Hurray, the travel restrictions have been lifted a bit. Worldwide and especially Africa travel for me is still a mess, BUT let‘s stay positive: the Schengen area re-opened its borders. For me, that meant going to Italy, Elba in special. It is only now, that I find the time to write about it. It turns out that writing is a bit difficult while driving or doing something else 😉
When I started this logbook segment, I thought I will let you know about my ongoing adventures and travels.
I planned to work on my boat early this year and be out and sailing quite a bit. Finally around Corsica. I thought with a good reefing system and my new autopilot I’ll be good for some exiting solo sails.
The new year has started as if winter was about to end, not start.
Days and weeks of sunshine and absolutely not enough snow in Switzerland was strange. Apart from the consequences for nature it were lovely first days of the new decade. Soon I left for Elba, Italy. Everything was fine, the ‚simplicity‘ is clean, dry and warm. It seems as if she managed well in the storms around Christmas. I worked on the outboard engine, the interior of the cabin and some parts of the varnish. In the constant rains at the end of the year, water soaked into the wood and stayed under the varnish and it wouldn’t dry. I fixed that and worked on a new cover to keep the boat and especially the cabin wood as dry and protected as possible.
Last spring (2018) what seems to be ages ago, I had plans for the summer and everything came different and I ended up buying a tiny wooden boat:
I am the owner of the Caveman Lodge in Zanzibar and the Lodge turns out to run much better than expected. We are booked quite well and the management keeps it well maintained. I am on my way to passive income. Of course it is not passiv but asynchronous as I had put in enormous amounts of work before and keep getting paid even when I am not present.
We finally arrived on the 28th after 6 days at sea. Compared to our initial prediction we were 24 hours late and I was glad to see land again. After all has it been my first night sailing, my first passage and my first multi-day sail.
We finally left Barbate in Southern Spain after some days of heavy wind and rainfall.
The seas were stormy and the waves huge. Knowing that it would calm down we headed out on the 22nd. Surprisingly neither one of us did well with the rocking boat. Chloe and the cat were feeding the fishes and I felt very sick for more 48 hours.
I am sitting on a boat that is not my own for a couple of hundred miles now. We are sailing from Gibraltar to the canaries and it feels good to move. Especially having consistent wind and a working wind-vane helps covering longer distances each day.
Temperatures are getting better and I am getting used to the daily watch schedule. That leaves me with some time to write and think.
This was not the first time for me to visit Sahara in Morocco and visiting M‘Hamid lost a bit of the excitement of the first few times. Once I see the first dunes in the distance, it feels more like coming home to friends.
Having spent some time on my boat proofed some things to be much more valuable than before. When you are a live on board, it is not only about sailing, but way more often about not sailing. That means anchoring or in the port. Although a port can have some positive side affect, most live aboards do so because they enjoy the freedom of being autonomous. Being tied to the dock in the harbor with neighbors and visitors, walking right through your living room mostly doesn‘t comply with that. That will leave you with anchoring and the following thoughts:
Ever tried to dance tango on your own? Difficult, right?
Not only is it difficult alone, but also when you don’t harmonize with your partner and/or one is trying to lead by pressure.
It is a silent cooperation that is based on a set of agreements. You set some boundaries for your joined experience and then you dance in harmony. It makes sense to decide beforehand if the dance will be polka or tango.
Most coachings are about reaching the next possible goal. Breaking it down in small reachable steps and setting the mindset to get started.
I am not interested in that. I don’t want to get paid for helping my clients to stay ordinary. I am looking for the extraordinary in you. I want to empower you to dream big and turn your dreams into your truth.
In case you have been following my journey to move my boat into the water and start sailing you may be aware that it did not start as planned.
stuck on land
I thought that I would just buy an old boat, work on it, water it and off I sail. Unfortunately that concept of restoring and reusing old stuff does not aline with everybody. It definitely did not resonate with the owner of the marina, where the boat was on dock when I bought it.
I almost turned into a sanding machine myself over the last weeks. Fortunately the sanding came to an end, the underwater ship is painted in 9 layers of primer and copper antifouling, the deck is nice and white again, the cabin top is varnished wood and most of the yellowness turned into nice mahogany color again.
In fact, I went out for a sail. Just for the fun of it. For the very first time in my life I just went sailing… with nothing else in mind than going for a sail.
I like to see myself as a fearless adventurous guy. One, who leaves the known behind in search for the life I love. I dream about all these different places I will visit and things I will do, but…
…sometimes I become fearful when I have a closer look at my plans. I back up because I fear it might go wrong once I am starting.
…and sometimes I become fearful once I get there. I am overwhelmed by the new situation and don’t know how to handle it. I back up to a known surrounding where I don’t feel as helpless.
happens to me all the time
Somehow this happens to me in all different situations. May the fear be about putting together a new adventure seminar, visiting a new interesting place, changing the place where I mainly live or sometimes just about publishing a new article, podcast or video.
