Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain
Born in the ’80s (actually, Flavio spent 20 days in the glorious ’70s!), we have been living “regular” lives till 2019. Then we decided to buy a boat, switch to a more frugal life, abandon comfort to gain freedom.
With very little previous sailing experience, we have been learning the hard way (trial & error – more error than trial at the beginning) and slowly we are getting ready to live the dream.
As we type (Jan ‘21) we are moored in Barcelona, trying to understand how the COVID-19 situation will evolve and how it will impact our plans.
Meanwhile, we are getting Bolero ready to sail safely as we get organized to be self-sufficient and live off the grid.
“I just want to have a bit less control of my life, take some more risk while I explore new places with the person I love. Am I asking too much?”
I grew up in Rome (Italy), where I graduated in Economics. But it was during the 6-month Erasmus experience I had in France when I realized I wanted to explore other cultures and learn new languages. And so I did: after graduating in 2002, I went to Dublin, got my first job, drank a couple of Guinness and learned some broken English. 2 years later, my wet bones suggested me that a warmer and sunnier place with a bit of Latin culture would have been a nice and well-deserved next step.
Drove south through France, stopped in Italy to say hello to the family and 2 weeks later I was in Barcelona looking for a flat and a job. 15+ years have passed since, meanwhile I made some good Friends, changed a few jobs and met Amaia.
A few recent events changed my life (apart from meeting Amaia of course…)
- In 2013, moved by the desire to dedicate my time to make the Earth a better place to live, I joined NatureWorks. I’ve been proudly helping develop sustainable products (renewable and biodegradable) for the packaging industry. The experience pushed my willingness to live off the grid and be as much self-sufficient as possible.
- In 2015, Giorgio and Teresa (former bosses and now friends) invited me to spend a few days sailing with their new 42-foot boat in Liguria and South France. I was amazed by the freedom I felt during those few days. The same year I got my Spanish license (PER: Recreational Boat Skipper) and bought a 25% share of a 40-foot sailing boat, with people I “met” on the Internet. Since then, sailing has been part of my life. Amaia has been my sparring partner, without her, it would have been impossible to do what we did.
- In 2018, after an 8-month battle, my beloved Mamma passed away. By far, it was the most difficult time of my life and I felt devastated at times. Despite the age (69), she was very healthy and fit and looked 10 years younger. It is pretty amazing to see how quickly one’s life can change and I’m kind of glad we don’t always realize it. When you are asked to face a similar situation, you understand how often we worry about small things while we miss the bigger picture.
I then promised my mum and myself that I wanted to live my life even more intensely and give it a different meaning. I’ve been enjoying a lot my job and I traveled the world for work (and for leisure), I’m far from being burnout, but I need to move the focus from making money (that’s why we work, right?) to living and getting the most of every single day.
“Y es que es tan alucinante, que hace días que no duermo, por si acaso al despertarme, veo que todo ha sido un sueño.“
I was born in Portugalete (Basque Country, Spain), a nice town located at the mouth of El Abra river. Portu is well-known for its “hanging” bridge (the Vizcaya bridge) which is also inscribed as a World Heritage Centre. In Portugalete I spent my childhood and a large part of my youth. Besides having enjoyed a strong connection to the sea, mainly thanks to the years spent competing in pools as well as in the open sea with the swimming team of Portugalete, “la Naútica” (trained by Alfre and Txeli!!), I had never thought I’d have explored the sea while sailing.
It all started in 2016, thanks to Flavio I had the opportunity to experience sailing for the first time.
This is my story 🙂
- In 2013, I moved to Barcelona for work (I’m an IT engineer and currently working at Seidor as SAP Developer Analyst). The idea was to stay in Barcelona for a little while, as I knew I was going to miss my hometown and my great friends (La Kuadrilla!). Years have passed by and today (2021), while I indeed miss them a lot, I’m enjoying and still discovering Barcelona.
- During these years I got to know Barcelona and made some good friends and met some old ones, one of them (Mr Morillas, it’s all your fault!) introduced me to Flavio by chance. Some years later we met again and spent quite a lot of time speaking (he’s one of those people who apparently always has something interesting to tell), then after letting our friends behind, we went for a few drinks and we decided to keep in touch…it was the beginning of our story (although we didn’t realize it…).
- Since 2017 we have been sailing and learning plenty of things together: looking back I can say that we have been able to adapt ourselves to the challenges sailing brings. It’s been tough at times, as you have to develop new capabilities to face situations that are well outside your comfort zone. Communication and coordination are key elements that need to be trained. To make the learning process more manageable, we read books and sought support on various Internet pages. Finally, we bought our first sailboat, and soon after we moved onboard. Since then, our lives have changed considerably, today I can state that I don’t see myself living in an apartment any time soon. I’m thrilled by the opportunity I have to live a unique experience with the person who allowed me to discover the sea from another point of view.