MY SAILING TRIP

This blog post has been created in partnership with KLM and their #JourneyPodcast – a serious of interviews with adventures with all around the world. Check it out here.
Don’t ever have that feeling when you wished you left everything behind and just set sails into the unknown. Well, I know I did. Just at the moment when I thought I had all my life  figured out and it sounded amazing, but felt ‘meh’.
Look at me. Your first impression might be that I’m ‘just another’ cute blonde. I am petite, I smile a lot, I come across as someone’s whose biggest struggle is choosing between two different pink dresses when going out. I get it. In fact, I pride myself in my ability of loving life and staying worry-free after everything I went through, after facing death so many times and fighting for survival like most of you will never have to.
The funny thing is I didn’t really have to. I was one of ‘you’. Grew up in a city, safe and sound where my biggest adventure would be camping in a tent as a scout girl for a few days.
But then after years of trying to get my life right, of killing it, of avoiding danger at all costs, I had a feeling I will die being boring and not really trying life.
After graduating from the University, I started my first corporate job and hated every second. I hated the fancy but uncomfortable clothes, I hated the strict hours, I hated the power dynamics. I was miserable. I knew there could a better way to live this life. I knew life is meant to be spent on adventures but since my corporate life and 2 weeks of annual leave didn’t look like I would have time for those, I kept asking myself a question  ‘what can I do in my life to feel like I’m truly living?’
One day, my then-partner and I decided to change our lives in the most cliche way possible: we sold everything, quit our jobs, bought a sailboat online from somewhere in
Mexico and then fixed it and sailed it across the biggest ocean on the planet back to Australia. It’s probably worth mentioning the fact that neither of us had ever tried sailing or even been on a sailboat before, but we didn’t even care how dangerous it might be. We were just ultra desperate to leave behind the life we just weren’t crazy about.
When we told all our friends what our plan was, they first thought we were joking and then that we will never make our plan happen. They couldn’t understand why we would risk never being able to ‘cover up’ that gap year on resume. We struggled to come up with some answers that made sense because ‘sailing from Mexico to Australia sounds like a great adventure and like it could be fun’ wasn’t enough of an argument for a lot of people, especially for my parents.
The plan was simple: sail across the biggest ocean on the planet without any professional help, relying solely on ourselves. Of course we weren’t suicidal and always planned on reading guides and watching youtube videos titled ‘How to deal with a storm?’ but as the time went by, our frustration to ‘just go and figure it out later’ won and after 4 months of fixing a 30 years old sailboat bought on eBay for $10,000 named Heading Liberty – we left to cross the Pacific.
Our first leg took a little longer than expected – instead of 28, we spent over 54 days non stop at sea. Did I get sea sick? Yeah! Was I loving it? Nope, quite the opposite at that time. Was it scary? Yessss. Never knew what being afraid means until then. Did we run into storms? Omg, yes. We ran into unimaginable storms – ones I hadn’t even seen in movies. I can’t even recall how many times I thought I was going to die, but a few times I was very, very close. I still remember one storm when I was sitting in the cockpit by myself and a giant wave came up from behind me, but it was too late to do anything. The wave hit the boat so hard that I went flying out of the cockpit and into the railing. If it wasn’t for a harness I was wearing, my body would now be somewhere at the bottom of the Pacific. We managed to survive that storm, but I was too afraid to fall sleep for the next 2 days until the wind and waves were completely gone.
We spent months hopping between islands of French Polynesia. Nuku His, Tikehau, Tubuai. Spent Christmas in Bora Bora and New Year’s Eve in Tahiti. Some islands we visited, some I will always consider my second home like Tubuai, where an entire island not only save me from a tropical storm, they fed us and adopted us with all their hearts (perhaps because there aren’t really any tourists on the island.
After months in the tropics, we spent 4 weeks sailing to New Zealand – a journey where we had the roughest seas I ever experienced. It was already May at that point and it was Fall in New Zealand and already cold, which made the storms even more difficult to endure.
One of the most common questions I get about the trip is what we ate at sea for weeks at a time. Well, I learnt the painful way that even with our little fridge, most produce and fruit didn’t last more 2-3 weeks. Since one of pour crossings was 8 weeks old, we ended up eating rice cooked in ocean water with pepper and olive oil for lunch and dinner and long life milk with cereal for breakfast. It did get a little boring after a few weeks, but at that time I was so happy to have at least something to cook I didn’t complain!
And you know – it was hard and extreme and I don’t think I would go sailing for over 190 days anytime soon, but no other trip has shaped me more into a person I am total and I’m grateful for it.
Is there anything you would want to talk about that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below!
Love,
Aggie

