A young couple decided to quit the rat race and gave up their jobs to sail around the world – despite never having set foot on a sailing boat before. Matt and Jessica Johnson, both 32, decided to give up their ‘American Dream,’ quit their jobs, sell their possessions and raised enough money to buy their dream boat in 2008.
After practicing for three years, the duo were finally ready to set sail and drift into the sunset and have not looked back since. Leaving behind everything they knew, the adventurous couple departed their hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 12, 2011, and have so far explored 16 countries.
Before their trip, both had successful careers with Matt working as a sales manager at a car dealership and Jessica as a billing specialist for a auto insurance company.
Selling all their belongings, including their house, cars and personal items, allowed them to save up enough money to fund the trip.
They are still getting by on their savings years later, living frugally and saving money wherever they can, and often opting for dinner on deck instead of expensive restaurants.
On average, they spend around £700 a month on diesel, docking feeds, boat maintenance, insurance, food shopping, eating out, entertainment and general costs, and have even created a breakdown of costs on their blog, mjsailing.com, for readers who are considering planning their own ocean adventure.
Matt and Jessica claim that being together 24/7 has made their 10 year relationship stronger than ever.
They said: ‘Our lives were the typical American Dream. Go to school, get married, buy a house, start a career. So far we’ve also left out the part of having 2.5 kids.
‘For too long we had spent all of our weekends in front of the TV without ever doing anything productive or enjoyable. We realised this needed to change.
‘I think that sailing the world has been great for our relationship. There’s no walking away from an argument when one person gets mad at the other, you have to keep working together until the job is done.
‘As for being with each other 100% of the time, we don’t mind at all. We have always liked to be around each other.
‘We’d also been hearing stories from so many others that had been putting their dream on hold until retirement and for one reason or another (health, financial, etc.) until their dreams were no longer attainable. We never wanted that to be us.’
And don’t forget their cat, Georgie!
You can keep up to date with the latest from Matt and Jessica by following their blog over at MJSailing.