Traveling has been a big passion for me for many years. It started way before I bought Ellidah. I backpacked in the Middle East, Central America, South East Asia, and a little bit around Europe. Some of it was solo, and some of it was with friends.
We even drove across Vietnam on a shady old motorbike. Later on, we drove a cheap old Toyota Camry from Northern Norway all the way down to Western Sahara.
That’s south of Morocco for those of you not too familiar with the geography. That was a pretty long and epic road trip. That is just summing up some of it, but I basically got totally hooked on traveling.
I wanted to experience bigger adventures. To go further out of my comfort zone. For every trip I finished, the next one was already in the planning shortly after. I couldn’t settle down for too long before the craving for adventure made its presence.
Some of you might have felt this. Do you know that travel bug that bites you and never lets’s go? The one that starts to itch every time you settle down for too long?
Yeah, that one. And I got bit by a freaking big one.
Right when I was at the doorstep of getting myself into a nice and safe relationship, that bug started to do its thing again. It didn’t help that I’m a tiny bit superstitious and my 30th birthday was storming towards me like a locomotive on rocket fuel.
My parents were ready to be called grandma and grandpa and the pressure had been on for a while about finally settling down properly.
I was at a road cross.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
Well, as you can imagine, I freaked out. I freaked out to the point that I had to sit down and do a reality check on myself. I was scared out of my socks.
What did I really want to do? And why the hell did I still live in Norway when I freaking hate the cold?
My job wasn’t holding me back since I need to travel forth and back anyway. That bug seemed more like a rather big dinosaur trying to chew my elbow off at the time.
The birthday train came and ran me over, knocked me down like a farmer on a chessboard, and I figured that now was the time to make the final decision.
Settle or embark on the greatest adventure of my life. Settle or fulfill my long-lasting dream of sailing around the world. It was like the universe was telling me that it was now or never, this was the time if I ever wanted to do it. All the signs were there.
That might just be me being a bit superstitious, but hey, who knows?
To take a step out of my comfort zone was already checked when I started backpacking. I was now about to jump out of a fighter jet without a parachute.
The decision was made and it was going to radically change my life.
THE IDEA OF SAILING AROUND THE WORLD
I think it all started when I was reading a book series about this family who was on a trip to circumnavigate the globe. I don’t remember the name of these books, but I think a seed was planted in the back of my head back then. I must have been about 12 or 13 years old at the time. I had just realized that it was possible to do this in your own tiny little boat. People were actually doing it and they had been doing it for a long time.
Many years later this seed made its appearance again when I watched the videos about “Berserk” with Jarle Andøy and his adventures.
This half-crazy Norwegian guy sailed his little Albin Vega to extremely remote places.
What an inspirational adventure!
I watched it all. Then I started to read blogs. All the blogs I could find online about people doing extended sailing. I read books, watched YouTube vlogs, saw movies, and sucked up all the inspiration and info I could find. I wanted to experience this lifestyle myself. I have always loved the ocean and I had been working at sea for more than 8 years so I knew I had the stomach for it.
The thought of sailing into distant countries and anchoring up in picture-perfect bay’s with my own boat sounded like a dream to me. The ultimate adventure. How could it get any better? Then when I got tired of one place I could just pick up the hook, set sail, and bring my home, my stuff, and myself along to the next paradise.
This was something I decided that I wanted to do when the time was right. Making sunshine stories, right?
Well, It was gonna take many years and a lot of effort to get there.
FROM IDEA TO REALITY
I started doing a shit ton of research on what boat would fit for the purpose and how I would deal with all the logistics about totally changing my lifestyle from living on land to life at sea.
I was sitting on my computer watching sailboats for sale when this Jeanneau Sun Legende 41 from 1988 cought my attention. The owners had kitted her out pretty well for extended cruising and liveaboard before they sailed her from Norway and down to the Mediterranean.
She was now parked in a town called Aguadulce near Almeria in southern Spain. It was the right time, the right place and a good price. I wanted to spend the first coming winter in a warm country so it was perfect.
Tickets were bought and before I knew it, I was on my way to take a closer look. After spending a couple of days onboard with the owner, the deal was made.
I was now the proudest yacht owner in the world as you can imagine, and the excitement I felt was exhilarating. Ellidah was going to be my home and my safety for the next unforeseeable future.
THEN CAME SOME LOGISTICS
The house was put up for rent and most of my earthly belongings were sold or stuffed away. I told all my friends and family that I was actually doing this and it was probably only then they realized that these ideas I had been on about for years were actually going to become reality.
Eventually came the last day of me living on land. I spent all of it cleaning and making the house ready for the tenants to move in. The clock must have been around 4 in the morning when I took a 30-minute power nap before getting picked up by the taxi.
I was going to work for a couple of weeks, and then fly down to Spain and bring my last stuff onboard Ellidah.
Two friends were flying in from Norway a few days later. We planned to lift her up on the hard to scrape the bottom and apply some new antifouling before taking our first trip up the Spanish coast.
The first destination was Cartagena where I was going to spend the winter in the marina, and then up towards Alicante and back down to Cartagena. A nice short little trip, perfect to get to know the boat.
You probably now wonder how much sailing experience I had before?
Absolutely no proper experience other than two short trips in Ofotfjorden for a few hours as crew. I had never been at the helm or actually put sails either up or down.
This was going to be interesting.
It was the start of my adventure.
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