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  #431  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I can't comment on whether there are fewer young sailors out there as we've just started cruising ourselves (we're on s/v Hideaway), but we've met a lot of young cruisers out there.

I come to the sailing world from the backpacking world, though, and I can definitely say there are fewer young Americans out traveling than, say, Brits and Europeans.

I do think debt has a lot to do with this - Americans carry a LOT more debt from college than other nationalities because virtually all kids take out large loans to go to college, and therefore there is a lot of pressure to go to work right away to pay off that debt. Then when they get into the cycle of working, they build other debts - mortgages, car payments, etc. And this prevents them from taking off and going traveling or cruising.

I was lucky in that I didn't take out any loans for college. Between working and scholarships, I left school carefree to travel and do what I wanted. I didn't realize it at the time, but this in itself was what set me up to live the life I live now. I got used to owning very little and I liked being able to pick up and move to another country at the drop of a hat. Plus I was an English teacher so I could get work anywhere I went.

Transitioning from backpacking to cruising was very easy for me and my husband because we were already accustomed to moving often and living simply so we could do just that.

I don't know for sure, but my guess is that if more American kids chose not to take out $100,000 in college loans to go to private universities and instead went to state schools for a quarter of the price and/or worked while they went to school, we'd see a lot more young people traveling and cruising in their twenties and thirties.

Just my two cents...

Tasha (Turf to Surf)
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Last edited by tashahacker; 01-22-2013 at 04:30 PM. Reason: hit enter too soon!
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  #432  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by tashahacker View Post
I don't know for sure, but my guess is that if more American kids chose not to take out $100,000 in college loans to go to private universities and instead went to state schools for a quarter of the price and/or worked while they went to school, we'd see a lot more young people traveling and cruising in their twenties and thirties.

Just my two cents...

Tasha (Turf to Surf)
I went to a state college and graduated debt free thanks to the US Military. My father is medically retired out of the Navy and therefore paid for my education as a part of his benefits.

I do agree though. This economy does not help at all either
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  #433  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Way back i commented on this thread and and am surprised to see it still alive and topical. We were asking why younger gen isn't coming up the hawse pipe .My sad. I travel each off season to far away and see very few backpackers now. That's been a big change over the years but there is more money now than ever before.Just a matter of priorities , I guess.Here in Canada most young bucks work the oil jobs and make the huge money. This translates into dreams of a bigger house with a family, payments on the last F350 4x plus playments on the current one. or simply putting it up their nose.It all spreads the wealth around.By the way, anybody under 35 or 40 looks like young'ns to me now, but I've reach that waypoint I mentioned . and am ready to pass the belaying pin .Curious ?, see me on u tube Thane sail past.
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  #434  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

I think, I missed the point, I was confused Cruising vs sailing. Reading this with more thought now. I have one question how do we know this is a fact? I take it may be a fact. At any age we tend to think our time is the right time. An age group always thinks they set the pace. Generation____ has the best music. lives life all out like never before or will ever be done. Blinded by the time set they are born into. Why not? it is the only time generation____ will ever know. It had better be the best it is all we have.
My next thought is one that sets off on a long voyage is more apt to be a lone wolf so not very likely to check in right ? Into the blue who is keeping track ? Regards, Lou
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  #435  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

Quote:
Originally Posted by tashahacker View Post
I can't comment on whether there are fewer young sailors out there as we've just started cruising ourselves (we're on s/v Hideaway), but we've met a lot of young cruisers out there.

I come to the sailing world from the backpacking world, though, and I can definitely say there are fewer young Americans out traveling than, say, Brits and Europeans.

I do think debt has a lot to do with this - Americans carry a LOT more debt from college than other nationalities because virtually all kids take out large loans to go to college, and therefore there is a lot of pressure to go to work right away to pay off that debt. Then when they get into the cycle of working, they build other debts - mortgages, car payments, etc. And this prevents them from taking off and going traveling or cruising.

I was lucky in that I didn't take out any loans for college. Between working and scholarships, I left school carefree to travel and do what I wanted. I didn't realize it at the time, but this in itself was what set me up to live the life I live now. I got used to owning very little and I liked being able to pick up and move to another country at the drop of a hat. Plus I was an English teacher so I could get work anywhere I went.

