“What if I have been to die tomorrow, what would you do for the remainder of your life?”
That is what Malaysian Samantha Khoo requested her Singaporean husband Rene Sullivan in 2017, when he got here residence late from an extended day of labor.
“It was actually sudden and it took me a while earlier than I answered her,” he instructed Amazoonkartby way of video from Langkawi, Malaysia. “I mentioned, ‘Properly, if that occurs, then I simply take my guitar … after which journey the world’.”
Khoo replied, “Why are we ready for me to die so that you can do that?”
Residing in a sailboat collectively has allowed Rene Sullivan and Samantha Khoo to work on their communication expertise. “In a home, in the event you get pissed off at one another, you’ll be able to simply depart … Right here you’ll be able to’t. You must make up and say you are sorry,” mentioned Khoo.
24 Hour Travellers
“Right here we’re chasing these targets. Pay up your money owed, get your home, do your online business … We did all of it. We’re at this level the place we’re nonetheless like: When is it ever sufficient?”
The couple, now of their late 40s, have been operating companies of their very own again then.
“It was a change of perspective. Cash can now not be our forex as a result of … it is by no means going [to be] sufficient. Time turned our forex — how can we spend our time doing what we wish?”
The very first thing the duo did was promote most of their possessions, together with their companies and actual property, mentioned Sullivan.
“We begin chopping all the pieces,” he mentioned. “You notice you do not actually need some huge cash — since you’re not paying your employees, you are not paying your hire, you are not paying for a property, you are not paying to your [credit] playing cards.”
They’ve since develop into “small-time buyers,” mentioned Sullivan.
Sullivan and Khoo, who’ve been married for 22 years, mentioned an important factor that enabled them to journey full time was being debt-free.
“We aren’t wealthy,” Khoo insisted. “It was crucial [to be debt-free]. For instance, for properties that we purchased, we made positive that [they were] paid off inside 5 years.”
The couple purchased an ex-military van for $3,600 and transformed it right into a campervan. For 3 years, they traveled throughout Malaysia and conquered “the entire of Thailand,” mentioned Khoo.
“The very best a part of van life for each of us is the liberty of not having to pre-book air tickets or trains, buses or inns. We are able to come and go after we like,” she added.
They have been all able to go when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. So that they put their plans on maintain.
Earlier this yr, many nations reopened their borders to vacationers, and the couple have been getting ready to depart.
“After which the [Russian-Ukraine] battle occurred. Nothing mentioned that it was an excellent time to do land journey,” mentioned Khoo.
With their plans thwarted, the couple began dreaming about their subsequent journey. Khoo spent a variety of time watching movies on YouTube, and she or he chanced upon one about residing in a tiny boat.
“I used to be like, ‘Oh, I can do that,'” she mentioned. Sullivan, nonetheless, was not so eager.
“I used to be skeptical of all the pieces — [dealing with] the climate after which being within the ocean all by your self. I am form of rooster that means,” he mentioned with fun.
The compromise? Sullivan agreed to check the waters of sail life earlier than committing to purchasing a ship.
They spent 4 months at Pangkor Marina in Malaysia, the place they labored for boat homeowners with out pay to realize information about boat life and upkeep.
Sullivan ultimately fell in love with the approach to life. In April this yr, the couple purchased a secondhand full-keel boat for $15,000.
Whereas the concept of residing on a sailboat is enjoyable, Khoo and Sullivan mentioned it is something however glamorous.
“There’s actually a variety of laborious work that goes into it. We’re studying new expertise day-after-day,” mentioned Khoo. “This boat is not only our residence, nevertheless it’s additionally our college, our dormitory, our workplace.”
There’s a widespread saying that “boat” stands for “carry on one other thousand,” mentioned Khoo.
“It implies that when one thing breaks, you are going to spend $1,000 on it.”
A sailboat is “not simply our residence, nevertheless it’s additionally our college,” mentioned Samantha Khoo. The couple added that they’re studying new expertise on a regular basis — like fixing the water pump of a ship.
24 Hour Travellers
Sullivan added, “Studying in regards to the engine and [fixing] it ourselves, you save lots. So if you understand how to do it, you simply purchase the elements, and also you repair it your self.”
Sullivan mentioned he picks up expertise from different boaters in addition to on-line.
“It is all out there on YouTube … It simply takes extra time so that you can be taught,” he mentioned.
That is why the couple have but to depart Talagar Harbor in Langkawi, the place their boat has been anchored for the previous three months.
“Individuals are like: ‘Go already, you guys are prepared,'” mentioned Sullivan.
However he mentioned they’re content material to go slowly — to deal with anchoring the boat, then returning to shore in the interim — and overview their progress quarterly.
“We do not strain ourselves as a result of we simply wish to be like 1% higher than yesterday,” he mentioned.
Khoo and Sullivan additionally run a YouTube channel referred to as 24 Hour Travellers, the place they doc their adventures and interview different vacationers.
The couple mentioned being round the clock vacationers is matter of perspective.
“It is about … how one can change your perspective and be comfortable the place you might be,” Khoo mentioned.
“At Talagar Harbor, after we stroll to the primary gate, we go a South African captain, a French captain, a German sailor, an Indonesian carpenter … they develop into your neighbors,” she added.
“Realizing the boat homeowners, it is already like touring the world,” she mentioned.
For now, the couple are centered on taking “child steps” to attain their aim — to develop into succesful sailors and set sail to Thailand subsequent yr.
“The dream is to anchor our boat in blue water and be surrounded by islands,” Khoo mentioned.