From the day I met Natalia Cohen at the required yachting STCW 95 qualification training we were doing in Cape Town; I was inspired by her spirit and sense of adventure. Natalia has seen and experienced so many different parts of the world and her passion for travel is contagious. We met almost four years ago and have stayed in touch along the way. I can honestly say that Natalia is the ultimate traveler and I admire her thirst for life. I know that she will continue to do great things all over the globe and I look forward to hearing all about it at our next coffee catch up when we land up in the same place again.
So without further ado, I convinced Natalia to write a guest blog post about the most recent chapters of her nomadic life. She’s also about to embark on an extremely exciting adventure but I won’t spoil for you.
It has been said that “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end.” This is very much how I have chosen to live my life and it has certainly taken me to some incredible places and given me some character enhancing experiences.
I have always had a love of the ocean. There is something deeply meditative that overpowers me when I am near or around water and although I hold a deep appreciation for mountains, desert and jungle, it is close to the sea where I feel most at home.
Falling in love with sailing on my first travel adventure in Australia in 1997, I always vowed to get back to boats and the yachting industry whenever the path of life allowed. This happened in 2011 after taking a sabbatical from over 10 years in the travel industry, doing some necessary courses in Cape Town and heading out to Mallorca where I entered the Super Yacht Industry.
It was a wonderful era based in the Mediterranean, exploring islands and ports, getting to know sailing and motor yachts intimately, the fantastic characters of boat owners and crews and enjoying life back on the water.
All set for my third season in 2013, an opportunity arose that was far too intriguing to pass by and I randomly headed out to Tanzania to manage a magical Safari Eco-Lodge in the country’s only coastal National Park called Saadani. This was an incredible experience and took me further outside my comfort zone with challenges, including being not only the only woman, but also the only non-local in a team of 30 Tanzanian men as well as the remoteness of the location of the lodge. It ended up being one of the most wonderful adventures so far. I was immersed in nature and the bush yet had a constant view and soundtrack of the ocean.
I headed back to Cape Town after the season came to an end and honestly had no idea what I would do next. I don’t really ever know where the wind will blow me and can safely say that I never thought in a million years that the journey of life would have led me to the current project that I now find myself involved with. My love of the ocean will be tested on a completely different level as I prepare to row across the Pacific with 3 other women.
After applying to an advert in www.escapethecity.org I am now part of the Coxless Crew who will be the first team of four to ever row 8446 miles from the US to Australia! Interestingly enough taking me back to the place where I fell in love with the ocean in the first place.
This is by far the biggest challenge I imagine I will ever have to face, as well as creating awareness for women overcoming adversity through our two charities, Walking With The Wounded and Breast Cancer Care. We would LOVE as many people as possible to follow and support our journey. Check out the website for more details.
Facebook and Twitter: coxless crew
Buy a mile and be part of our extraordinary journey. For about R200 your name will go onto our inspiration wall, which is inside our cabin and you will travel across the Pacific, providing us with strength and encouragement. We will need this to keep pushing forward when times are hard and to find the motivation to keep rowing – stoke by stroke. http://coxlesscrew.com/buy-a-mile/
When you are open to travel and the opportunities that life’s different journeys can create, magic can happen.