“Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.  –  Dave Ramsey

Let me inspire you.  Nancy and I returned just over a week ago from the trip of a lifetime.  Seven days, six nights, on board a 38-foot powered catamaran throughout the British Virgin Islands (BVI).  The Virgin Islands is a group of more than 50 islands just east of Puerto Rico.  About 15 of the islands are inhabited

We had decided to go big this year.  There was a lot to celebrate this year.  We had paid off our house, and we were celebrating five years of marriage.  We could go big, so why not?

In the process of deciding where to go, we got word that a good friend had won a high-dollar charity raffle.  The prize?  A voucher for a week-long charter in the BVI.  We were immediately interested, as we honeymooned at Peter Island Resort in the BVI.  We would still have to pay travel, food, and other expenses, but the voucher covered the lion’s share of the cost.  After some research and discussion, we settled on a price and bought the voucher, set the date, and began to plan.

BVI

We didn’t confirm and purchase the voucher until we were sure that I could get approved to skipper the boat myself.  We didn’t want a random dude hanging out with us the entire week on our anniversary vacation (no offense, random dude).  I have some boating experience, mainly with 20- to 25-foot craft, but a 38-footer was a different ballgame.  The company agreed to qualify me if we hired a skipper the first day to train me.

Boat

I studied and planned for months before, laying out our route, planning our stops along the way, and studying the boat.

We flew down to St. Thomas, took the ferry to Tortola, and picked up our boat for the week.  MarineMax Vacations, the charter company did a heck of a job preparing us and helping us have a great vacation.  I got my hands on the boat, got trained, and we were on our way.  Our skipper’s name was Ali, and he was a huge blessing in getting me prepared for a week with the boat.  Here are some highlights, courtesy of Nancy Ray.

Day 1: Norman Island

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Day 2: Saba Rock and Bitter End on Virgin Gorda

Saba Rock

Day 3: Anegada

Loblolly Bay

Day 4: Marina Cay

Day 5: Peter Island Resort

PI Spa

Day 6: The Baths at Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda

Day 7: Return the boat and travel home

Captain

Be inspired.  We wouldn’t go on a trip like this if we were cash-strapped, barely hanging on, deep in debt.  We probably wouldn’t have even of done a trip this big if we still had a house payment.  Being free of that enables you have incredible experiences.

When we first got married, vacation was going to visit family.  Vacation was going to see friends that lived out of town.  Vacation a day or two extra tagged onto work trips.  We vacationed like no one else and got our financial lives in order, so now we can vacation like no one else.

Now, the question is not, “Where can we afford to go?”  The question has become, “Where do you want to go?”

The sacrifice is worth the payoff.  Do the hard work to live like no one else now, so you can live like no one else later.

Where do you dream of going when you have the money to go?  Leave a link so we can all see and dream with you!