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Dallas, Texas, United States

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Sailing Zatara

One of my favorite YouTube channels is Sailing Zatara in which a couple documents their adventures sailing around the world on a cruising catamaran with their four youngest children.  Their oldest child is not on the boat with them since she recently gave birth.  The family is able to enjoy this alternative lifestyle because they are living off of retirement savings.

In a previous blog entry Floating Families, I noted that alternative lifestyles are often not sustainable through multiple generations.  When the crew of Sailing Zatara came to the Dallas area where I live for a meet-and-greet recently, I asked during the question and answer session how likely it was that their children would be raising their grandchildren on a boat.  The parents identified by name which of their children probably would or would not and mentioned that their oldest daughter and grandchild might join them on the boat in the next season of the show.

This response also answered my unspoken question as to how the next generation could afford to raise a family while continuously traveling.  In this case, it appears that in the initial phase the second and third generations will live off of the accumulated wealth that was earned by the first generation from working on land.  I can see where the children might be able to sustain this lifestyle at sea by growing income from a spin-off YouTube channel and its associated branded merchandise.

In the 1952 novel The Rolling Stones by my favorite science fiction writer Robert Heinlein, the fictional "Space Family Stone" sustains their space-cruising lifestyle by writing scripts for a television series in addition to dabbling in trade.  I think the key here is that this sort of migratory lifestyle can work for those who are able to telecommute, especially those who are able to create intellectual property wherever they might happen to be from day to day.  While earning a living as a seafaring family strictly from YouTube celebrity will not be possible for most due to eventual market saturation, I can imagine getting by doing something more mundane such as writing software for mobile and web applications.