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What does this imply? How can this be done? Reflections based on our personal experience and on that of travellers we met while at sea.

Who has ever thought, at least once in a lifetime, of leaving everything to travel the world? Many have, I guess, and among them, some were able to put it into practice. A part of them set sails for a months-, years- or a lifetime-long voyage. We did the same and wish to share our experience with you.

We are Lara and Michele, our boat is hour home. We have been sailing almost full-time to explore the most beautiful spots in the world. In 2009 we both quitted our jobs, sold our properties, said goodbye to family and friends and left. After travelling for 4 years we realized our boat had become our home. Moreover, in 2013 in French Polynesia our family grew and a small crew member was welcomed on board: Reva, our daughter, whose name in Tahitian means “leaving”, “travelling”. She started sailing when she was only one week old and, since then, we, as a family, have always shared experiences both on the dryland and at sea and met new friends. This is our story, similar to that of many others who have made the same choice.

What drives people to cast off the moorings and leave?

Many and different reasons may lead people to make such a choice. Search for worthwhile experiences, desire for adventure, leave or find something, challenge yourself, love for the sea and travelling and much more. Leaving aside any subjective reasons, a voyage is, no doubt, a metaphor for the quest, more or less aware, for a goal, which is different for each of us. Sharing ideas with other crews we have met, has made us aware that when the voyage extends over time, it ends up becoming a true lifestyle.

We, for example, wanted to live fully, make significant experiences by visiting far away places and meeting people, in complete harmony with nature. We did not run away. It was our strong desire to seek adventure that urged us to leave. We felt that, as for us, embracing the road less travelled would have made a difference.

How can you make the dream of casting off the moorings and leave a reality?

Even the most inveterate dreamers must have their feet firmly on the ground once in a while….at least for the time necessary to complete the arrangements. In fact, having a project in mind and planning it in the best possible way is necessary to make a dream come true.

  • First of all you must decide to leave. However obvious it may seem, this is the most difficult step. Aware of it or not, you are strongly tied to where you live and there may be even stronger reasons and fears that can lead you to change your mind.
  • Then you have to decide with whom you want to leave: with your partner, family or alone? Your project will change accordingly, of course.
  • Choose duration and itinerary of the voyage but be open to possible changes and detours that may occur.
  • Find a boat suitable for you and fit it out according to your sailing programme.
  • Finally, all that remains for you to do is to settle a number of practical aspects (house, job, family, budget….) before leaving.

Soon after we took the decision to leave, we worked hard to build our dream. We found a used boat that met our needs, then we fixed it and set it up for offshore sailing. Meanwhile we planned our voyage, closed the house, quitted the job and settled any practical details to be able to leave at last!

No matter if it is a months-, years- or a lifetime-long voyage, the most decisive aspect of your dream is, no doubt, livelihood. From what we have heard by others crews, incomes can derive from many different sources such as a pension, an annuity, remote working, job opportunities in the marine sector or on the dryland during longer stops, or combining different sources of income and much more. Every crew contributes to the income by exploiting its own skills and competence as any ideas are welcome if they can provide financial support.

 When you have left, how can you handle being away from home?

Today, once at sea it is easier to manage many aspects of the voyage compared with the past. Thanks to the many communication media and the spread on the Internet all bureaucratic aspects can be easily remotely managed. Social media allow you to keep in touch with friends and family at home and share your adventure by posting photos, articles and video, sometime even in real time. The same friends and family can reach the travellers in all the corners of the world and take part in their experience (at least a part of it). When we first left, before the Smartphone and before the Internet being so accessible, we used to spend months without being able to hear from home or send a message. Communication required more time and efforts and yet it provided an opportunity to meet new friends, all gathered in the only café providing the Wi-Fi.

KODAK Camera

Leaving is, no doubt, an experience of personal growth that will leave a mark, no matter the composition of the crew, the length or the destination of the voyage. Our now 12-year long adventure has given us the chance to meet special people, experience incredible thrills, build on unique and unforgettable experiences. We have been able to learn more about ourselves. We have challenged ourselves and, above all, have learnt to look afresh at the world around us. Travelling has become a true way of living and we are very curious about how far we – windswept – will be able to go.

Once you have taken the final decision, everything has been arranged, the crew is ready and the boat set up, you just have to cast off the moorings, hoist the sails, be born away by the wind and above all fully enjoy this amazing adventure!

Fair wind!

Lara, Michele and Reva


Lara, Michele and Reva

are a family of sailor travellers. In 2009 they left for a long voyage from the Mediterranean Sea to the crystal-clear water of French Polynesia. They live on board their sailboat, Dumas and sail in the most beautiful seas and oceans in the world. They take pictures, tell their adventures and share their experience on vagabondsail website.

Lara Michele e Reva
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