Andrew Stephens's boat
Credit: Courtesy of Andrew Stephens

Here’s one way to spend an early retirement.

In 2016, Andrew Stephens did what many people only dream of doing within their lifetimes: He quit his job, sold all his possessions, and bought a boat. For the last 11 months, he has been sailing around the world and he has no plans of stopping yet.

After years in the U.S. Coast Guard, the Stephens decided to take an early retirement in 2013. Using about $27,000 severance pay from his job, Stephens returned to his home in Seattle to study business economics and he bought his dream vessel, a 30-foot sailboat.

Andrew Stephens, 1000 miles
Credit: Courtesy of Andrew Stephens

After a few years studying and honing his sailing skills, and saving about $15,000, he set out to the open ocean with no particular destination in mind. So far, he’s covered about 10,000 miles.

“My goal in sailing around the world was never to simply end up where I started … rather it was to find 'something' that I think most of us are looking for,” Stephens wrote on his website.

A photo commemorating his 10,000th mile went viral on Reddit, where he also answered many user questions about his adventures.

Life on the open sea isn’t always glamorous. Stephens has spent most of his savings already. However, according to the Reddit thread, he has cut down on his expenses to between $500 and $750 per month. He also makes do with ingredients like flour, butter and sugar so he can make fresh food from scratch. And, of course, he stocks plenty of non-perishable items. Occasionally, a friend will also send a care package.

El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
Credit: Courtesy of Andrew Stephens

He’s also been in some tight weather situations. Every so often, Stephens runs into choppy water, torrential downpours or heavy winds.

However, despite some hardship, Stephens meets tons of interesting people and sees all kinds of wonderful views on his travels. “In Asia, I try to venture where there are no tourists,” he wrote.

Stephens earns some money by posting videos of his adventures and sailing tips on Youtube and his website.

He also has clips and photos of where he goes on Instagram.

In his most recent post on his website, Stephens wrote, “I have overcome so many hardships but also experienced so many wonderful times...I really feel like I’m in my element now, even though I am on my own, halfway around the world, doing something I never thought possible.”

Sailing around the world for a living sounds like a dream job.