Sail Boat: Around the World in 80 Years

Hey guys… last week, I told you about a friend of mine who has been sailing around the world on his own little schooner for many, many years already… and I mentioned that I had a chance to join him on his voyage for a while and that we traveled a leg of the trip together. And that is really one of the amazing things that start happening once you just get out there and start interacting with the world and meeting people… you just never know what kinds of situations you’ll end up getting into.

I actually met this guy in Porto Seguro, one of the places that claim to be the spot where the Portuguese first set foot on the South American main land in the year 1500… and we got into a conversation as we were both riding the “busão” from our hotel to the beach. He was sitting next to me, reading a book in a language I had never seen before… and since I speak eight languages myself and the topic absolutely fascinates me, I asked him about it.

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As it turned out, the book was in Norwegian, and he had basically retired and started to travel the world at the age of 28. How is that possible? Well, he wasn’t rich, of course… only very few people manage to amass millions in their twenties. But, he had gotten himself a good education (the KEY to anything you want in life!), and worked as a lawyer long enough to buy a small, used sailboat. These things can actually be cheaper than second-hand cars, and now he didn’t have to pay rent anymore because he was sleeping on the boat… and so his cost of living was almost zero, and he was free to travel.

We went to one of the famous parties of Porto Seguro that night… and if you’ve ever been there, you know that it’s one of the most amazing places to celebrate… live music and “caipirosca” at the beach under a Bahian star sky… what could be better? But while we were still having drinks and talking to some people we had met that night, he suddenly started to look out onto the sea with a contemplative look and then declared: “If the wind doesn’t change by morning, I will sail tomorrow.”

Can you guess what my response was? That’s right… the first thing I said to him was: “That sounds great man… do you need any crew?” And so we set sail together the very next morning and headed South towards Vitória, the capital of Espírito Santo… and it was one of the most amazing parts of my 11½ years on the road.

One of the things my new friend Andrew would do was to tie a rope to his ankle and jump overboard in the middle of the ocean to go for a swim. I thought that was one of the craziest things I had ever seen… we were nowhere near land, and the sea must have been thousands of feet deep below him… and only God knows what kinds of sea creatures he was sharing the waters with.

And then one day, it happened… I was lying on deck, looking at the sky and sunbathing, when I heard a loud coughing sound outside the boat. Oh my God… was Andrew drowning out there in the ocean? I was really worried about him and immediately stood up to see if I could help him… but what’s more, I had no idea how to bring the ship back to land without him!

And so I stood up and looked over the railing, and what I saw surprised me even more than anything I could have expected… there was a giant hunchback whale who had come up for some fresh air RIGHT next to the boat. The sound I had heard was his blowhole, and he had been attracted by the sound of the engines of the boat… and the whale was close enough to me to where I could have touched it.

I called Andrew immediately, and for the rest of the day, we saw entire whale families as they were following us on our journey and jumping out of the water to get a better look at us. As opposed to dolphins, however, whales don’t just skip a foot above the water… they jump several meters high, and in fact Andrew warned me that this could be very dangerous. When a whale jumps, he can’t really see what’s happening above the water, and so there is a risk of him landing on (and sinking) the ship!

Fortunately, none of that happened and we arrived safely in Vitória a couple of days later. I was still only in my second year of traveling the world at the time, but I remember thinking that day… wow. This is what life is all about. This is what I want my entire life to be like… to go from one paradise to another, make new friends everywhere, and experience life to the fullest.

But the real takeaway from today’s article is this: You just never know whom you are going to meet when you’re on the road, or what kind of amazing adventures you can get yourself into if you stay open and strike up conversations with other travelers… so if you ever get a chance to go abroad, put your extrovert cap on and you will make more friends in a month than you would at home in a year.

That wraps it up for today, and since we’re already on the topic of boats, I will answer one of the questions I get most frequently next week… how to find work on a cruise ship, and what is life on board REALLY like?

Stay tuned to find out, and leave me a comment below… what was the most exciting trip you’ve ever been on?

I will talk to you soon… my best to you all,

~ Frank Florida ~

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Frank Florida

Frank Florida é professor de idiomas desde 1994 e fala oito línguas. Viajando o mundo por 11 anos, ele visitou umas 300 cidades em mais de 50 países. Ele se graduou da High School nos EUA, se formou em didática na Austrália e é criador do site Fórmula Fluente.

15 comentários

  • 22/11/12  
    Liza Santana diz: 1

    Hi Frank! My name’s Liza, I’m Brazilian, from Salvador- Bahia, and I’ve reading your adventures for days, so I’m getting so excited to make an interchange for Africa, have you ever been there? So the most difficult I’ve finding is to get money. Nowadays, I’m studying in the university and make a english course, but i don’t have anyone to practice the english with me. What do you think i should do to change it and improve my english?

