Have you ever taken a vacation that was so great you never wanted to leave? What if you could figure out a way to stay there for the rest of your life?
For Lee Wachtstetter, that vacation was aboard the Crystal Serenity cruise ship, and she has it all figured out.
Mama Lee, as she’s known at sea, has been living on the ship for the past decade.
“I don’t have to clean house. I don’t have to shop, I don’t have to cook, I don’t have to do anything. I do what I want, when I want, if I want,” the 88-year-old told CBS News.
And her family? “Oh, I talk to them every day,” she said. “I’ll talk to them twice a day if it means I don’t have to be there!”
Wachtstetter took to cruising with her husband, and the couple took almost 100 cruises together.
It meant a lot to the two of them, and her husband’s dying wish was that she never quit cruising.
“I started frequent cruising. But I got very, very tired of packing and unpacking. So I said, there’s got to be a better way to do this,” Wachtstetter explained.
And she found it. Wachtstetter sold her home, car and most of her things to live a life on the most luxurious retirement home of all time.
When asked why she didn’t put her roots down in a regular retirement home, Wachtstetter answered, “Oh, no, not me. Why do that?
“I’m now a great-grandmother. My grandchildren are having children. But I don’t want to be there every minute for that.”
Mama lee has already experienced the hardship of raising children and traveling. She aims to spend her twilight years relaxing.
“Everything is ‘Been there, done that.’ If I’ve been there and done that, I don’t go off the ship,” she explained.
“And I love it when everybody goes touring. I got the whole ship to myself with all the help.”
For about $175,000 a year, Wachtstetter cruises around to tropical locations without a care in the world. “I think I live a fairy tale existence,” she admitted.
Mama Lee has written a memoir titled “I May Be Homeless, But You Should See My Yacht,” documenting her life of luxurious travels. “It’s not a real life, I realize that. Not everybody does this. But a lot of people could.”
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