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Meet Pim: Boathitchhiking around the world | Ocean Nomads Crew

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Pim van Hooff

Boathitchhiking around the world

Adventure – free – no doesn’t exist – from a dream to a goal to reality – world citizen

Pim! What’s your story? 

I’ve had the dream to travel longterm for many years.  First I had to finish my studies and then work to fill up the adventure funds. At 28 years old I told my boss about my plans, he was jealous and wished me the best of luck. A little later I was standing next to the highway with my thumb out. First destination; Sicily to meet some ocean nomads.
At the time of writing this, a year later, I’ve sailed from Europe to Fiji, logging around 15.000NM. Most of the miles and time was spent on 4 different boats. 1 professional delivery of an Oyster46 from Greece to France. 1 Atlantic crossing on a Beneteau47 from the USA with the owner and his friend. From st Lucia to French Polynesia with a British family on a Hallberg Rassy 42 and from French Polynesia to Fiji with a British couple on a Boreal47. From the Caribbean onwards I was part of the World ARC.
After arriving in Fiji I felt it was time to do something else. The next goal is to travel from Asia to Europe over land. I’m on a holiday, but will tell anyone who wants to listen about taking care of our precious mother earth. Education is key. I’m sure that next year will be super special too!

What is your most memorable ocean adventure experience?

Countless things! Whales, the shadow that Venus casts, the vastness, the shooting stars, reefs, remote paradises with beautiful people and the intense relationship that the ocean creates amongst fellow sailors.

What has nature taught you?

I am small and insignificant. I have the deepest respect for the big blue. I wish every day that more people get respect like that and let our mother nature flourish again. We are destroying her in ways that are difficult to comprehend. And we are doing it very fast. The lack of realization around the world astonishes and hurts me.

You’ve boat-hitchhiked half across the world! What’s your advice to others sharing the same dream?

Make your dream a goal, it IS possible!!! Every day, every moment, be the best version of yourself. A smile and being positive can get you very far.
Stolen from a big corporate but true for me in many ways; Just do it!

What does a typical day in the South Pacific look like?

Ha! Sleep, sail, snorkel, share, repeat!

What’s the next plan?

As said above, travel from around China, Southeast Asia, India, Nepal, somehow to Europe. The route is still to be decided.

Why did you join the Ocean Nomads Trip?

I bought the book Ocean Nomad just after it got out and it was exactly what I needed for what I wanted to do. Before reading the book I wasn’t really sure how to organise a boat-hitchhiking around the world adventure but it turned out to be the perfect guide. There was an Ocean Nomads meet-up organised at the Volvo Ocean Summit in the Netherlands where I met Suzanne. She told me about the Ocean Nomads trip and I realised it was a good investment to increase chances of succeeding in my ocean travel plans.
Here’s a little interview with Pim at the beginning of his boathitchhiking around the world journey.

What did you get out of jumping on board the Ocean Nomads fleet?

Cliche but true; everything and more. I learned about sailing, living on a boat with complete strangers, hitch-sailing and how to do it. But mostly we just had an amazing time. The group consisted of beautiful individuals of which some I hope to remain lifelong friends with and we did really cool stuff. I don’t think I’ll ever forget!

Ocean Nomads Crew in Sicily

When you hopped on board with us one year ago you said you were curious to find out about the current state of the oceans. So now 1 year and 15.000 NM later. What did you find out?

It is honestly really bad. I’ve been to places that not many people visit but there was plastic everywhere. Sometimes beaches were full of it. In many places the coral had died, especially close to villages and towns. And all the locals I have talked to, all of them, say that there is less fish now then some years ago. They have to go further and further to be able to feed their families. But more often they resort to more ‘western’ diets of which it is clear that this doesn’t do them much good.  The worst part for me is that many people just don’t know how, why and what to change. It is hard to start if you don’t have a place to begin.

Arrived in French Polynesia without planes from Europe! | Boathitchhiking around the World

How do people learn more about you and your adventures?

You can follow me on pim_steps on Insta to see some pictures of my trip. And I will probably attend some Ocean Nomads meetups when they are organized!

Meet Nicole Heidenreich – Yoga Teacher, Globe Trotter, Heart-Connector, Emotion Surfer and Systemic Coach

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“We do not need a handful of people doing “zero waste”, “self-development”, “etc.” (fill in what’s important for you) perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” 

Nicole Heidenreich

Bundle of energy, heart-connector, emotion surfer, globe trotter, yoga teacher and systemic coach.

