She left the corporation, life in the city, home on land and is now traveling the world with her husband and sons on a floating home – sailboat.
Everything started with the purchase of trimaran?
Anna Dawidowska: My story with the ocean started 8 years ago when I met Bartek. I was managing a company dealing with the capital market in Warsaw and from a purely vocational point of view I felt complete. But I felt that I needed something else, that was not my passion and I didn`t not have the heart for it. I also knew that the traditional life model did not suit me either. So when I met my husband and he introduced me to his idea of a life together on a sailboat. I immediately felt that this was exactly what I had been looking for.
What was the idea?
Bartek has been sailing for 30 years and he had been dreaming of living in the future with his family onboard, and to live, to travel, to discover the world, to raise children, to be simply and truly together. And all this in the comfort of our own home, with no need to pack things, moving from place to place depending on whether the neighborhood fit us or not (laughs). All his professional life has also managed in such a way that the power to accomplish his goal. For many years he worked intensively on two jobs. He was extremely determined. We moved to our new home in September 2015, when Julian was 6 months old and Kuba 2 years old. Since then, we have sailed more than 25,000 nautical miles on our dearest Poly, exploring the Canary Islands, the United States. Caribbean, Bahamas.
I read some comments describing your decision. Some people think it's crazy, living on a boat with little kids ...
Such opinions come primarily because most people have no idea what life on a sailbaot looks like. Most people think we are all in the middle of the sea all the time without land access. In practice 90 percent of the time we are in a place anchored next to the islands, where we can experience local tastes, meet people, walk, children can go out and ride bikes, etc. And in reference to this madness ... We are crazy, but in parallel we are treading terribly. To this way of life we needed to prepare very carefully. We also read family blogs that were already living that way. We created a list of things that should be on our boat. We have passed first aid courses, we know all the safety procedures on the water and not only, and we continually refresh our knowledge. Practically most of the time we are within the reach of medical help, which in the Caribbean or the Bahamas is quite good. But recently I realized that the proximity of a hospital gives only a false sense of security. Because when an accident occurs, people often can not provide basic help, and as we know that often the first minutes are crucial. Besides, we want our children to learn the world live, in practice, visiting and experiencing new places, people, cultures, languages. Lessons of biology, physics, geography are in practice. For me it is a completely different quality of learning because it arouses curiosity and satisfies it naturally, practically, and not theoretically. On the other hand, life on the boat teaches responsibility, cause-and-effect type of thinking. Kids love when they are assigned adult tasks, when they feel responsible, such as being able to drive a boat.
It has been two years since you started your journey. Have you ever regretted your decision to go sailing with your family?
I do not regret, I never regretted, on the contrary. With every next day I know that what we do is 100 percent ours and for us. This does not mean that there were no worse moments. The first year was very difficult for us. It took us a long time to get over the boat maintenance issues, learn to handle it, do most repairs ourselves, and that was a lot. Unfortunately, the quality of the equipment is getting worse and a lot of the newly purchased items failed.
Probably some people are jealous of you, but let's also agree, not everyone can afford such a step and I think not only about courage, but also about financial issues.
True, buying, outfitting and preparing trimaran for life and traveling required a lot of financial investment. Daily maintenance, minor repairs, though the majority we do it ourselves is also significant cost. First of all, for many years we worked very hard, rented our house on land, got rid of many things, eventually took out a bank loan and also with the help of friends and family managed to buy our new home. My husband is still working and very often needs to fly to civilization. At those times, I stay with the children on the boat and take care of running our company SailOceans.
I heard that your cruises are effectively making people leave the corporate world.
The fact is, some of our participants returned from sailing with us and started a new life. Sometimes quited their jobs, setting new goals and ways to achieve them. It is the magic of the ocean (laughter).
What is it?
I can only say how the ocean influences me. When you sail away from land, you lose communication with the rest of the world. You do not get all the stimulations that every day attack us from all around. Suddenly you regain contact with your true self. Things that were so important earlier, stressing me out, they begin to fade. Suddenly, I catch the proper distance and perspective to many things and feel again what really matters in life, and not what others are trying to tell me. The brain switches to other modes, starting to see the solutions that were obscured earlier. The physical cut off from civilizational stimulations results in the fact that you are beginning to understand how much of your needs are artificially imprinted. At the moment, when I stay on land, for example, when we visit grandparents with the boys in Poland, and I go to the shopping mall, I think: "Oh! What a chaos. All things shout to me: "buy me, buy me, you need this, that". Today, the priority for us is to interact with people, create real contact with each other, not objects or information generated by the media. The ocean liberates and opens up to self and to what is important and close to us.
How long are you going to live like that, traveling? I heard that this plan was at least for ten years?
We do not specify this. When we are financially able to catch a bigger breath, and we think that it may happen in about two years, we want to take a trip around the world. Most likely next year we are going to sail across the Atlantic and spend the summer in Europe in the Mediterranean, and in the next step we will move towards the Pacific. How long will it take and what will it take? Hard to say. For some time, somehow naturally this entire idea of living outside the system has become for us in a sense a mission. There are so many people with whom we share our experiences, we show these wonderful places. We are very actively working to launch YouTube videoblog about our journey and alternative lifestyle. We want to share this with others, show that you can live differently, but not necessarily exactly like us. There are many other ways to live, travel, "escape the corporation" and fulfill your dreams.
And the children will probably have to go to school sometime..
Now, as we anchor in some place, sometimes we send kids to local pre-schools. We know that this is also important. As far as further education is concerned, at the beginning we plan to remotely teach children to combine our lifestyle with the needs of our children. Eventually we will probably have to stop somewhere for a longer time, maybe for some time to settle in one place. But it's not NOW (laughter). For now we keep sailing.