We are in our early 30's and we took a big chunk of 2011 off and went cruising up the Australian East Coast with our young daughter.
We just made the decision to go. Once we had made the commitment, it become easier to make the changes we needed to turn our dream into a reality. By changing from' I wish we could', to 'we are going not matter what' things fell in place. We had some luck with timing, but we were not rolling in money and like you were suggesting it was hard. Even with giving up luxuries and sacrificing it was still hard. It would of been much easier not to have gone.
So umm what BJ said. But he said it better
Originally Posted by bljones
It's just like a big construction project, a matter of making the commitment, then establishing an objective, then determining the budget, then reworking the objective to fit the available budget.
The only thing preventing you from leaving is you. if you have no debt, then you likely have a house that is either an income producing asset via rental income, or an asset that can be sold to fulfill your cruising budget.
Something to think about- if you and your spouse are typical, you spend $120/week eating out. lunch, dinner, coffees, snacks... if you just eliminated that expense, you have over $6k per year in "found income." If you make the commitment that you are going to take a "seabbatical" in five years, and made no other changes in your life, you would have a cruising kitty of over $30 K... enough to cruise comfortably for over 2 years, without having to liquidate any assets.
Only thing I would add is that we were realistic with expectations. We bought the boat we could afford and suited for our needs. We went without alot of mod cons. Also even though our initial intentions were for a couple of years around the Pacific, reality mean't that the kitty didn't stretch that far.
We are now back at work saving though for the next adventure.