A San Diego local, Austin Wells, recently shared his unconventional choice to buy an apartment on a cruise ship, a decision influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on travel and the rising costs of living and rent.
The adventurous 28-year-old didn't just dream about traveling; he decided to work remotely and sail the globe for roughly three and a half years.
His studio space, situated on the luxury residential cruise, MV Narrative by Storylines, set him back $300,000 for a 12-year term. Wells expressed to CNBC that the allure of this lifestyle was the ability to explore the world without disrupting his everyday life.
The MV Narrative promises an all-inclusive experience, boasting 20 dining and bar setups, its own microbrewery, an expansive library, a cinema, three swimming pools, a fitness center, an art studio, laundry services, and even an in-house doctor.
So, how does Wells, an employee of Meta, plan to maintain his work while aboard this floating paradise?
Fortunately for the young 28-year-old, his position in the tech firm's augmented and virtual reality sector is entirely remote, giving him the freedom to traverse the seas.
Wells shared with CNBC: "My working hours will be shifted towards evenings, nights and very early mornings. But that does open up the ability for me to … maybe see a city midday to afternoon and then start my workday around 6pm or 7pm."
"This is probably the first time ever that there is even the ability to have a standard job and even consider working and living from a floating apartment complex."
As Wells embarks on his three-year voyage, he'll experience a multitude of countries with the ship planning its departure in 2025.
The proposed travel plan includes stops at destinations like Rome, Naples, Venice, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, and Turkey.
Should he feel homesick or yearn for the company of loved ones, Wells has the choice to lease his apartment or even welcome friends or family to join him onboard for up to a month.
If you're tempted to trade your pricey city apartment for life at sea, you're in luck: there are still some units available on the ship.
Though many of the leases span 24 years or even up to 60 – the expected lifespan of the ship – Wells secured his for 12 years by acting quickly. And while he managed to snag a good deal, other apartments on board start at around $1 million (£700,000) and can go up to a staggering $8 million (£6.3 million).
For those not looking for such a long commitment, there's a "fractional ownership" option which allows three months per year on the ship. And if you'd like a break from daily chores, there's an all-inclusive package for an additional $2,100 (£1,600) per person. Who wouldn't want a few months free from cooking and cleaning?
Still think it's a bit too pricey? Consider this: Ryan Gutridge found living on a cruise ship for 300 days a year more economical than paying rent and utilities on land.