Sometimes you don’t realize how lucky you are – time to be thankful

Dear wonderful friends and family,

2020 was a major milestone for Jolanda and myself turning 50. We felt this would be a good time to look back what we experienced the last …. let’s say 30 years.

It started off that we were lucky to grow up in loving families who had the financial luxury and determination to provide us a better than average education. For me even in multiple countries.

This education enabled us to get good paid jobs and even gave us the opportunity to move to different countries permanently. After Jolanda spent some time in California and I did in London we both met in Singapore. After 6 years we moved to London and then to New York.

I cannot believe how many good friends we meet on the way. Especially on my surprise 50th birthday party in Switzerland – I could not believe how my family and so many friends spent their money and time to celebrate with us. We would like to thank all our friends who kept in contact with us all these years, sometimes it can be difficult as life gets in the way.

Our life took us in 2007 across Asia and Australia, taking 3 months off traveling across Australia with a Camper. We love the adventurous lifestyle and we threw ourselves out of “perfectly good airplanes” a couple of thousand times in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, Middle East and Australia. I did my pilot’s license and we flew ourself to spots we never otherwise would have seen. We both did our scuba diving certification and logged quiet some hundreds of hours exploring the ocean. In the winter we went skiing and snowboarding with our family and friends. What else can you wish for?

Two years ago we changed our lifestyle from luxury city apartments to a “boat life”. Our European heritage taught us that you should not spend more money than we have :-), so no million dollar yacht. Jolanda and I started sailing, from little sunfish to racing on J-24th to delivery trip of a 157ft Schooner. Keeping our own boat in operation can be very demanding and frustrating. There were some setbacks with repairing our boat but thanks to good friends and neighbors it gave us a good opportunity to learn a lot about fixing things. I started to see the maintenance and service on the boat as an ongoing project. Whoever asks us “when will the boat be fixed”, the answer will be “never”.

I always wanted to work in a job I enjoy, where I’m able to learn and I feel appreciated. Beginning of this year I made the hard decision to resign from my job as it was not a good fit anymore. Taking some time off, and thinking about what I wanted to do next was a great decisions which I do not regret. Of course we had to cut back a bit our budget (no more fancy lattes every morning). This more “simple life” is so fulfilling and gives us a different perspective and a sense of accomplishment. Also we realize that other people are not as lucky as we are. If something goes wrong we can jump on an airplane fly back to friends or family and always have a place to stay.

If you think we are courages, there are more inspiring couples which are cruising the Bahamas in a smaller boat with more problems and three kids or the other couple we know trying to fix their sailing boat for an ocean crossing working more than two jobs and in addition volunteering as Emergency Medical Responders in the remaining spare time.

We have so many friends who inspire us, made us running a few marathons, practicing yoga and fitness workouts. We are thankful for all of that and more. We truly believe that “life is a journey”.

The list would be too long to name everyone being a good friend and part of our life, so if you reading this now consider yourself part of that friendship. Especially during these difficult times try to see the good things in life.

We had a big goal this year to travel South with our boat and spend the winter there. I was working on the boat to be able to make the trip and Jolanda worked on our budget. Finally on November 6th we left our marina in Jersey City and arrived on December 30th in Charleston at our winter residence. For us another lifetime achievement and strengthening of our relationship. Our goal is to inspire others and learn from you inspiring us.

Most important is that we are all healthy and we are trying our best to stay that way. We will continue our adventures lifestyle and try to make the best out of every situation. That thing with “Lemons and Lemonade”…

Wishing you health, happiness and good start into 2021

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