Update on the 9 Month World Cruise

Blog-Vlog, Early Retirement, Personal Finance, Travel

Written by leahb

December 28, 2023

Mea Culpa

I know, I know, I’m WAY behind in posting on the blog since we started the 9 month world cruise. This trip so far has been an absolute whirlwind and I can only beg forgiveness. I knew this trip was going to be popular on social media. What I was not prepared for was the hectic frenzy that came from TikTok.

We are currently on Day 18 and we are having a blast. Steve is only slightly irritated at the amount of time I’m spending on videos and writing. I love doing this kind of stuff, so to me, it is part of the experience.

We met a couple on the plane to Miami who were also planning on documenting the trip for social media on the 9 month world cruise.

And learned about a few others who would be doing the same. I suggested a meet up once we were on the ship, and several people said they were interested. Then we got here and started posting, and oh boy did the TikTok platform take off for all of us. I had just under 1000 subscribers before I arrived on the ship. As of today, I have a little more than 46,000.

The TikTok Phenomenon

Most of the other TikTokers on the 9 month World Cruise are doing better than I am in terms of views and subscribers. That’s partly because I’m not exactly in the TikTok demographic. And partly because one media outlet left me out of a major article that was then picked up by several other media organizations. As a result, my channels are not being shared as much as the others. That part I attribute to being standard GenX treatment. And that’s funny, because it’s true.

Still, I am incredibly busy putting out content on a regular basis, and trying to find time to write as well. We must feed the monster right? In addition to the video documentation, I am also keeping a journal. I think I’m going to write a book about the experience at the end. I certainly have enough followers that might be interested in it. Would you be?

I am getting finance related questions on social media, so I figured I would take the opportunity to answer them here in more time and detail I can provide in a video. The big questions are “who can afford a 9 month cruise?” or “how did you pay for it?”. The first one I can’t really answer for everyone, but it largely depends on your priorities.

That is not to say that everyone who really wanted to go on this trip could come up with the funds. Rather, it is to say that when you really want to make things happen, you can usually find a way. Several people we are cruising with sold their homes before starting the voyage. I’m not saying you should do things that drastic, but some people do. The short answer to the second question, is that we used our retirement funds.

 

The longer answer is…

that it took our lives up to this point to do this. Unless you are born with wealth, most of us aren’t able to wake up one day and decide to do a 9 month cruise like this and make it happen within a week. Steve and I were not born with wealth. We had opportunities to be sure. And we took them.

I made a career out of working in places no one else wanted to. And doing things other people didn’t want to do. Things outside of my job description. Steve didn’t really have a career, but worked in various jobs, gaining responsibility over time. And in gaining responsibility, also gained income.

Saving and investing for retirement was a priority for me since my late 20’s. Steve came to it later because of his life circumstances. And like I said, a 9 month cruise was not something we could figure out in a week. For roughly 10 years we worked at saving together. Doing it together made it easier and us more successful. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a life partner that is aligned with your goals. It is impossible to fill a pot with water if your partner is putting holes in the bottom.

Will it Work?

Even though we used retirement funds, we made sure that our bills before and after would be covered. Will using those retirement funds for a long vacation turn out to be a bad decision? We probably won’t know until a few years after the 9 month world cruise is over. But I think not. We still have funds coming in. The bills are greatly reduced for the time we are on the cruise. And we shouldn’t be incurring much in the way of expenses – if at all. We still have reserves.

There is a chance that we might actually make a return on this investment. And neither one of us are spendthrifts. So this is more likely than not to work out.

 

Criticism – Do you know what you are talking about?

Some other criticisms I’ve seen are that using the name Frugal Vagabond to cover a 9 month world cruise shows that I don’t know what the word frugal means. Of course I do. Being sparing or economical with regard to money is a lifestyle and a means to an end. It doesn’t control every aspect of your life all the time.

You can read about my philosophy of this here. And this cruise is only going to last 9 months. Me, and this blog, and my social media accounts will last much longer. To be clear though, I would not consider the 9 month world cruise to be a “Frugal” trip. But. Frugal living certainly made it possible.

Other Socials: If you have read this long and are interested in following me elsewhere –

TikTok: @frugalvagabond

YouTube: @frugalvagabond

Written by leahb

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