“IF YOU WANT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD…
DON’T BUY A COUCH.“
In a nutshell, we (Dan and Kika) are living and sailing around the world, on our All-Electric sailboat UMA. Our goal is to explore, learn, and share every step of our crazy journey. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let us first take a few steps back. “How the Heck did we decide to live on a boat and sail the world?
When we started dating, (back in 2013) we had a five year plan, we were about to graduate from University, we had started our own architecture/ renovation company, we had a place to live, and we had cars, motorcycles, and a pretty good life overall. We had everything we needed to kick start our “grown-up life”, but something didn’t feel quite right. So what was the catalyst that sparked this whole idea? Well, the story starts in a small apartment in downtown Atlanta…
"Don't Buy a Couch" - Sailing Around the world [step 1]
From City Life, to BOAT LIFE — Sailing Uma [Step 2]
We WAISTED $3k on a rebuilt Diesel Engine! — Sailing Uma [Step 3]
The Refit Begins — Sailing Uma [Step 4]
We're in WAY Over Our Heads! — Sailing Uma [Step 5]
Rebuilding our Keel Structure — Sailing Uma [Step 6]
Delivering a Sailboat Across the Caribbean: 9 days 1200 miles — Sailing Uma [Step 7]
She is Whole Again — Sailing Uma [Step 8]
We're Going FULL ELECTRIC on Our Sailboat! — Sailing Uma [Step 9]
…We were helping a friend move into her new apartment. While carrying in the last few boxes of her stuff, we were introduced to her new room mate. We started chatting over a beer and fresh baked cookies, and once we discovered we were the punchline to a bad joke—”a Haitian, Canadian, German and an American were sitting on a couch drinking a beer…” the subject quickly shifted to travel. He told us that everything he owned could fit in two suitcases. He travels a lot and always rents fully furnished apartments in order to settle just long enough to make money for his next trip. I don’t remember much else from that conversation except one piece of advice he gave us that didn’t fully sink in until many months later: “…If you want to travel the world, don’t buy a couch!”
We were at first confused by this odd, so called advice; but, upon further consideration, it made perfect sense. If you are in the market for a couch, it means you are trying to settle down. Nothing wrong with settling down, however a couch, necessitates a place to put it. This often involves a mortgage or rent. Once you buy your first couch, you then need a coffee table to put beside it, a TV for in front, bookshelves behind, lamps, then you find a great deal on a washer/dryer, a cute pet, then kids, and without realizing it you start filling up your place with all sorts of “STUFF.” The couch was the first step down a path we were certain was not for us. So, it did not take us long to realize we did not want to buy a couch. We did not want to be defined by the stuff in our lives, but rather by our life experiences. We wanted to write our own story, instead of living according to a predestined script. We wanted explore the world, but most importantly, we wanted the freedom to live sustainably.
Ok, now fast forward a few months. Summer 2014, There we were, fresh out of Uni, in a little fishing village on the north east coast of the United States, with everything we owned in a van parked beside a sailboat we now called home. Our boat, Uma, is a 1972 Pearson 36. She is neither fancy and expensive, nor cheap and flimsy—to us, she is perfect. Uma, means number one in Portuguese. The impetus for this name, is that all plans in life require a first choice, idea or step. But for us, “Uma” is more that just a name. For us, it is about prioritizing hard work, patience, and determination—putting one foot in font of the other, making steps in the right direction. We hope, that by sharing our first step, our Uma, we can inspire others to do the same.