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  • Writer's pictureRianne

Feel the Breeze - a family leaving their home to discover the beauty of Mother Earth by sailing boat

an alternative lifestyle based around core values, dreams & ambitions


It was the third of December 2018, we were in the hospital waiting for the moment we would be called into the OR to have Benjaintom been born. It was my first time to have surgery - a C section - and the first time for both of us to become parents. All kinds of emotions went through our minds and bodies, the waiting and seeing the minutes pass by each by each is something we will never forget. We were planned to have a C section at 10 o’clock in the morning but because of emergency procedures, we were postponed time after time. Finally, the nurse came in for the third time and said: “You have to be ready in 10 minutes, this time for real, it is your turn!” At that time I was calling with one ofthe  team members of my company who just informed me that she wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t sure when she would be able to come back. Not just a team member but also part of our family. She is like a little sister to us. We love her and felt very sad that she wasn’t feeling ok. At that moment I took the time to listen to her, to let her tell her story even when I knew the time had come to go to the OR. Gerben had to talk to the nurse and help me prepare while I was still calling. Something Gerben didn’t appreciate but definitely understood. Exactly at the time the call was ended and I arranged the necessary things within the company, the nurses came in our room and took us to the OR. We didn’t realise it at that time, everything was a blur and we experienced a rush, but at that single moment w,e took unconsciously one of the most difficult and life changing decisions: downsizing my company to be able to realise one of our other dreams - to travel around the world.

“Actually we had been preparing ourselves our whole lives up until that moment to be able and to be ready to take that decision”

Actually we had been preparing ourselves our whole lives up until that moment to be able and to be ready to take that decision. Taking life changing decisions isn’t something new for us, but making the decisions to postpone one of your dreams, to leave your home you fought so hard for and to leave a lot of your loved ones behind, just to be able to live on a sailing boat WITH a baby AND travel around the world is even for us a thing. Gerben as an adventurer at heart, probably would have done it at any moment in his life, but I definitely would not have been comfortable to take this decisions a couple of years ago when I was still working as a lawyer or manager within a multinational. My path of personal development, of rediscovering myself, connecting to my inner core and thriving my inner leader, up until that moment in time was a necessity and the basis of being courages enough to take the decision.

As individuals and as a couple we always ask ourselves and each other the difficult questions, this was even in the beginning when we were just friends. One of the first things we actually talked about during our first date in 2016 was our wish lists, the things we wanted in life. We had a lot of similarities. We both wanted to have a boat, to live near the beach, to see the wonders of Mother Earth and travel around the world, Gerben by sailing boat, I hadn’t thought about means of transportation yet. But I did wanted to learn to sail! And there and then our idea and dream about sailing around the world together was born. I made my wish list in 2015 as a reminder of what I wanted in life and as a gatekeeper to never loose myself and my dreams again. Gerben just knew his wish list by heart and worked hiss ass of to create the right circumstances to be able to buy a sailing boat, live on board and have enough money to travel around the world for years. Unfortunately as most of you know, Gerben his dream company which was valued for millions went bankrupt after a terrible proces with an investor. All things that at that moment made our dreams feel so far away. But now, not even two years later, we are on a sailing boat with our baby and started sailing around the world. A reminder to us, that everything is possible and you can actually live your dreams at any moment in time. You just have to choose and dare to take decisions.

The conscious decisions to really pack up our things and go - was made in the first weeks of January 2019. We regularly make time to talk about the things that are important in our lives. We talk about our pasts & behavioural patterns, what our limiting believes are, and how this unconsciously influences us in our daily lives, our core values (which are actually quite similar), dreams and ambitions. Every year in the first two weeks of January we make a vision board and discuss our goals in life for that year. This we also did in 2019. We had to be honest and I, with quite some tears, dared to speak out the words: I think we should downsize the concept of my company and close the atelier. It’s is time to live our lives to the fullest and not let our lives be lived by the negativity of the bankruptcy or what other might think or wait for the perfect conditions (a lot of money in our bankaccount, kids that are old enough, companies that are mature enough etcetera). We realised it already in the hospital December last year that it would take at least another two years before the organisation of my company could be mature enough to give us time and space to travel and that the bankruptcy and everything around it had influenced our lives long enough. So we set out the plan to start our journey around the world sooner than later. We had to arrange a lot, closing down the atelier, making the house ready for short time rent (read: Gerben had to renovate the toilet and bathroom all by himself, we didn’t have enough money to hire a contractor and in Amsterdam it is almost impossible to find one on short notice), we had to set up our companies in the right way so that we could keep paying the bills. Our coaching - which we did off and on - we took to another level, we developed a new brand and several websites and this is how our adventure began. Not something we would recommend to do in just two and a half months and as being newbie parents, but we thought why wait and when we make a decision, we go all the way to realise it as soon as possible (probably not always the best choice, but hey it works for us)?

Today writing this blog, we are exactly 2 months on our way. We had several masterclasses about personal leadership onboard, we coach high achievers, we did our first long sail, explored Ibiza & Formentera and welcomed several guests onboard….this while getting use to being parents and having our new alternative lifestyle, or better our sailing adventure. Benjamin is doing amazingly well. He is very happy, only cries when he is teething and grows so fast. So for now everything seems to workout great.

But telling our family and friends about our adventure was something I struggled with. I was thinking about the reactions of others and what people might think. I heard those inner demons, does limiting believes, those voices: You just don’t know what you want in life, Can’t you ever stick to something, We can’t take you serious anymore, every year you want something different etcetera. And this could probably have crossed some minds and for outsiders and even some friends and family, our decisions to live onboard and travel around the world came as a surprise. But when we talked with them, explained our story, what we went through, how we wanted to life our lives, what our core values, dreams & ambitions are, they realised that we have actually been preparing our selves during our whole lives for this amazing journey. And I realise again and again that it doesn’t matter what other people might think, it is about my happiness and what I want in life. I also came at peace with the fact that Gerben and I are two people who dare to change course a 180 degree and do this is often as we want, because this is who we are. We try and find out if the dreams we have are the dreams we want to live and if life doesn’t suits us we just change course again.

Life is too beautiful to not be explored and truly be lived.

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