SPOILER ALERT! This is NOT a sailing episode! In this special episode we decided to leave our live-aboard boat life in Greece. We took a break and visited one of the worlds best travel and sailing destinations – Phuket, Thailand!
We hope you enjoy this ‘alternative’ style episode. There are exciting plans ahead and of course we want to take you all along for the ride…
After recent life events we decided to change things up. Whilst most people take time away from their lives to escape their struggles, we did so to fully face them. With plenty of fun thrown in for good measure!
Having visited Thailand (both as a family and as individuals) numerous times we knew from the outset what to expect. Thailand is busy, bustling and full of life and colour. We were pleasantly surprised by Phuket’s offerings which included excellent cleanliness and road surface quality (a must for biking). There is also a vast array of fantastic beaches and attractions.
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is Phuket, Thailand’s most ethical elephant sanctuary and is located in paklok. The sanctuary is pioneering ethical elephant tourism on the island. They rescue sick, injured and old elephants who spent their entire lives working in the logging and tourism industries. Endorsed by National Geographic and World Animal Protection, Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is a final home. Here rescued elephants have the freedom to roam, bathe, forage and socialise freely. We recommend that you book here through Trip Advisor.
Something we love to do wherever we go is try local food, delicacies plus seasonal fruits and vegetables. Thailand doesn’t disappoint when it comes to what’s on your plate! The fruit is intensely tasty, the restaurants offer every cuisine imaginable and Thai food is very affordable.
If you are happy to stray from the restaurants and onto the street food stalls you can make serious savings. Somewhere we particularly enjoyed eating in Kamala, Phuket was The Sunshine restaurant . This lovely quiet spot serves very affordable delicious authentic Thai cuisine in man-sized portions!
LIFESTYLE IN KAMALA
Of course when we descend upon any new territory, the inner athlete in me takes over. Sourcing the best local gym becomes one of my top priorities. Travelling in Phuket, Thailand was no different. I was pleased to discover The Workout Club in Kamala that had great equipment and adequate air conditioning. However, we do advise that you try to get there early because it can get very busy.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that if you are a digital nomad Thailand is great to live and work. It has a huge choice of internet cafe’s with free wifi and usually they have very comfortable working conditions. One thing we recommend is to purchase Private Internet Access VPN in order to protect your personal data, if this is of interest we have a cracking offer for you HERE
ARE YOU A ‘REAL’ SAILOR?
This brings me onto the informational subject “should you live aboard year-round to classify yourself a ‘real’ sailor?”.
So many people ask us the same old question…”do you live onboard Holly Blue the whole year round?”.The answer to that is yes….and no!
Life isn’t black and white and neither are our plans. We have lived on Holly Blue all year before. There are times when we feel money is better spent on our lifestyle rather than travel. This means that what we do is dependent on many changeable factors.
Here are some some that determine our decisions and why. Perhaps these will help you to ‘plan’ how you decide to live your own cruising lifestyle too.
Being a traveling family means that we are transient the majority of the sailing season in Greece (April to Nov). This makes visits from loved ones are harder to plan. Going abroad is nigh on impossible for us at this time.
We can’t leave our floating home safe without putting her into a marina.
By using a Marina such as Leros, Preveza or Cleopatra the responsibility of keeping her afloat then lies with the company and our insurance is valid.
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY
To demonstrate the hazards of leaving your vessel in a public place let me tell you a story.
We had a previous experience when we were at a busy port in Zante. Ross had sadly lost a close family member, two hours before he was due to fly the worst happened. A huge tourist boat crossed our anchor and pulled it up!
The water was so murky that Ross couldn’t see two foot in front of his own face. When he attempted to dive it he couldn’t see it, as a result we had to up anchor and move. This took so long that he missed his flight and lost a few hundred euros. He also lost confidence in ever leaving Holly Blue without a captain in Port. As a result we all quickly learnt a very valuable lesson.
You can’t predict the births, deaths and marriages of life course. But when it comes to family we try to leave visits to loved ones for Greek winter. At this time we are mainly marina based (due to storms and maintenance requirements).
The weather might not be great in our home country of the UK but we rarely notice it. We focus on spending quality time with our nearest/dearest and Christmas is extra special when spent with family.
Of course Sailing life can be assumed akin to a holiday. It is exciting in itself and every place can feel like a change of scene when stress levels rise. A break from the everyday mundane can be found just by upping anchor. BUT it doesn’t come without its daily stress & work! So from time to time we like to explore new horizons. It is worth noting that most people also like to experience new cultures and we are natural explorers.
WINTER WORKS BEST
For this reason we also use the winter periods to explore further afield like Thailand or Cyprus. To maintain work flow we tend to marry these experiences with our online work-load.
We have found that upheaval can really affect home-schooling and our creative output on youtube. If we do seek overseas travel we take longer periods of time away to balance work & play abroad.
TIME ON LAND
Every now and again it’s nice to miss home. When Holly Blue is ‘on the hard’ this becomes an opportunity to try out land life again. There is no way in hell you will catch us attempting to live onboard during dry-dock maintenance. So we grab an apartment or airbnb locally and enjoy some creature comforts.
We find that on return to boat life we instantly fall back in love with life on the ocean. As a result both our energy and gratitude for this lifestyle is restored.
After a challenging sailing season you can feel burnt out by the daily challenges and workload of living onboard. It’s important to be reminded that the grass isn’t always greener on the ‘other side’.
I hope you have enjoyed this little section regarding how we like to approach our live-aboard experience. Perhaps you can take some nuggets of gold for your own plans.
Just remember that one size doesn’t fit all. At the end of the day if you love the wind in your sails then you are a sailor!
Much love to you guys. As always, thanks for being there and keeping the dream alive for us. If you are interested in supporting our channel please visit our Say Thanks area.