Background Story

Sailing Dream Summary

In 2009 we met.

In 2010 we got married.

In 2011 our first son was born.

In 2012 we continued to save as much as we could.

In 2013 our second son was born. We left Sydney to live on a boat. We spent six months living in a motorhome, looking for our boat in hundreds of Mediterranean ports. December’13 we bought Happy Dancer.

In 2014, after a few months working in the UK, we mastered our first sailing season from Greece (Peloponnese & Ionian), to Sicily and Malta. There we moored to work during the next winter.

In 2015 we sailed the Aegean and Turkey first east, then west bound. When we started to head towards the Atlantic to make for the Caribbean, a third pregnancy through our plans upside down. We went back home to Sydney, Australia, for a while to reset our family, thoughts and feelings.

In 2016… we have no idea yet what life has on offer, but so far are enjoying nesting and grounding, the easiness of land-life and our fabulous Sydney community.

HD Crew.jpg

The longer version of all the above

Why would a family leave behind their secure jobs and home in suburbia Sydney for a nomadic life around the globe?

One day I had a dream… that I would explore this world with my most loved ones, discovering wondrous places, diverse cultures and the forces of nature and how to harmoniously live with all of it. Ever since becoming a mum and yogini I know even more so that this is the best gift I can give to my two boys. No doubt this life comes with risks, but these are mitigated and managed like in any other lifestyle. And no, I don’t feel it’s irresponsible to share our dream with our children and show them the value in pursuing their passion.

Yoga AND sailing?

The Yoga Sutras, one of the most ancient texts in the world, line out the eight-fold path – a guideline towards a happier, more fullfilled self and ultimately enlightened life. It involves living ethically, treating yourself and others with respect and dignity, and cultivating a calm, and ultimately higher state of mind which connects us with the universal consciousness – the one and the same source we all stem from. This is where sailing comes in for me. It uses those same forces of nature that keep us going, forces us to live in unity. Ayurveda also recommends spending time in nature as one of the most healing activities for body, mind and soul.

I’ve been blessed to continue to learn and also teach bits of my yoga in every place we go, sometimes through retreats, classes and workshops, sometimes at festivals, sometimes through impromptuo acro yoga practices or by meeting the most beautiful and blissful yogis everywhere we go. A gift and a blessing, yoga, to me, is a wonderful life philosophy of which asanas (the postures on the mat) are but a useful (yet very enjoyable) tool. Whilst my generally strong vinyasa flow practice is influenced by Iyengar, Pathabi Jois, Shiva Rae, Simon Borg-Olivier, Amanda Fuzes and several other great teachers, my more recent passion for Yin Yoga has its base in the merging of my asana practice with Vipassana meditation, of which I have been able to participate in several ten days silent retreats. Another recent passion is acro-yoga which has brought a fun and relaxed aspect to my yoga repertoir, and new friends in Paris, Leon, Lefkas and Southampton.

Sailing AND family?

Our story in a nutshell goes like this: Mama grew up around boats and her dream of sailing around the world was contagious. The moment she met Papa he got on board. As it was hard to find the right crew, they simply resulted to making their own.

And how did you get out there?

We checked out blue water cruisers in Australia and on the net for many years, ran to every boat show in our vicinity, talked to any sailor who crossed our path, upped our sailing skills at every opportunity, read any cruising book and magazine that fell into our lap and imagined how a different life could look like for several years. Not to forget, during all this time we also saved every penny we could.

OZ to EU

In July 2013 we sold the share we owned in a yacht on Sydney Harbour, quit our jobs, terminated our lease and left for Europe in search for a floating home.

Wilson EU Tour

The following six months we traveled through Europe, with a baby and a toddler, stopping at every port we could find, viewing well over fifty boats and looking at countless more until we finally knew – and then found – what we were looking for. After a six months stop-over in Southampton, UK, with wonderful yoga teachings and the ability to top up our kitty a little, in July 2014 we finally travelled to Greece and moved on board. Since then you can track us here. 2014 and 2015 we spent sailing the Med, from Greece, to Turkey and back to Italy, Malta and beyond. We also traveled to Spain and spent some time in Morocco.

