Also , look into penalties for early withdrawal from your 401k. I'm not a tax expert by 10% + income tax comes to mind.
If you have someone local who can help out, look at the numbers for renting out your house - still not risk free though!!
I'm looking into rolling the 401k into an IRA, so it wouldn't be a savings account, it'd be a managed portfolio of stocks and bonds. 5% seems reasonable, and yes, i get there are risks, but long-term the stock market has always gone up. I have a money manager who would run the account, and I'm planning to meet with him to discuss rolling it over in the coming week. I get that there may be taxes and penalties. Hoping to do this over years so that I might minimize penalties as I could maybe claim hardship and my "income" is taxed at a very low rate or no rate.
In terms of "escaping" and not living my current life right...that's not really the case. I've actually got a great life, lots of friends, and a job that I enjoy. But ever since I was a wee lad, I've dreamt about sailing and exploring the world. I know there's more out there for me. And my passion for exploring and being free is much greater than my passion for work and a "regular" life. Life is short and I want to do this while I'm still physically capable and adventurous-minded enough to pull it off.
To be honest, I feel like the world has only so many "good" years left before some massive changes start coming down the pike.
And I know I only have maybe 10-20 years to do this, if I'm lucky. No disrespect to those older than that - it's awesome to be 70+ and cruising, but I'm not going to trust my dream to the dicey odds of being physically and mentally fit into my 60s and 70's.
I'll accept having less luxurious elder years with amazing memories of my 40's and 50's, rather than getting to 60 and thinking I spent 20 years in cubeland when i could have been exploring the world.