Whether it takes them two years or a decade, Haley and Caden Boullon of Braselton plan to sail around the world. They’re packing up their lives and going as far as their money and boat takes them.
The 25-year-olds said many people their age are focused on getting out of college, finding a job, settling down, starting a family and planning for retirement. Instead of waiting at the end of their lives to pursue an adventure, the two have set their sights on becoming nomads of the sea next year.
“I think it would just be something to look back on and say, ‘I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go, explore and branch out and do something different,” Haley said. “It will definitely make us both mentally stronger. It’s going to test our problem-solving skills and different mechanical skills to keep the boat afloat.”
They intend to leave the coast of Georgia in November 2022. Until then, the Boullons will hone their sailor skills and learn the ins and outs of their boat, which they’ve dubbed “Isurus,” the scientific name for a mako shark.
The couple, who have been married for two years and in a relationship for nine, said they purchased the 42-foot, 1981 Tartan 42 during the beginning of the pandemic and keep it docked on Lake Lanier. Before acquiring the sailboat, Caden had been sailing on the lake for around a year, even participating in weekly races.
The Boullons said they’ve begun practicing for their big trip, sailing for hours at a time on Lake Lanier. Before setting off for larger waters, they plan to work temporarily as crewmates on a boat in the ocean.
The Boullons said they felt inspired to purchase their boat and prepare for their around-the-world trip after living in their 320-square-foot tiny home for two years. Realizing they could happily survive in close-quarters on a small budget, they decided to embark on a new challenge.
“She’s (Haley) a marine ecologist and diver, and I’m a diver,” Caden said. “We thought, ‘How cool would it be if we could live in our house on the ocean?’ We could go anywhere.”
Starting on the coast of Georgia, the couple plans to travel south to the Carribean and cross the Atlantic to make their way to Europe, particularing Norway. Caden said he hopes to travel through Asia, docking in both Thailand and Japan, then traveling south to New Zealand.
“Even if we only last a year-and-a-half with what we have, we won’t look back on it and be like, ‘Man, I can’t believe I did that for a year-and-a-half. What a total waste,’” Caden said. “It’s definitely not going to happen that way. In the end, it’ll be worth it.”
Both Caden and Haley work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. jobs with Primerica. But, when they set sail, the two said they will leave the company behind and survive mostly on their savings. They also intend to pick up any “odd jobs” they can find at marinas as they travel.
To stay in touch with land-dwellers, Caden said they will communicate via satellite on their boat, as well as receive weather data.
“Cruising has come a long way from following the stars, but you can also text your mom once a day through satellite to say, ‘Hey, we’re still alive,’” Caden said.
If the Boullons do find themselves in a situation where they need to repair their boat while far from land, the two said they’ll hunker down and get the job done on their own.
“We’ve both been doing a ton of research,” Haley said. “We’re reading books, watching videos on YouTube, learning every bit about our boat that we can.”
As for staying fed while on the water, Caden said they will keep a stock of canned and dry food, and pick up fresh goods at each port they visit. They intend to catch their own fish and are even considering keeping an herb garden aboard.
“I’m excited about the first fish that we catch on the boat,” Caden said. “We’ll cut it up and eat it right there. Being able to sustainably catch your own food and live, that’s going to be nuts.”
Although the Boullons are approaching their trip with an optimistic mindset, the couple said they’re aware of the challenges awaiting them, both physically, mentally and financially.
Haley said one of her biggest concerns involves leaving her family.
“If something happens, and I’m out in the middle of the ocean, I can’t just hop on a plane and come home,” she said.
Caden said the No. 1 doubt expressed by those who don’t know them well involves having enough money for the trip. The Boullons assure people they’re used to cutting corners and living on a strict budget. Caden said they have a monthly financial plan of using around $2,000 a month for all their expenses, including food, car insurance and house payments.
“What people think their monthly budget is, you can cut it in half and maybe more,” Caden said. “It’s all about having what you need when you need it and not having excess.”
By traveling the world on a sailboat, Haley said she hopes to show people they don’t have to be wealthy to explore different states or countries. They can make do with what they have.
“If I can help anybody, even if it’s just one person, change something in their life to make it for the better, I think that’s a great thing,” Haley said.