As a surfer and environmentalist enchanted by foreign waves and cultures, I left California aboard my 40-foot sailboat in early 2006. The world has since shown me more amazing people, waves, adventures, natural beauty, personal insights, and alternative ways to living than I ever dreamed possible!! Swell serves as my floating home and transportation. I travel at a pace not much faster than you can run. The weather, swell, and tides dictate my days. This isnít just a surf trip, itís a lifestyle.
Iíve reduced my daily impact on the earth. I live closer to nature. Solar and wind power provide my electricity. I use less, need less, and want less, yet have never felt more fulfilled. At times the work seems endless and the uncertainties too daunting, yet without these the rest would never be as sweet. Thatís the give and take of adventure. I enjoy, but donít exploit the waves I find, leaving out their location so that those who get inspired enough to go looking might still find places without surf camps or crowds and experience the sensation of venturing into the unknown and being rewarded-a feeling that is, for me, as precious as the empty waves.
The voyage evolves as I continue to learn. I spent the first year and a half gaining confidence as a captain, with different friends as crew, while traveling down the western coast of Mexico and Central America. After announcing that I intended to sail to the South Pacific alone, my mother volunteered to accompany me, an offer I gladly accepted. We spent 22 unforgettable days sailing across the largest expanse of open ocean on the planet. With the mysteries of blue water sailing behind me, I spent the next year exploring French Polynesia and eastern Kiribati mostly on my own. I take more time in each place now, after realizing that if I donít, I end up just fixing the boat in every port and missing out on what I sailed all this way to discover. I now prefer to travel alone, indulging in the freedom of solitude and making choices based on weather and swell forecasts rather than itineraries. And so I continue west around the globe with no real Ďplaní, only the intention to positively impact the world, better myself, and cherish each glorious, bizarre, painful, and unbelievable experience that makes simply Ďlivingí on this planet the unavoidable adventure that it is.
Follow Liz at www.swellvoyage.com