Sailing Season 1.1Sailing Season 2

As opposed to taking a gap year, for us every day is part of our journey whose aim is no other than the journey itself. We have no deadlines to meet. Life’s so short and one never knows when the last breath will come. Therefore, we decided to follow our hearts and our dreams now, rather than ‘some time in the future’. The past is a memory, the future an idea, the present… a present!

Late 2015 life held a surprise for us which completely tested our ability to let go and surrender to life’s constant change. On our way to the Atlantic to cross to the Caribbean a third baby announced itself which made us take the decision to sell our boat and temporarily transfer our travels to land – until the kids will be old enough to stand their own night watches during a Pacific crossing.

As of January 2016, we are happily back in Sydney, snuggled in among the invaluable support of our Bondi community and amazed at the easiness of land-life: no bad weather or dodgy thru-hulls to worry about, no anchors to check when tired at night, no lack of friends to fill some lonely nights, and surprisingly more time for us, ourselves and our children. Needless to say there’s a thousand things we miss from living on a boat, but many nature fixes we can get when sailing on the harbour and going weekend camping. Sydney has the facilities of a big city, yet nature and wildlife everywhere. We still spent many a days at the beach and have sunshine more than we could wish for.

I doubt that once you realized how fulfilling it is to live your dream and adventure the world you’ll stay in one place forever, but for now and with a third child on its way, the grounding and nesting of land-life suits us perfectly. Stay (b)logged on to see where our internal and external journeys take us, the joys and struggles of settling back in – and who knows when the 2nd, 3rd and 4th round of more adventures to follow.

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8 thoughts on “Background Story”

  1. Hello from Vancouver, Canada. My husband and I are in our early 50’s, just bought a sailboat and love yoga ( or at least I love yoga) We have 3 sons..11, 17 and 20. We are starting to think about our dreams later in life. Good for you both that you had such insight and courage early on in your life journey! We are inspired by your adventures and would love to follow your blog.

    1. Lovely to hear from you and good luck on your adventure. There’s many advantages of waiting (not too long/late though, lol!) till the kids are a bit older;) What boat did you buy? xo

  2. Ok I have simply got to ask this – how do you manage financially? I would love to live my life travelling, seeing new places and making new experiences. Me and my partner have both got the travel-bug and we would do that in a jiffy if we could – but financially, it’s impossible. So, what’s your secret?

  3. Every time I read any of your posts I get so inspired to see how strong and true you are to yourself. I am much further along in my sailing and did all the previous things that you have mentioned about living in suburbia having all the gadgets for our kids and I can tell you that I see my kids now and they both are struggling with all the attachments that come from having a good education and making money and living in busy NY or uptown Dallas and I as their mom suffer to see that neither one of them is happy in their skin. Money as you say isn’t everything what is important is to find what you like what drives you and follow your dreams.

    I am impressed and I love to hear all your wisdom and inside knowledge, I am close to my 60th birthday and you inspire me to still go out there and follow my passions.

    Happy sailings and keep your stories coming. I can’t wait to read them every day.

    Love and peace!

    1. So beautiful to hear from you Mari-Carmen. We all do our best as parents, don’t we. I don’t think there’s any wright or wrongs as long as it comes from the heart. My ‘judgment’ day will come the day when Noah and/or Gael come back as – who knows – investment bankers, chasing $$$ on Wall Street and paying of various mortgages… I hope I’ll just be able to be cool with it. In the end, kids are their own little souls with their own karma to spin out in this lifetime. As parents, we have the precious task to guide them as much as we can – and give them wings to let them fly on their own. So hard, and yet so beautiful! Much love, light, love… x Dini

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