The 3 Years That Changed My Life | My Family Travels
After 3 Years of Sailing We Arrived Back in Holland

After living in the United States for 5 years my parents could no longer renew our Business Visa. We had to go back to Europe, but this was also the perfect opportunity for my parents to finally accomplish their dream, sailing around the world. We searched around Holland and finally purchased a 44 foto Trintella sailing boat, the vessel for our newfound adventures.

QUARTER-FINALIST 2015 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP

We began in Holland and sailed our way down to the coast of Portugal, our last view of land before we would trek the open ocean for 3 weeks. When we had all our supplies and the boat was ready for the journey we set off. Of course the first week or so most of my time was spent with my head over a bowl, a bag of pretzel and a coke beside me, the sea sickness getting the best of me. In time I got used to the feeling of being at sea, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t fully rid myself of the nausea that came over me when the boat swayed in high winds.

When we first sighted land, one of the islands in the Carribean, we were so greatful. We had endured raging storms for the past 3 weeks and had been eating all kinds of canned goods, but we made it. The first thing we did was go into town and purchase some fresh fruit, fruit had never tasted so good. After the Carribean islands we would venture through the locks in the Panama Canal with one of our boat friends. I never really liked the city of Panama much, it was ladened with crime and the air was constantly filled with factory smog.

On the other side of the Panama Canal we reached the Pacific Ocean, we set sail again, saying goodbye to land and hello to the open ocean. Here we made stops at the Galapagos, Marquesas, Society, Cook, Samoan, and Tongan Islands. We integrated ourselves in the cultures and language by trading with the indegenous people and learning to say the basics in their language: numbers, hello, goodbye, and certain other necessities.

After we made a stop in New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Papa New Guinea, and Australia. I had an amazing time surfing the waves on the coasts of the islands, making forts and rafts with my friends, and learning about the wild life. Next we went onto Indonesia, still one of my favorite places from the trip. There’s just something about the surrounding nature and wildlife, culture and food. While in Rinca Island we got to experience seeing a komodo dragon in person, the fishers threw bits of dead fish at it to satisfy it’s appetite as we watched. Bali was amazing with its vast markets, rice farms, and elephants doing a variety of tricks from painting to playing the harmonica.

Next our trip led us to Malaysia, Thailand, The Maladives, Yemen, Sudan, and Egypt. When we were sailing through the red river we had to be very careful because just before we got there pirates had over taken a huge cruise ship, and we were nothing compared to a cruise ship. But we made it through the worst safely, rode a donkey, bought a sword, rode a few camels, touched the pyramids, and of course had McFlurries in Cairo. Our last stops were Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal until we arrived back in the Netherlands where it had all started. 3 years of sailing and we had seen over 100 destinations, including 40 countries, and after 30,000 miles we were back. 

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.

Comment on this article

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.