10 months, which I thought was going to fall through so many times.
Well, the day finally came. Today I sold the land, paid off my note, and put away a good chunk of change, securing our financial ability to finish our circumnavigation. We are officially debt free, and that feels amazing! I have learned so much from this whole experience, and yes it was at a pretty steep cost. David has always been optimistic about it, mostly because I was having such a hard time. He kept saying “well, even if we had to sell SH, we’ve had 2 great years”. My side was more of a temper tantrum: “but I don’t want to stop cruising!” Go ahead and picture me stomping my foot too.
Many cruisers have rental property back home, but my takeaway is that a niche commercial property does not make for peace of mind while cruising. I think our friends at Couch Sailors have the right idea – they still have their place in San Francisco and rent it out on AirBnb. They have a source of income and a home to come back to when they need it.
I would say that we are doing something fun to celebrate, but I’ve been under the weather the past two days, so it’ll probably just be a calm and quiet movie night for us.