My name is Simon. I’m a 31 year-old nomadic adventure-travel writer of able-body and sound mind (although that is still argued). I’ve decided to condemn myself to a life of roaming our fair but dying planet while it still spins (I give it 3 billion years, give or take a few) for the next 15-25 years – without flying.
I don’t stay in hotels or resorts for two reasons:
I don’t have the budget
I can’t absorb local culture from a westernised hotel
Part of my journey is bartering for accommodation, food and passage, helping where I can in return for any or all of the above (have no fear; I can partake in food costs).
I’ve done odd jobs here and there in exchange for food and accommodation at the Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Association in Darwin, relying on the kindness of complete strangers, sanding decks and painting keels.
As part of my journey, which has no time constraints (except expiration dates of visas and reaching Brazil for the World Cup by May 2014 – soccer that is, football/theatrics in its proper form), I have also decided that I shall volunteer what little skills I have to any conservation group that’ll take me in.
I’ve helped with the Bali Sea Turtle Society in releasing a sea turtle hatchling named Tim (if you see him, say ‘G’day’. He’s easily distinguishable – he has a shell and flippers).
After I surfed in Kuta, Bali I donated my surfboard to Soul Surf Project, Bali. They teach orphans how to swim and educate them about the importance of protecting the environment, focusing on marine environment.
In Malaysia I spent a week in the Taman Negara jungle with MYCAT, sleeping in hammocks, flipping off tarantulas and leeches that sucked me dry whilst trying to protect tigers from poachers (found a 60-foot poacher’s net that I took out with my bare hands.
With. My. Bare. Hands).
I am now hitch hiking through Malaysia to Thailand where I’ll be volunteering at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai (as you can see, I’m channeling Mowgli since arriving on the Asian continental shelf with just the bare necessities…).
From Thailand my next calling is South America although Africa is on the other line.
If anyone out there in the land of sails is sailing from Thailand to any of the above continents by the end of the year I would love to have the opportunity to join you on this magical quest. I’m keen to gain more sailing experience and am willing to help with all preparations needed whether it be anti-fowling, sanding or just standing there looking pretty.
Of course, a first hand, face-to-face meeting would be called upon either over a drink or a walk on the beach (whatever floats your boat…).
So what do I bring?
My quick-to-learn and eagerness.
Strong will and honesty.
Ability to cook mouth-watering dishes from simple things (like eggs).
Cleanliness and tidiness.
Minimal baggage – one large backpack (size of a VW Bug), one small day pack (size of an engine of a VW Bug) and a guitar.
Oh, and I don’t get seasick.
“All that’s good and fair but what sailing experience do you have?” I hear you ask, tearing at hair and beards.
Well, I’ve had two such experiences thus far:
I’ve taken part in a sailing trip on the Clair de Lune
from Darwin to Gunn Point Reef to fish (where I donated, charitably I might add, my phone to the Timor Sea whilst wrestling with a mackerel on the line).
I then sailed for 6 days from Darwin to Alor, Indonesia as part of the Tropicbird
crew in the Sail Indonesia/Komodo rally. I performed nightwatch duties, cooked, cleaned, fished (tarpon), cleaned the fish (and cooked it – to perfection), hoisted sails, winched lines and even jumped off to rescue our floater (quite the ****-myself moment when swimming in 300 feet of open water).
A referral can be requested by the skipper, Captain Julian Roe Francis (contact me for his email address) (hopefully, he’ll go easy on me).
For more info on who and what the bloody hell I’m doing (besides ditching the conformity of society) you can read a few (or all) of my travel blogs at:
or my facebook page:
Thanks for reading this and hope to hear from someone soon.
Sincerely, graciously, intrepidly,
The Nomadic Writer