As a nomad, it’s only natural to come across other nomads or travellers. And this interview today is about the extraordinary encounter with Elin, a young woman who calls herself “The Sailopreneur”. Yes it has to do with sailing on a yacht! Are you curious enough? Let’s get into it and hear more!
Life Abroad with Elin the Sailopreneur
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Elin, 27 years old, born in Iceland. I’m half Icelandic and half Thai.
I must have caught a big travel bug when I was very young as my parents used to take me to Thailand from an early age to meet my family that I have there. Then when I was 20 years old (2010) I moved to London, UK to study for a design degree.
I traveled a lot during my studies and then graduated and moved to Lisbon to do my first design job. I lived there for about a year and learned how to sail on river Tejo that runs through Lisbon. That’s where it all started – I fell in love with the sea and sailing and I knew I had to pursue this new found passion of mine a bit more.
I speak Icelandic, English, and enough Portuguese, Swedish, French to get by! I can speak baby Thai too with my Thai family 🙂
2. Where do you live now and what was the reason for this move?
I live in Nottingham, UK and sail on a boat with my friend as often as I want! For the past two years I’ve been sailing around the Atlantic islands of Azores, Madeira and the Canaries. The move from my home country Iceland was just a strong desire to expand, grow, and see more of the world.
3. What were your expectations before the move?
I was pretty naive at the age of 20 and didn’t know what to expect at all. I was desperate to move abroad and would have considered almost any country! I had prior to this only experienced brief stays abroad and away from my parents which were more like summer holidays. I guess I expected it to be great and away from parents! Now I miss my mom’s cooking everyday!
4. What does home mean to you?
That’s a hard one! I don’t know for sure, I think by now I can make most places my home as long as I have a decent accommodation where I can spread out and be by myself. Solitude is very important for me. I can’t do loud room mates or any nuisances like that. Living by myself pretty much is key! I just need a big desk, bed, big room and facilities.
The rest comes by itself – friends, new language, etc. I’m lucky in that sense that I don’t have to relocate because of work or choose a location based on where I can find work. I never have to find work again as I have my own business!
5. What were the biggest hurdles you encountered during your first few months living abroad?
I moved to the UK when I was 20 years old and the issues encountered at this young age would not be the same as if I was now moving elsewhere now. At the time, it was finance and finding a uni haha! I had to accept temporary jobs in cafés etc to make a living. I then moved to Stockholm where the biggest hurdle was to find cheap grocery shops. Then in Lisbon, Portugal it was the language difficulties in the beginning of my stay as I was doing a sailing course in Portuguese. A real hurdle that was! I was new to the language and was a complete beginner as a sailor! When I got over that, life turned amazing with the most delicious pastries and wines :).
6. How does going back to your home country feel?
I love to go home to Iceland for a short visit. I love the country in the summer, to drive around in the countryside and be with friends and family. I can’t stay there for too long though as I start to itch for more diversity – I feel pretty isolated there as if I were foreign!
7. How do you build friendships while on the road/abroad?
That’s the easiest part! Everywhere we go there will be new people to make friends with. Everyone wants to connect, not only the expats, I more or less only hang out with locals in the country I’m living in.
8. What do you miss about your home country?
My grandmother, Icelandic sweets and some foods that my mum makes!
9. What do you love about the U.K and also your sailing lifestyle?
I love the diversity in the UK and the freedom on the sailing yacht. When I’m on the boat I’ll go where the winds will carry me! When I get to a wifi zone I’m able to focus on my passive income streams, online sales and coaching others on e-commerce. I absolutely love to work and I never take a holiday from what I’m doing, I simply change locations as I please. Or maybe my life is one big holiday! I’m my own spirit and I have the freedom of choice to be where I want.
Dear readers, I hope you’re feeling inspired by Elin’s story. You can visit her website here. Pursue your passion and see where it leads! Do you know what is yours? Let me know below and also share this on Pinterest to inspire more people: