Sascha and Lans-Leo are doing what we all dream of doing, but rarely do! They are sailing the world, free of the stresses of every day life, taking each day as it comes, and all the while exploring the world. Read how this couple made the break and tell it like it really is.
By Sascha Bruwer
Selling everything and sailing around the world – it’s just a sentence I thought, and one just said because they were a fed up with everyday routines. But, is just a dream?
Of course we are raised to live this specific monotonous life that eventually makes you money in order for your life to move on securely. Some take a different route which is seen as rebellious and irresponsible. There is no right or wrong way, yet you have one life to live and if you have to tell a story about your life, how that story goes is up to you alone.
My partner reached the part of his life where he asked himself this – is this how it’s always going to be and do I always want it to go this way?
He made a decision that took him 7 years of hard work to make.
Lans-Leo was an excellent lighting and sound engineer. Like most of us, he studied hard to get where he thought he wanted to be – and don’t get me wrong, he had a passion for what he did.
He experienced all sorts of big bands and events. He was able to be back stage and share drinks with some amazing artists. He was the lighting technician that set the atmosphere for thousands of people and made the party an insane story for people to tell. He was a VIP.
But once the dust had settled, he would ultimately work ridiculous hours before breaking it all down and heading home on a beautiful day to sleep till the next day for work again.
“Is anything worth forcing yourself to do in order to make just enough to get you through?”
It was around April 2017 when I was introduced to a new conversation from Lans-Leo. It wasn’t the usual ‘work went well’ conversation. It sounded like he was giving up.
He spoke about how we work our asses off and at the end of the day have nothing to show for it. He spoke about it not being worth his time, and that he wanted to resign as there were easier ways to live life and to invest your time and money. He wanted to leave, and he wanted to travel.
Of course I supported him. Being unhappy is not what he needed. He needed to do what made him happy. But how could he make money without a job? How could he travel without money? Maybe he was just dreaming.
He left his industry after 7 years.
I was on my second contract working on cruise ships in Alaska at that time. I never wanted to be a Beautician forever, but working as a Body Specialist while travelling around the world was rewarding.
Working on a cruise ship is a wonderful experience, so be sure to give it a try! Loads of obedience and independence is learnt, and you get to meet many different people and see many different places. I’ve been to the typical US, clear water Caribbean, historical Europe, chilly and beautiful Norway, tropical sunny Hawaii, hot Australia, stunning New Zealand and the not so freezing Alaska.
It was hard work, the hours were long, and I missed home.
There was not a day that went by that I didn’t wish Lans could be with me as I travelled the world.
When I heard him talk about ‘not having to do what you don’t want to’ of course got me thinking that maybe I should head home.
In June 2017 I decided to cut my contract and go home and start that life people start together. That Life being: to travel when you are young, get it over with to go home, find a job, get engaged, get married buy a house, get pets and have kids. Right?
I got home, and not too long after I found a job which I hated, so I moved on to the next. 5 months later I moved to a town in the wine valley where we could start our lives together.
Unfortunately we had to live in the real world too!
In March 2018 I still saw no real happiness in Lans-Leo. Was it because I needed to make more money? Did he still want to travel? They were all questions I was thinking.
This is what we were supposed to be doing, I’m sure. This is what his parents did, and my parents did, and so this is what we also have to do. So I worked harder, I forced him to work harder on getting real jobs, and so it when on until we hit a cliff.
We can’t do this anymore!
I didn’t understand. We were doing it all by the book. Yes it was not easy, but what was I doing wrong?
What I didn’t see?
The way we live in fear of disappointing someone. The fear of not being successful. I was supposed to climb up the ladder and become – I don’t know what – a Manager, a Boss, an Owner of my own Spa? I never really wanted that, but it’s how life was supposed to go they said.
I thought to struggle is the norm. To stress was part of life. Looking back I never knew that I was so stressed, anxious and nervous at such a young age.
I had to force my mind set to see where Lans was coming from. All I knew was how to make money, spend money, work hard and occasionally get some time to enjoy myself. To go from working 54 hours a week to not having a shift or a plan or a target to reach is something I only dreamt of.
Making the decision to drop out of the rat race was not easy for me.
Because I love Lans-leo and I decided to trust his impulsive and possibly reckless judgment, I started to feel a nervous excitement come over me of ‘what if?’
His urge and passion to get away and see the world was so big it consumed my thoughts. I heard him say a sentence that my stubborn character wanted to fight, but couldn’t: “Fuck your excuses”.
“I won’t know unless I try”.
I am about to make the decision to trade one life in for one totally different.
I started watching videos and doing research in small chunks, for I still wasn’t sure about all of this. I created a profile on Findacrew.com one day and linked it to his profile, and even then I thought, nobody would answer us we have little to no experience.
I started asking questions like how will we get the money for all of this, and what about all our accounts etc.
“We are going to sell everything and we are going to cancel everything”.
The reality of it all struck me. The feeling of butterflies in my gut while simultaneously wanting to vomit.
Days passed with no acceptance from any boat owner. It was demoting and confusing. I could leave in a month or so and I haven’t quit my job nor prepared anything. I decide to play open cards with my Boss and quit on the same day that we found out we had been accepted.
“We have the opportunity, we are leaving next week”.
It all happened in a matter of 3 weeks. Going from a bizarre dream to it actually happening the following week.
We were accepted as crew on a catamaran in Thailand to join a man on a journey, sailing around Southeast Asia. It was the perfect match for us. A place we have never been to before, and a journey we have never done before. We had a lot to learn but first … – and we need to pack up our house too.
It felt like trying to do admin while on a roller coaster!
Posting all our furniture on a neighbourhood chat, contacting all the people we had accounts with, doctor prescriptions, and agents, and of course selling the car.
I am irritatingly sentimental. Everything had a spot in my heart and had a story behind it. But because everything was happening so fast I didn’t have time to think about much other than it had to go. I was robotic.
I think Lans and I were excited, but neither of us felt like it was real. We started to arrange farewell gatherings with shocked friends and family.
Of course not everybody agreed with our decision at first.
Our parents were being parents. They worried about all the finer details – and mostly our safety. They had endless questions as I did. Lans and I just shrugged and said, “We don’t know, we will figure it out when we get there”. Which likely just scared them even more.
To put this all at ease, we weren’t that ‘advanced’ in life yet to be losing out on much.
And then it happened.
We were off to Thailand.
Leaving all our worries and all the drama behind, we were off to start a new chapter in our lives. Not everybody gets to say they can start on a clean page, but I am blessed to have Lans-Leo in my life.
He has taught me that life does not have to be so structured and worried about all the time – and that we need to live a little.
I will always have the responsible, analytical character, but I don’t let it define me anymore. I’m trusting in life.
We now live on a boat and we’re letting life show us the way.
Our adventure started in Phuket on a beauty – a Celtic Admiral 38 Executive Catamaran.
Follow our ‘Sailing F.Y.E’ journey to see where the wind takes us.