We haven’t posted much lately about what’s happening on the escape velocity front, so i thought i’d bring you up to date with where we are.
We don’t have a boat. We don’t have any prospects for a boat. And that’s the biggest frustration at the moment but there are many other challenges we need to deal with in the next month.
First, we lived in cheap motels for the entire month of February, which was not only expensive but also depressing. We wandered all over the state trying to find a place that felt homey and walkable so we could park ourselves somewhere comfy, but just couldn’t come up with anything. As far as we can tell Florida requires a car to do anything and really makes us miss our old walkable, bikeable life. Finally, in the waning hours of February, some friends hooked us up with a sublet in a country club community for the month of March so we can unpack the car, cook some meals and take walks without first driving somewhere, but it’s only a temporary solution and not really our style.
The larger issue is that we have no home. And by that I mean not that we don’t have a place to live — a boat — or a place to receive mail — my sister’s address — but that we literally don’t have residency anywhere, which is necessary for the purposes of voting, filing taxes, health insurance, licensing, car registration and insurance and eventually, boat registration.
Our driver’s licenses are from Pennsylvania but we no longer have a residence there. Same for all those other things. I’m in the process of preparing our tax returns and I need to establish our residency somewhere because I’d prefer not to have to file the gazillion forms required for Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania when tax time rolls around next year.
Why not Florida, you ask? It makes sense except for the fact that we haven’t bought a boat yet, and Florida charges a whopping 6% sales tax for residents buying a boat here. Yikes! If we’re not Florida residents and we don’t plan to keep the boat here, then we won’t owe the tax. But we do need to be residents of someplace.
Then there’s the issue of income tax. If we can pick a state to be residents of, then why not pick a state with no income tax? And for that matter, a state with no sales tax, too. But wait, you need to prove residency in a state to, you know, be a resident. Oy. It’s a dilemma, and one we need to resolve pretty quickly. There are full-time RVers and cruisers who face these problems, but darned if I can find any definitive answers anywhere.
Our next challenge is our stuff. It’s in Pittsburgh. Most of it is packed into a storage locker that we got a good deal on but that starts to get expensive once the introductory offer expires, which is next month. Our dinghy is in our ex-neighbors’ garage. Our bikes and our diesel jerry cans are in another neighbor’s garage. We have a large painting at a friend’s house that needs to move to New Jersey. We assume that when we find a boat it’s going to be here in Florida, so it makes sense, since we’re not doing anything else, to head up to Pittsburgh, load everything in a big truck and move it all down here to another storage locker. But where? We don’t have any idea where a boat might show up.
And finally, our beloved little Izzy needs to move. None of us thought we’d be this long without a new home, and her foster home was supposed to be very temporary. It’s going on four months now and she needs to move on. Try finding a temporary home for a cat. It ain’t easy!
We’re open to any and all suggestions on these challenges. We’re having a hard enough time nurturing zenlike patience.