Great posts on this thread.
CD, a question for you. You advocate an "save up and go" approach, but it doesn't seem like you saved up all you needed in your 20s before taking off. Have you had to stop and work again to build up funds (for larger boat, for kitty), and did you find that difficult?
Dawndreamer seems fully financed and ready to go, and apparently leveraged his experience traveling into confidence for a strong business venture (cool) during his working break.