Transitioning from backpacking to cruising was very easy for me and my husband because we were already accustomed to moving often and living simply so we could do just that.

I don't know for sure, but my guess is that if more American kids chose not to take out $100,000 in college loans to go to private universities and instead went to state schools for a quarter of the price and/or worked while they went to school, we'd see a lot more young people traveling and cruising in their twenties and thirties.

Just my two cents...

Tasha (Turf to Surf)
Good post... The comparison to backpacking is very apt, and mirrors my impressions re Americans vs. Euros and others, as well...

5 years ago I spent part of the winter cruising Belize, which is very much on the backpacker itinerary... Here's a group that was traveling on a small charter sailboat, setting up for the night at Tobacco Caye...



Got to meet a lot more during the course of hanging out at Caye Caulker for about 10 days... Very popular spot, lots of hostels and cheap hotels, wonderful, very friendly place...

What was most striking, however, was the small percentages of Americans that were part of the mix... Almost an exclusively European crowd, especially surprising, given how easily reached Belize is from the States...

After departing Belize, my next stop was Isla Mujeres... Go figure, that place was absolutely JAM-PACKED with binge-drinking American college kids on Spring Break... Most staying in big resort hotels in Cancun, and probably putting more on Daddy's VISA card in one week than most of those Euros would have spent over a couple of months in Belize... Quite revealing, if not downright depressing...

Your approach will serve you VERY well out cruising, best of luck to you...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 01-22-2013 at 10:58 PM.
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  #436  
Old 01-23-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

well.. I cannot tell you about all americans.. but out of all my friends.. only one wants to hike the appalacian trail before he gets too old (unexpectedly starting a family put those dreams on hold) and the rest... they are scared to death of "roughing it". They do not want to "camp" they refuse to set foot on my "Little boat" and are very much adverse to anything that might be difficult or painful.

I once tried to get my more adventurous friends to go white water rafting. That was a no starter too

I hope my friends are not a good cross section of america
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  #437  
Old 01-23-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

The US is a "sociologically constricted, emotionally constipated, cultural bubble"...just because there aren't many "young people seen cruising here, doesn't mean they aren't cursing other places
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  #438  
Old 01-23-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by Serendipitous View Post
I think the number of young cruisers/sailors are on the rise, we just have to keep getting the word out there that it can be done, no matter your age bracket or income!
The last 4 years, I would say, has dramatically shifted the perspective of a lot of young people, I would say. Being in my 30s, it became obvious that:
1> The 30 year career, gold watch, retirement life path is no longer anywhere close to guaranteed. Those jobs don't exist anymore, the perks and pensions don't exist anymore. So sacrificing the NOW for LATER, no longer seems like a good deal.

2> The internet changes everything. Money can be made on the move. I've read tons of cruiser blogs of folks who make money while sailing. If you're willing to figure it out, there's a financially viable life afloat or on the move.


Many of my friends and myself included, have decided the better trade-off is the NOW over the LATER. Cut the cable, sell the house, and seek experiences that enhance your life. It may or may not be sailing, but the groundwork is there to boost sailing adoption by young people, and the more I look, the more I find people in their 20s and 30s try their hardest to seek those experiences.
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  #439  
Old 01-23-2013
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

It's gone from seeking a career and retirement to trying to survive with jobs so precious that if you go cruising you might not have a job to come back to. Next step will be where people will say "screw it, I can survive here, might as well just take off in a boat and try my luck somewhere else".
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Re: The future of the sailing world. Why are there so few young people cruising??

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Originally Posted by wolfenzee View Post
It's gone from seeking a career and retirement to trying to survive with jobs so precious that if you go cruising you might not have a job to come back to. Next step will be where people will say "screw it, I can survive here, might as well just take off in a boat and try my luck somewhere else".
That's the thing, there aren't 'jobs' anymore, in the traditional sense. There are really only contracts, that have a beginning and , if you're lucky, a known end which you can plan for. The smart one save up when times are good, a cruise when there are no more contract. When work picks up, they come back and earn some more.

I'm in technology and it's feast and famine like that. You work when there is work, and you 'retire' when it dries up. There will always be work to be done it just looks different than the 9-5er we were promised as college students.
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