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Easy to leave, happy to come home

Jetsetters Willy and Karin Goedeke trade home maintenance for worldly adventures

Created date

May 7th, 2017
Tinton Falls, New Jersey, Jersey Shore, maintenance-free lifestyle, priority list, Harrison model, Round-the-clock security, on-campus restaurants   Willy and Karin Goedeke during a visit to Moorea, French Polynesia.

Willy and Karin Goedeke took a 36-day cruise from Sydney, Australia, to San Diego, Calif., in January. Along the way, they stopped in Auckland, New Zealand; Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Moorea, French Polynesia (pictured here); and Honolulu, Hawaii.

When Willy and Karin Goedeke returned home from their Pacific cruise in late February, they jumped right back into cruise life on land. The couple takes several cruises a year and calls their homebase—Seabrook, the Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J.—their “permanent land cruise.”

In fact, Seabrook’s maintenance-free lifestyle is so ideal they even moved in between travels. 

“We returned from Europe on September 10, 2015, and attended a priority list event where we saw the Harrison model, which we always liked. It was in the perfect location. We put a deposit down that day, picked up the keys on the first of December, and moved our furniture into our apartment. We left for Europe on December 18, and in mid-January 2016, we moved in,” Willy says. 

It sounds like a whirlwind, but it’s exactly why they chose Seabrook. They had been on the priority list for five years and considering Erickson Living communities for ten, but Karin’s herniated disc and back surgery about two years ago prodded them to move forward so that instead of giving up traveling, they could do more of it. 

Live more, worry less

“We absolutely love Seabrook,” Willy says. “We came here to make life easier so we could still travel. We don’t have to maintain a house; we just have to walk out the door and lock up. In a house, you have to turn off the water and this and that. Now, I don’t have to worry about the garden or the house or worry when we’re gone that we’re going to have a snowstorm or another [Superstorm] Sandy.”

Seabrook takes care of all the responsibilities of a house, enabling community members to maintain less and live more. Round-the-clock security and home maintenance is included in each household’s convenient monthly service package, as well as utilities, property taxes, use of all amenities, and a flexible meal plan.

Because they eat at Seabrook’s on-campus restaurants using their meal plan, they don’t even have to worry about emptying the freezer or refrigerator before they leave for an extended trip, like their recent 36-day cruise from Sydney, Australia, through the South Pacific to San Diego, Calif.

“Getting the freezer empty was always one of the biggest problems. Now we don’t have that problem,” Willy says. 

Karin, who has always enjoyed cooking her native German food, has cooked twice since they moved in. Willy says they’ve used the dishwasher twice as well. “That was when we had company here,” he says with a chuckle.

Benefits of moving early

“We’re saving our energy for travel,” Willy says. “Moving here has made traveling easier because you don’t have to worry about the house when you’re gone. You really have to experience it to believe it. We don’t worry about a thing.” 

When they’re not traveling, Willy and Karin attend German Club meetings and serve as ambassadors for the sales team, guiding prospective residents on campus tours and answering their questions about life at Seabrook.

The piece of advice they give most often: “I think people wait too long,” Willy says. “They don’t want to leave their house, and that’s the biggest mistake they can make. If you come early enough, you can enjoy life.”