Wave hello, sail goodbye

29 June 2020

Can family holidays really involve pirates, high seas and serious adventure? Yes, says the yachtsman and author Caspar Craven. He managed to circumnavigate the globe in his yacht, with his wife and three children aged just nine, seven and two. Here's how he did it…

I remember thinking to myself, "Is this all there is?" To the outside world, everything looked great. I was running my own business, I was married with two kids and we had great friends. We went on holidays, but it was the same pattern, the same routine, year in, year out. We had an itch, a yearning for something more.

In 2009, we made a decision that changed everything in our world: to sail round the world with our three young children. We took five years to transform our relationships, finances and sailing skills. Oh, and buy a boat too.

We set off in August 2014 and for the following two years experienced the magic that the world has to offer. We snorkelled with turtles and whale sharks in far-flung Pacific Islands. We experienced tribal welcomes in places visited by fewer than 100 people a year. We climbed volcanoes; danced the night away in Carnival in Brazil; and experienced the magic of seeing wild animals in the African bush close at hand. Pirates – yes, we had to avoid a few of those, too. And all of this was wrapped up with 56,000km of sailing – challenging at times but in warm oceans under the clearest, star-studded skies you'll ever find.

I often get asked for the highlight of the whole experience, and I honestly think it was doing things together as a couple, as a family, experiencing the world in all its glory. Life will never be the same again and we share a deep bond as a family, wrapped in a set of magical experiences.

Family experiences are bounded only by your imagination. What magic would you love to create with your family? What's stopping you?

Caspar Craven is a sought-after keynote speaker on the topics of leadership, team building, and dealing with adversity. His book Where the Magic Happens is published by Bloomsbury in May 2018.

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