Member Spotlight: Janneke Dijkhuis | Hitch’hiked’ across the Indian & Atlantic Ocean without ever having sailed before


Every week we publish one in-depth story from an Ocean Nomads member. To learn more about each other, to learn from each other, inspire and be inspired, and to accelerate our journeys. 

This week we shine a light on Janneke Dijkhuis – Advanced Boathitchhiker and location-independent entrepreneur. We’re super proud of her journey and curious to all that is to come. She dreams it, then does it! Here’s her story!

Read the Full Story and connect with Janneke on our Membership portal. Not a member yet? Learn more and join our global network of impact-driven ocean adventurers here.

About Janneke

Content Creator, Adventurer, Experimenting, Personal Development & Location Independent

Janneke Crossed the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic without having sailed a day in my life before embarking on this journey

Originally from: the Netherlands. 

Current basecamp: the Netherlands

Outdoor & Ocean Sports: Sailing, diving, SUP

Favourite ocean film: A plastic Ocean

“The ultimate dream is to sail the world with a partner.”

What’s your story?

I’m a 36 year young Dutchie running my business Mindful Surprise. Currently in the Netherlands and usually living in Bali or traveling the world. My mission is to contribute to a more happy and positive world. 

When and how did you fall in love with the ocean? 

This happened on Monday 27 july 2015, 19:24 pm (CCT time). I was standing on the bow of a sailboat named “Impala”. We just sailed from Malaysia to Cocos Keeling in about 12 day’s time. I’d been seasick like crazy, it was my first sail trip ever and I did it with 3 total strangers. I stood on the bow ready to drop the hook, dolphins swimming along side Impala, beautiful turquoise waters. This happy blissful feeling came over me. Not only did I fell in love with the peace, calmness but also the wild and deep life-lessons the Ocean provided me with, it was also the moment where a transformation inside me happened from ‘live is happening to me’ to ‘I’m making life happen’ 

What was your first multiple-day sailing adventure? 

My first offshore sailing experience was more or less my first sail experience ever: I sailed from Malaysia to Cocos Keeling with 3 people I had never met to a group of islands I had never heard off with the only security that I would be very VERY seasick. I did experience horrible seasickness but like I mentioned in the previous question, I gained so much from that experience. 

Life motto: Fear is just for a little while, regret is forever – Janneke Dijkhuis

Janneke’s Big Adventure & Mission

I was feeling so unsatisfied with my life whilst I knew I had everything going for me. I lived as an ex-pat in Bali where I was the business development manager for an inbound tour operator. I had all the luxury in the world and I was beating myself up for not being content with it. Totally frustrated I resigned my job. Inspired by a friend of a friend, Suzanne ;), I found a boat to take me across the Indian Ocean. We sailed from Malaysia via Cocos Keeling, Rodrigues, Mauritius and La Reunion to South Africa. It was the best decision ever after which I only made more decisions that the old Janneke would never think were possible for her. Basically, this first Ocean adventure provided me with many new perspectives which shaped me as a person and my future. 

How did she make it happen? What are the skills and traits she appreciated most from your captain(s)? And the skills she developed? Check out the full story, practical details and rest of the story on the membership portal.

Photo: Watch-keeping duties somewhere in the middle of the big blue ⛵🐬


What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self, knowing what you know now?

Always, always, trust your gut feeling. Stay in tune with your intuition and let that influence your decisions. 

What has been an eye-opener and made you realise the ocean is in trouble?

Actually, not the sailing has made me aware about the state of the ocean but living in Bali has. The island is so polluted, it is frightening to witness. It really made me think about my own habits and contribution but also made me super aware that all this pollution has happened in such a short period of time. If we don’t turn the tide’s now nature will help itself. 

How are you contributing to shifting this change in a positive way?

I really believe that if people are happy and feeling balanced that they also care more for others and their environment. If everyone’s cup is overflowing with good stuff than the world would have no problems. Call me idealistic but that’s how I see it. With my company Mindful Surprise, I offer solo surprise retreats for people who really want to make their dreams reality. I believe that when we all live our dreams the world and its inhabitants would not face so many challenges. 

Why did you join the Ocean Nomads community? 

I absolutely love what you guys are doing: combining adventure and sustainability go hand in hand. I want to spend my time, money and energy on people and companies that aim to make the world a bit more beautiful. You do that and I love being a part of that. 

What change would you like to see in the world? What would you like to see / fix?

People’s mindset. Somehow, we all individually and as a race feel so superior. I think the world can only change when its inhabitants change. With that, I mean you, me and all the other people on the planet. When we would all be a bit more humble, a bit more aware and content with what we have and more respectful for what the planet provides us with, I don’t think we would have so many challenges anymore.  

What’s next in your life? What are you up to now and/or working towards?

Spread my idealistic views of the world and help to fill up people’s cup with good stuff by creating more solo surprise retreats. I really love for people to experience their potential when they go out and explore it actively. Surrendering to the unknown and being open for new perspectives is an important key that will change the world. I’m determined to help realize that by providing solo surprise trips. 

Last words of wisdom:

Live your dream people, really, life is too short for staying in a place where you don’t feel you belong and feel unhappy. Go out, experiment, learn, grow and laugh about yourself whenever you mess up!

location independent entrepreneur and ocean nomads member janneke dijkhuis in Bali

Photo: Janneke in Bali – which has been one of her nomad homes for +7 years

Read the full story, follow and connect with Janneke, and ask your nomad questions on our membership portal here. Not a member yet? Learn more here and apply to join.

Follow Jannekes journey on  Janneke’s Instagram and check out her splashy new website and concept of Minfulsurprise.

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