Please tell me it is worth it???
Even though long-term cruising is likely 5-7 years away for us, I have read several books by circumnavigators who describe with some degree of passion the preparation path that worked for them. Since the financial factor is such a big one for many people, it gets a lot of attention. One thing some recommend strongly is not to buy "the boat" until you are almost ready to go and already have the cruising kitty saved up. Also, they recommend a very simple boat to start, with the idea that you will decide as you go what is important to you in the way of systems and luxuries. They cite too many cases where folks spend incredible amounts of money and time getting their dream boat ready, then the dream gets side-tracked for one reason or another.
As far as the feeling of "giving up everything", my view is that you can probably find a way to reduce your debt and convert assets into cash now, but still preserve your options. If you get part way down this path (assuming you haven''t bought "the boat" yet) and decide to abort the plan, you take all the loot you have stashed and restart the kind of life you want and can afford. Some advocate shutting off the "escape" options so you don''t abandon your dream; I say that having the option let''s you be more comfortable with your choice.
While I like to think I can be happy with a pretty simple existence, actually making that happen at some point would be somewhat of a shock to me (moreso to my wife). Unless you have the resources to take the high cost/high maintenance lifestyle aboard with you, the fact is that you will need to adjust and be happy with the simpler life. While you are land-bound, you might feel you are suffering all the burden with none of the rewards. My guess is that you are are in a phase that is normal for a lot of people. Hopefully, you''ll find that the rewards of your cruising will more than offset the sacrifices you are making.
As a former manager used to say a lot, "Every donut has a hole, but you need to stay focused on the donut."