31 Replies to “MY SAILING TRIP”

  1. That’s incredibly brave, Aggie! And I think some events and trips shape us and either make or break us more than anything else. I have been on two solo trips, one to Thailand and one to Egypt. Both trips I have planned with other people and it didn’t pan out the way I envisioned, but I went anyways, because I was a bit naive, a bit stubborn and had this hunger for adventure and exploration more than my fear of what could happen to me. But along the way, both of those trips have a truly profound impact on me and how I experience the world. To not only be in the world, but to be of the world, to know what we are capable of when we are pushed to the limits of our existence lets us learn more about ourselves than I believe we ever could otherwise. I am glad you survived this wild trip and it pushed you and shaped you into the travel maven you are today. Thank you for sharing.

  2. This is inspiring, mainly for your honest transparency about your experience. I admire all that you do and your genuine spirit doesn’t sugarcoat your hard-earned work. I love this!

  3. Omg, your story is so inspiring even though it sounds so scary yet freeing. You’re an amzing person and this trip of yours is I think the most important phase of your life. Sending you my biggest greetings from India.

  4. Amazing, Aggie! I know how much you love reading – Have you ever read the book “Love With a Chance of Drowning” by Torre Deroche? It’s a true story about a couple who did the same thing! I think you’d like it 🙂

  5. Definitely have a question! When you reflect back on everything you went through (facing death, quitting your job, sailing) is there anything you would change or do differently?

    xx Sreya @sreyaway

  6. Wow, that’s extreme and not a beautiful, but an important experience. Honestly, we grow in the most dangerous moments in our lives. I can not say that I have experienced this, but I had an extreme difficult childhood. Would I change anything about it? Nope, because it destroyed me so much, but I was able to built the whole imperfect perfect complete person I am now. Growth is truly amazing, even though it comes sometimes with extreme experience like this. Glad you are alive, vibrating so beautifully.

    A new one here.
    Ju.

  7. OMG! This is crazy. Your story is amazing, inspiring but so dangerous at the same time. I can’t imagine myself to do anything like this in my life. I would be too scared. Are you planning to make a video of this journey? I would love to see it.

  8. Wow Aggie, what an incredibly huge and dangerous trip! I’m sure the waters of Tahiti would have been so welcoming for you to come to after rough seas and living off cereal and rice 😅 Thank you for sharing this with us, im sure we’re all so glad you made it through and we’re able to tell us the story xx

  9. Oh my goodness Aggie!! that weather sounds scary, how brave to do that though, that takes a lot of courage to up and leave like that. You are still here for a reason…to share your beautiful journeys with us and I’m glad. Thanks for sharing your story!! What did you do for fun on the boat? 🙂

  10. Hi Aggie, dzien dobry!
    Quite an adventure indeed. I would not be able to do that, I would be too afraid. So I congratulate you on your courage!
    You mention above that you come across like just another cute blonde who only cares about dresses. I know you are not like that…someone able to cross the Pacific sailing without experience can’t be like that. But if I look at your Instagram account, that’s the image you give: just another cute blonde who only cares about dresses, swimsuits, being perfectly tanned and combed. Don’t take me wrong, your photos are good and very nicely edited, but they show you more like a cute doll than an adventurous lady. You should show your adventurous side more on Instagam, sailing or like hiking up a mountain with just a pair of old jeans and teee shirt and your hair uncombed….just like the rest of us look when we sail or hike up a mountain.

    1. I dont think you need your hair uncombed to be adventurous 😉 trying to fight this stereotype actually 🙂

  11. What an amazing story! You have such a great outlook on life and are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your stories and your life! Would love to see more photos from this trip.

  12. How big were the worst waves you saw? Were they as bad as some movies depict them to be? I don’t know how you did it! I’m kind of terrified of the ocean and being on it for over half a year sounds crazy to me 😳

  13. Oh goodness me, the storms sound terrifying!

    What an amazing thing to have done though and to have come through the other side Aggie. You forever inspire me, with your incredible travel content and how down to earth you are.

    Keep being you!

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