When the vibe is right I love to talk with inspiring people about what moves our world(s). I am full of energy, am very enthusiastic, love to laugh and enjoy life. Yet, sometimes  (real and imagined) thunderstorms suddenly appear in my life. I feel pain for the world that we live in, pain how we treat ourselves, how we treat mother nature. But then, I remember that it starts with the relationship to myself. So now, I learned to deal with it by getting out in the forest, surf my emotions until the end and return with a smile on my face and hundred new ideas for what to develop next. 

Nicole! What’s your story? 

Once upon a time, a girl was born on a farm in Austria… ok ok, I make it shorter 😉 My roots are indeed on a farm close to Vienna, yet through studying (business administration and then tourism destination management) I found my way to living in Bali, Indonesia. While I lived in quite a few countries, my 5 years working (NGO for sustainable tourism development) and living in Indonesia and South East Asia in general brought me to the realisation that we “western white” people are so (over)privileged to have a choice of HOW we want to live – think about it: how many people on this planet actually do have a choice? So if better make it a good one. “Good” in the sense of reflecting on what is actually important in life and how can I share the resources that I have or have access to with the world. 

My choice was to return to Europe and re-connect to my core values and my roots. I tell you, returning to structured Germany resulted in a super-duper reversed culture shock. It took me 1,5 years to really arrive. Just recently I really felt this sense of home again – with friends, with my lifestyle, with nature. I practice and teach (Hatha and Yin) Yoga, I play improvisation theatre and I am just learning how to live in, from and with nature based on indigenous wisdom (check it out: wilderness education course with the wilderness school “Weltenwandler”). When I’m not in a yoga studio, on stage or in the forest I also work as a tourism consultant, developing authentic concepts for wellness hotels.

What has nature taught you?

Connection! When we connect to nature, we connect to our very own nature – the Self. Mother nature has a beautiful system in place in which we can allow our control-freak brain to step back and really sink into deep trust. Also and more specifically, it thought me how to become friends with darkness. During a blind-drum-stick walk (walking through the forest at night, trying to follow the sound of a drum only with your ears) and a scouting weekend where you learn to practically become invisible I really said bye to fearing the dark forest! Such an amazing gift… 

What is your most memorable ocean experience?

My relationship status with the ocean? It used to be complicated. The deep water and me didn’t have a good start – always fear of depth, darkness and cold. I was not even able to snorkel without freaking out. So when I moved to Bali doing something on, under, or in water was for others, not for me. A couple of years on the island, having diving instructor friends and a boyfriend at a time who was APNEA instructor I slowly reconsidered. First I made my SCUBA dive certification(s), then it was time to become even more connected and conquer the ocean with only one breath – freediving. I remember a very insignificant event when hanging on the bottom of a rope at around 12 m depth, simply chilling, absolute silence. Knowing that when my mind would kick in, I would freak out again, so I stayed with the heart and soul. Nothing much happened in effect, rather than the realisation that we can all conquer our fears by making our mind a tool, but not the leader. Let the intuition and hear be the leader instead. 

What is your drive to host the yoga and sailing event

For me, our existence is based on the connection to ourselves, to our community and to mother nature. I always imagine it as 3 circles that come together to re-establish balance. Hosting retreats, such as the yoga & sailing event, gives an opportunity to all of us to participate in an exceptional experience outside of our usual environment, away from our usual “stress factors” to re-calibrate our body and minds. As a host I love to do this in a very down-to-earth way, allowing people to discover what there is to discover at their own pace. (Learn more about the Yoga & Sailing Retreat here)

What change would you like to see in the world? 

More empathy and “feel” before doing / saying something. A natural connection between the business world and the spiritual world. It is unrealistic that the whole world will suddenly change. It rather needs to develop further into a world that integrates the great advances of science, sustainable business and emotional intelligence as well as spiritual alignment. We have been there people… let’s make it happen again!

What is your ocean / nature / adventure dream that you like to make happen?

Cruising with my electric camper van through Europe, discovering new places, visiting friends and family and hosting more retreats PURELY outdoors – with tents or bivouacs and warming bonfires. 

Come and meet Nicole at the Yoga & Sailing – Connecting to the Inner Self Retreat in Croatia this September. You can learn more about Nicole and her retreats on nicoleheidenreich.com or instagram @Nicoles_lifechoice