Arriving in Tarifa I didn’t know what to expect. I came here to meet with fellow female sailor and author Suzanne Van Der Veeken someone I had discovered months earlier whilst searching the internet for ocean passages across the Atlantic. Her book Ocean Nomad came up in the search results and I ended up spending ages on her website.
Her mission to help clean up the ocean exciteed me, and we know how excited I can get! Reading about her journey, her passion, the legacy she is creating with her Ocean Nomads global movement of EcoPirates, I knew I had to meet her. So I added her to the list of people I would be meeting along my journey… and BOOM!! Thank you Universe!
My original plan was to sail all around the world from New Zealand and back again, finishing my circumnavigation with the Sydney Hobart Race but I really missed my boys. So with a gifted flight by an incredible organisation, doing amazing work for and with women, I left Australia to see them.
I may have missed the Indian Ocean, The Arafura, Timor, Java and Banda Seas, but the call of motherhood was becoming so strong, I had to return to them – completely surprising them; and my parents. Knowing I am full of surprises and always up for adventure, my Mum even suggested I had been deported!! Hahahaha!! Mother!!
I discussed my Mermaid Mission aka my circumnaviation with my boys and they quite matter of factly told me ‘Just start from Europe then’ as if it was the most obvious option in the world. ‘Use what you have done as a warm up’ came the advice of my youngest. So with their blessing, my now wonky circumnavigtion was underway again, this time from Europe.
I joined the Women Who Sail The Med Facebook Group to see what was happening and what advice these lovely ladies could give me. I had been part of the groups in both New Zealand and Australia, so it made sense to join the ladies in the Med. This is where I connected with Suzanne. She reached out to invite me to one of her Ocean Nomad meet ups in Tarifa.
I booked my ferry ticket whilst in Morocco, having left Gibraltar after only a few days, and I was heading to Tarifa! And boy! What an experience I have had here! Tarifa is the KiteSurfing capital of Europe and has confirmed for me this will be one of the next sports I learn when the boys arrive with me in the Caribbean.
The vibe is so relaxed here, a little too relaxed in some respects for a high octane mermaid like myself if I am honest. The local community is friendly and I have met some really lovely people. The locals always greet me with a smile; especially when I rock up to the local shop for my avocados (again!), even more so when their dogs get so excited when they see me and cuddles arise! I’ve only been here two weeks !
Celebrating Halloween here in Tarifa is a big deal, so having connected so deeply with my fellow mermaid and ecopirate Suzanne, we got dressed up and hit the town. We ended the night at Cafe Del Mar nightclub where my soul came alive on the dancefloor to the tribal trance music. I haven’t owned the dancefloor like that for years! and it felt sooo good! Unleashing energy, spreading joy and the ancient wild woman into the universe… WOW! It was a powerful night in many ways.
Whilst here, I have been able to work on overhauling my website and growing my team to enable me to hit the ground running when I arrive back on land after sailing. It’s been getting a bit frustrating feeling like a I am starting over again each and every time I hit land, so it was time to trust others to build my business whilst I am away at sea.
I’ve also been able to develop my new and exciting online shop The Mermaid’s Locker which will be selling journals, nautical goodies and jewellery. Well if I am going to buy these prodcuts and gift my coaching clients goodies, then why not create my own shop of treasures right? Move over Davey Jones, here comes DawneeBe!
There are a vast amount of Digital Nomads here in Tarifa, and I have been able to understand more about this concept. Originally I thought a digital nomad was someone who ran their own business from anywhere in the world, but this is not the case. A digital nomad Tarifa style is someone who works for others, some for themselves, but mainly for others.
I was asked to lead a Dream Life Creation workshop for the Tarifa Digital Nomads groupm as well as lead some team development for a local language institute. The economy here in Tarifa isn’t a strong one and people do struggle here when it comes to investing in themselves and their business. Where the desire is strong enough though, people always find a solution, ALWAYS!
I have started learning Spanish properly, no longer happy with only being able to ask ‘dos vinos por favour’ and ‘la quenta’. With my daily lessons on DuoLingo, implementing what I am learning, and listening to the locals, I am picking it up quite quickly, even though my brain wants to speak Arabic as the first alternative to English!
I am still looking for a Captain and boat to crew with across the Atlantic, which I know will not be a problem. I can feel the ocean spray on my face already! Knowing I will be in the Caribbean and South America with my boys for my eldest’s 16th birthday is fuelling my days. Driving me to get everything done so they can come play and explore with me. Giving my boys so many wonderful opportunities in life is a MASSIVE driver for me; and to know they believe in me 100% and are my biggest cheerleaders … a beautiful feeling!
So here’s to the next level life, calling in everything we truly desire for ourselves, those we love and living the life we truly love! Life is wonderful people, so go live it!! You owe it to yourself and those watching you from the sidelines being inspired by you just being you!
your very own mermaid xx