Thankfully, quite a few of us humans have thrown out the dated mentality that we have to grow up, get married, have kids, get a good job and then when we retire we can travel (or have fun). Who wants to wait until they’re 65 years old to sail around the world?

For those ready to seize the day, there’s an abundance of opportunities enabling dreams to come true. My family and I have been sailing around the world for over four years now. And while doing so we’ve come across a wide variety of opportunities to sail around the world. Allow me to list them…

How to sail around the world – 7 ways to make it happen

1. Get paid to sail around the world

Want to sail around the world? Get paid to sail around the world

Review various crew-training courses and find a link between your skillset and crew jobs. Qualifications include: Deckhands, Steward/ess, Engineering, Interior Training, Chef all the way through to becoming a qualified Captain.

Our friend, Stephanie is currently working her way up to being a Captain. To get her hours in, she’s spent time crewing on a 90’ motor yacht in the Caribbean, a 65’ sailboat in the Mediterranean and she’s now on a 120’ floating palace in the Pacific. As her job qualifications increase so does her pay packet. AND… let’s not forget that she’s seeing the world in the process.

Gerald, another friend, works for a high-end sailboat manufacturer. He services all the sailboats currently making their way around the world in a three year organized around-the-world rally. On each leg of the journey, he joins a different boat heading to the next destination. In-between passages he works on servicing the whole feet.

2. Volunteer to crew on smaller sailboats

Want to sail around the world? Volunteer on smaller sailboats

Are you in a rush to get on a sailboat? Would you prefer to skip the qualifications and head straight for the experiential side of sailing? If so, get in touch with sailors that are currently making their way around the world and offer to volunteer your time.

We took four volunteers across the Atlantic Ocean with us and have had several others join us for one or many long-distant passages. You can find independent sailing couples and families on YouTube (many have channels), by searching for Sailing Bloggers and by joining sailing groups (Facebook, Google+, Yahoo, etc.).

When approaching a boat owner explain your desire to volunteer, any relevant skillsets and availability. We’re always looking for an extra pair of hands but it’s great when we have guests that know about electrics, plumbing, woodwork, cooking and those that are happy to help us entertain our seven year old!

3. Seek out boat sitting opportunities

How to sail around the world? Boat sitting options

This is a great opportunity for those that want to sail around the world but don’t actually like sailing OR like the idea of sailing but get seasick.

Most boat owners making their way around the world take time out to go home. They’ll often find the safest marina they can but leaving a boat is scary for a boat owner. Some owners find boat sitters that will babysit the boat for a few weeks to a month.

There’s often no exchange of money but both parties win. The boat owner has someone keeping an eye on things and the boat sitter gets free accommodation in a variety of awesome spots. Search on Google, ‘boat sitter jobs’.

4. Date a single boat owner

Want to sail around the world? Date a single boat owner.

This might seem like a crazy objective but it happens all the time. Boat owner boy or girl meets non-boat-owner girl or boy. They fall in love and the boat owner says, ‘lets sail around the world’. The rest is history.

To increase your chances of success, hang out in marinas and yacht clubs.

5. Go on a sailboat cruise or join an around the world race boat

Want to sail around the world? Go on a sailboat cruise

Some sailboats continuously go around the world. You can choose the area you want to see and pay for that particular leg of the journey. If you have the funds to go all the way around the world, bonus. If not, you can do a different leg every year until you achieve your goal.

6. Set up a boat share

Want to sail around the world? Set up a boat share

Find some friends that have similar ambitions as you have. Pool your money together to get a boat. Once the boat is obtained, work on a plan to sail it around the world.

There’s several syndicate boat owners making their way around the world doing one to two passages a year. The owners work year round but take vacations to sail the boat to the next destination.

7. Buy your own boat

Want to sail around the world? Buy a boat.

This isn’t as difficult as it may seem. For US$40,000 you could get a reasonable boat to sail around the world in. Many boaters sell their house, buy a boat and turn to a nomadic sea life. The key issue is to find a source of income while sailing around the world. Renting out property, working online and finding work-from-home jobs are ways that many people make it work. Or, there are those that buy a boat and sail it six months out of the year and return home to work for six months.

Sailing around the world is one of the most exhilarating, fulfilling, and incredible ways to see the world. And you don’t have to wait until you win the lottery to make it happen. So will I see you on the sea soon?!