“Everybody kind of has this mentality of work, work, work, and then you can have fun later in life. We just decided to have the fun now.”
It may be safe to say that 2020 impacted us all in one way or another. For Brittany Jones, it was a wake-up call. After experiencing loss and navigating a new covid-era world, she decided that life is too short not to be doing what you want to be doing all the time. And for her, that meant being on the water in the Florida Keys.
Brittany is a recent Key West local, who moved to our island city with her husband Matt and her stepson Logan in January 2022. They sold it all, bought a sailboat, and moved aboard. There are books about this topic! Bluesail was lucky enough to welcome Brittany, Matt, and Logan to our sailing school where they took their maritime skills to the next level. We’re excited to share Brittany's story of how they found home onboard a sailboat in Key West.
Bluesail: Can you share a little bit about your background story of leaving the mountains of Colorado for the reefs of the Florida Keys?
Brittany: I owned two businesses in Colorado and was doing really well for myself. And when 2020 happened, I decided that I didn't want to do it anymore. It wasn’t about the businesses - those were fine and we sold them. But with the pandemic, the world seeming like it was falling apart, and personal loss within my family, I decided that life is too short to not do what you want to do all the time. So we made a goal to leave Colorado in October 2022 and move to the Keys…but we ended up fast-tracking our plan and moved in January 2022. Everybody kind of has this mentality of work, work, work, and then you can have fun later. We just decided to have the fun now.
Bluesail: So what made you decide to live on a boat?
Brittany: We were thinking about places where we might want to live and Belize kept coming to mind. We used to travel to Belize a lot. And then one day, when we were in Belize, my husband looked at me and asked, how do you feel about sailing? And I told him that I never really thought about it. So we talked about learning to sail because then we can bring our house anywhere in the world! And that's how the conversation started. Then we traveled back home and signed up for sailing lessons and learned to sail on a lake in Colorado.
Bluesail: Wow, learning to sail in Colorado — you don’t hear that every day!
Brittany: Yeah, it was a lot of fun! We got a 25-foot Catalina and spent every single free weekend on our little sailboat after earning all of our sailing certifications. As for our current sailboat — we were searching, searching, and searching nonstop for a boat that would be our new home. We finally found our dream boat - a 45-foot Ketch - in Fort Myers in February 2021.
Bluesail: Why did you choose to start your next chapter in Key West?
Brittany: Funny story actually — my first time in Key West was in October 2020! My husband and I have been together for 11 years, and for 11 years, he's been telling me that he wants to take me to Key West. He was afraid that once I got here, I would never leave…and that kind of happened!
Bluesail: Happens to the best of us! Was it difficult to downsize when you moved from a house to a boat?
Brittany: Honestly, I've always been somewhat of a minimalist. So downsizing for me was a lot of fun…except for the clothes. But in the end, the rewards are greater than the drawbacks. I get to wake up every morning and have my coffee in the cockpit and look out at the marina.
Bluesail: That’s the dream. So, how did you hear about Bluesail and why did you decide to join our sailing school?
Brittany: I asked a friend of mine - who is a sailor - if she knew anyone who offered more advanced lessons for somebody who knows how to sail, but wants to sharpen their skills. And she could only recommend Scott and Bluesail in Key West!
Bluesail: We’re so excited to hear that! After participating in our program, do you have advice for prospective sailing school students?
Brittany: My only advice is to go for it, but also to be responsible! My husband and I talk about this so often — about how we could sail away into the sunset without any real experience. People do it all the time. But at the same time, it's beneficial to hire someone like Bluesail to help you dial in your skills. Tyler is an amazing captain and teacher. And we've learned so much from him. So I’d say go for it, but also be responsible because there is so much that can go wrong out there, and having the skills to be able to assess and navigate different situations is so important.
Bluesail: And now that you’re taking time to improve your sailing skills and knowledge, do you have any goals for the future?
Brittany: My goal is to land a job where I get to work on the water! I am a hairstylist and I owned two salons in Colorado, so I am still doing hair in Key West. But I'm also working towards getting my captain's license so that I can eventually work on a boat.
Bluesail: Maybe be our next sailing instructor?
Brittany: Maybe one day! I would love to teach other people how to make their dreams come true, too. I think that having a woman in the industry would be really beneficial for future female sailors.
Inspired by Brittany's story? Go for your dreams, too!