    • 23/11/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Liza, Thanks for the comment! Africa sounds amazing… most countries there are still on my list of places to visit though, I have been only been to Morocco.

      There are a couple of ways you could practice your English before you leave Brazil… check out couchsurfing.org, you can meet foreigners there without having to host them…

      Or you could check out sites online, such as mylanguageexchange.com or sharedtalk.com. I haven’t tried those two yet but some of my students have recommended them… Let me know what you think if you give it a go!

      Cheers,
      Frank

    • 23/11/12  
      arlen diz:

      You can practice the english with me if you want to.

    • 27/11/12  
      Teilor diz:

      Liza,
      I was reading your interest for Africa and I found this information with inscriptions to exchange: http://www.aiesec.org.br/inscricao. I hope that’s help you.
      And Frank, God bless you in your trips.

  • 22/11/12  
    flavia diz: 2

    Hi again Frank. It must be amazing experiencing all the things you have during your long trip. Education is really the key to all… I think the biggest problem of letting go like that is that we hold on so much to things that really don’t matter (job, money, real estate).. I’m happy to know about your adventures, please do write us again telling more as soon as you can! I can only wish you all the happiness in the whole world…

    Xoxo

    • 23/11/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Flavia, that is so true… Education is the one thing that makes all the difference. And among all the things you could get an education in, I think languages is the one that has helped me most… But that’s what we’re here for, right? ;) I’ll keep writing, thanks for the good wishes!

      Best,
      Frank

  • 22/11/12  
    Tatiana Wentzel diz: 3

    Frank, I love to read your articles about travelling around the world. I would not do such a thing but It’s interesting to read about your experiences. And what I like most is that I can easily understand what you write. I am not fluent in english yet but it makes me really satisfied to be entertained by your stories.
    About your question: what was the most exciting trip you’ve ever been on?
    Well, travelling is always exciting, specially when you are young and free. When I’ve been to Florida and to Germany I had great times and experiences. I am not really an extrovert person, but had to communicate and been into very interesting situations ;)

    • 23/11/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Tatiana… you know what, if you speak as well as you write, you can probably consider yourself pretty fluent in English. Only a few minor kinks to work out but for the most part you’re doing great! Most exciting trip I’ve been on… Hm, that might make a good topic for the next article, eh? ;)

      Stay in touch!
      Frank

  • 23/11/12  
    Jefersonsmart diz: 4

    I recommend! The most exciting trip I’ve ever been on was when I turned 10 years old and my father asked if I wanted to go to Disney as a gift. And my answer was certainly yep!

    • 25/11/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Haha… agreed, I went to see Euro Disney when I was younger, and it was pretty cool. :) Best roller coasters, for sure!

      Frank Florida

  • 26/11/12  
    Nancy diz: 5

    H i, Frank,

    Unfortunately, I can´t own means to travel, but I have been anxious waiting for your posts ,for your description about wonderful places you have been visiting.
    Thank you so much for you share with the English Experts ´learners.Sorry my mistakes.
    Bye.
    ..

  • 27/11/12  
    Luís Paulo diz: 6

    Hi, Frank. Firstly, sorry for always being late, I have problems with internet here and as my time is finishing and I´m going back to Brazil, I try to get the best of this opportunity in Paris. So normally I´m out and not so much connected. Great your experience, I have one similar, unfortunately without living it. I met in Dublin a guy from French Guiana and he had the opportunity of experiencing Amazonia forest with an indigena expert that invited him, after a long and patient waiting – time is different for this Amazon people. And he invited me to go there and enter the Amazon forest with him and share this expericence. For some reasons this couldn´t happen now but for the future… Big hug for you, man!

  • 28/11/12  
    Karina diz: 7

    It’s awesome the fact that you can speak 8 languages, I am struggling to learn and improve my English and sometimes it seems that I will never excel and cross the high intermediate level, terrible! Haha…but, anyway……your posts are really enjoyable and helps improving my English skills, thanks!

  • 29/11/12  
    Rubiana diz: 8

    I’ve reading all yours travel reports and I think everything amazing! Congratulation on you! I can practice my reading while I learn about yours spetacular life experiences.Certainly, you are a brave man.
    I can’t imagine myself “alone” on the road, I worry about safety, especially being a woman. If possible, write about security one day. What is necessary in order to be safe on the road? What scary thing have already happened to you?
    Tks!

  • 07/12/12  
    augusto diz: 9

    really good experuence
    i live in rio de janneiro, and i’ve gone to vitoria twice
    but i went by car, and ive never saw a whale unfortunaly
    the greatest experience of mine was when i was in Rio das Ostras-RJ, and i saw turtles swimming right next to me
    that was really amazing!