Taking a leap into adventure
Original post: Another World Adventures
Standing on the dock in Las Palmas preparing to set sail across the Atlantic felt a bit like All or Nothing Day back in 2011. We did it, and it paid off because as a result Another World Adventures was born!
We (Tori and Larissa) met on the deck of a 100 year old tall ship in the sleepy port of Las Palmas, Canary Islands having both signed up to join the voyage crew of the Bark Europa on her centennial crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil.
In one sense it was a journey beyond our imaginations. Without question it was voyage that changed both our lives.
Both on career breaks from our city lives in London where we had lived and worked just 5 minutes away from each other without ever meeting for six years, Tori working in the climate change team for a local authority and Larissa as the marketing and pr manager for the Environmental Justice Foundation, we found our paths crossed when we plucked up the courage to make a great escape to the “big blue”.
We’re both very passionate and active travellers with a great deal in common but with our own personal motivations for climbing the wooden ladder to the ship’s deck that bright sunny morning in Spain – a need for a very great escape, environmental and personal challenge, ‘slow travel’, journey not the destination are all somewhere in the mix.
With no ocean-crossing sailing experience (Riss thought a weekend jaunt to the Solent would have her sea legs ready) the crew taught us what we needed to know on the go and we took what we learnt from this training and our other travel experiences and boldly went where neither of us had been before.
‘Epic’ is a word that starts to describe the feeling of pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone. Another World is the place we found ourselves in.
Life at sea is a mesmerizing place of newness. New tasks, routines, vocabulary, friends, activities, rules, games, achievements, challenges, thoughts. It is like stepping back in time to a place where the daily grind can not find you, while, in many cases you find yourself.
27 days later on the coast of Brazil we arrived triumphant, exhilarated, empowered and ever so slightly perplexed.
‘Why had more people not been on this voyage?’ was a question we often asked ourselves while swinging wildly from the sky sail or baking bread at midnight as we rolled through the Atlantic waves? We laughed often, and hard. The inner child within us felt free.
Somewhere along the way, having dodged tankers and the wrath of Neptune for crossing the Equator without suitable permission we were on night watch gazing out into the blackness of night. It was windy and the ship was cutting through the waves which burst up and exploded over the deck in a foamy splash and sizzle of salty bubbles. The spray drenched our faces and clothes. At 4am we should have been tired after 4 hours of watch but leaning forward with the wind blowing wildly and the air in our lungs it was hard to feel more alive.
Overhead, although we couldn’t see them we knew there must be people flying high in the sky, on their way to Brazil, to start their own adventure. Why hadn’t they joined us? Why were they flying if they had six months off work? We didn’t need any ocean experience to join as voyage crew on this journey that was taking us by sea to the land where we’d continue exploring … our “destination”.
We decided it was because people couldn’t have known they could do it.
Almost everyone we met in South America when we told them we arrived by sea said the same thing “I would have done that if I’d known”.
And it was true.
What we felt on that night as the waves crashed around us and we talked of our plans when we’d get to land was that we wanted to create a place that inspired extraordinary journeys and adventures. A place where people like us, individuals and small groups planning a career break or looking for an action packed holiday that ticks a ‘trip of a lifetime’ box could come and find a trip they had maybe never even considered.
We wanted to connect with people yearning for an unusual experience that teaches them new skills while pushing them outside their comfort zone in a challenging but achievable way. Travellers who are geographically and environmentally aware, and importantly are game for an inspiring off-the-beaten-track trip they can’t find in guide books and can really write home about.
We wanted to create an environment where people could sign up to join trips from one week adventures on land or sea to month long challenges and expeditions be it ’round-the-world’ tall ship voyages or pioneering treks to unexplored travel frontiers.
And so, that’s what we’ve done. Taking the many wonderful contacts we’d made through years of travel and living abroad before hand and more time to travel the world through the Americans, Africa, Asia and Europe to find and meet the most brilliant local operators out there and make their incredible experiences accessible to like-minded adventurous souls.
We want our adventures to take the organising and administration out of a holiday, not the excitement. It’s like hassle free travel for independently minded travelers.
The experiences are easy to book and range from necessary ‘roughing it’ in very off the beaten track destinations to ‘active days and comfortable nights’. Run by experienced locally employed guides and professional crews the trips offer genuine ‘under the skin’ authentic travel, specialist opportunities and achievable physical challenges that cannot be attained through guide books without a lot of hassle, uncertainty of success and high cost.
The trips are awesome, mind expanding, sometimes terrifying, life enriching experiences.
Try one, you won’t regret it. Maybe our story will affect your story too … we hope so.
All or Nothing Day… yeah, we’re in.