Hi I’m Liz and I’m a sailboat captain! I sail for a living and I live to travel. Currently I am in full travel mode after having refilled the coffers during the summer working as a captain in Long Island, New York.
How did I set my life up this way?
Immediately out of high school, when financial issues put my college plans on hold, I decided to make the most of my “year of freedom”. Since I had no real direction in mind, I tried a variety of things – the highlight being my backpacking adventures through Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. I didn’t know it then, but that year completely changed my life.
So, what can I say about myself?
I’ve ridden horses in Spain, dolphins in Tortola and donkeys in Antigua. I’ve cooked pancakes in 15ft seas, 700 miles offshore. I have attempted to sneak through a Guatemalan jungle at midnight in flip flops – only to be thwarted by leaf cutter ants. I’ve felt a heart beat in my hand. I’ve spent more than three months sleeping outdoors in a hammock and I’ve survived a Jet Ski collision.
I’ve been too broke to afford street food in Nicaragua. I’ve fired a cannon on a Caribbean Pirate ship and I have saved people from drowning. When both fuel filters failed while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, I was tasked with coming up with a solution 10 days from anywhere. I know the intercept method of Celestial Navigation. I am a USCG Licensed Sailboat Captain, a certified diver and a member at Costco.
I’ve scaled mountains in Crete, hills in St John and fire escapes in New York City. As bookkeeper for a mens basketball team, I once earned the win by keeping track of “jump” balls. I’ve been punched while attempting to break up bar fights, mocked at comedy shows and tackled in “flag” football. I have been served 4 courses of dessert in the home of Syrian refugees. I have flown a plane, driven a bus, and ridden a bike without the handlebars. I have held a baby octopus and I’ve looked a whale in the eye. But I have not yet finished college.
How did I do it all?
After my year of travel I did one year of college. I was then offered an unpaid position on an 80ft Racing Maxi sailing from New York to the Virgin Islands via Bermuda and St Maarten. When I arrived in St John I fell in love with its beauty and I decided to stay for almost four years. I worked on day charter sailboats and I even became a captain while living there.
I was then offered a job as first mate on a private 116ft yacht sailing to Europe. We sailed through several Caribbean islands before taking off for the 25 day journey across the ocean. This was truly one of the best experiences of my life. After spending about 3 months in the Mediterranean, I flew back to New York and then I moved to Maui to work for a day charter company. Next, I was off to Kauai to hike the Napali Coast alone.
Last summer I moved back to Long Island to teach sailing lessons and work at a yacht club. In October I flew to Thailand and had an unbelievable time learning about blogging in this delicious country.
Next, I flew to the Philippines and spent three weeks shipwreck diving, boat touring and camping on beaches. After Christmas at home, I ended up in Costa Rica for a month! After that, I flew across the world to China where I was invited to study Jiu Jitsu in a three-month full-immersion program.
Following my stint in China I flew to Taiwan for a short exploration. Next, I landed a captain gig sailing in New York for the summer. I had so much fun taking guests out in my home town. Afterward, I spent an awesome month in Cuba and then Mexico!
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