I say good bye to that as well. You may have seen, that I am changing the name of the facebook group from HappylifeCoach to Live The Life You Love!
This has to happen in several steps as facebook won‘t allow me to change all at once. The rename is part of a huge simplifying process in my social media and online presence. The page will be a pure public communication channel (@flohjoe). I don‘t need a huge number of followers on that page but followers that actually want to see the stuff I publish ;-).
Except for summiting Kilimanjaro this tour has something special to offer: It will be a double summit. Meru & Kili. We will hike for 10 days in total with a 2 days break in between because the first 4 days will be a summit of the neighboring Mt Meru followed by 6 days on Mt Kilimanjaro.
As I am switching locations on a regular basis, I keep coming back to the Swiss Alps.
This doesn’t happen by accident, but because of the beauty of the region. So many people I talk to know the mountains only from the winter and the skiing resorts. It is worth a visit in the summer when it is possible to explore the mountains by foot.
I am a maximalist, that’s why I became a minimalist. What? How does that make sense? I think it does, although it took me more than 30 years to realize. As long as I can remember I could not get enough. It did not matter whether it was playing a game, a vacation I was on, a mountain I was hiking, stuff that I owned. I just couldn’t get enough. I wanted more and got frustrated easily when I couldn’t get it. I believe that a major reason for me to get frustrated was, that I never focused 100% on one thing. I could do everything in life, right? The older I grew the more I realized that I could also own everything that I was longing for.
I knew I want to travel the world. I knew I want to go sailing. I knew I want to go South.
I recently found out that I want to travel as light as possible… even on the water. I was looking for a boat that is as small as possible and still be safe enough to do some serious sailing. After my experience with Emma, our 45 year old Mercedes Camper Van, I knew I want to travel with a boat that is easy to maintain, wherever I am on this planet.
Time changes! All the time!
As one second and one moment always connects to the next one, life feels like a constant flow.
On the one hand it actually is and on the other hand all we have is NOW. Decisions are always taken now. Although you can take the experiences from the past into account it remains the moment of now that you take your decision.
I was thinking about this project for quite a while. In fact it has been a dream of mine since I saw sailing boats for the first time and could feel a glimpse of the freedom that it would mean to travel the ocean.
Now that I kept talking about Patreon in the last blogposts, podcasts and elsewhere, I think that I should at least give you an overview about what Patreon is all about. The short version and official description on their platform is this:
I realized once again that I love most to inspire people.
I also want to help improve peoples life.
I love to travel, be outside and be physical active.
I love to create lasting memories.
I want to be on an adventure most of the time.
I love motivating people to join me on a journey.
I love to share my stories.
It is now about one year that I am not actively working for ESCP Europe anymore. Although that I am already living my life and worklife relatively self-determined for some years now, I can tell you that it is a huge difference when nobody expects anything from you anymore.
Furthermore and quite important to me, did my son and his mother move so far away that I have absolutely no chance on seeing him on a regular basis anymore. In fact I have seen him only ones in the last 30 month.
This is why we founded a children education project: KIDZ.
Although I believe one should not put too much meaning in the end of the year I am still using the date for a little review of the old and an outlook into the new year. Especially with Christmas season, plenty of time, new year and my birthday all within two weeks there are quiet a few reasons for a review.
I am on my way back to Zanzibar as I write this.
I left the island May 5th to travel to Toronto, Canada where I met Chris Thompson and Mike Mandel of MikeMandelHypsnosis.
On the one hand I was tired of the island, tired of the slow processes, tired of the officials who are just not willing to help for any process.
Often it seemed to me, as if people I worked with are only interested in their own corruption money and once you gave it to them forget about it immediately so you will have to start all over again.
As soon as you plan to make any fast progress it will be more than likely that you reach a point of frustration sooner or later.
As I am writing this I am sitting on the top of a mountain in northern Ethiopia (3300m). The town nearby is Lalibela and worldwide known for its wonderful churches that were carved out of the mountain. Some carved more than a thousand years ago.
As you may have seen on the blog and heard on the podcast, I spent my last 6 month in Zanzibar. I was living a childhood dream and realizing a little business opportunity at the same time.
Having my own little spot on the Indian Ocean and being able to share it with others. Together with my business partner Omi, we built up the Caveman Lodge and opened for the first season in December 2016.
It is indeed much more work than expected. We had a great time though and it looks as if our guests are enjoying it as well. Have a look yourself and if you like, be our guest.
In 2012 I started blogging when I was in preparation for my solo Sahara tour and I wanted to talk about it. So man people asked me why I was going to Sahara, other wanted to now how I was about to do it and all of them wanted to know how I was doing. Therefor I included a blog in my domain gluecklichtrainer.com and wrote about my journey. Later in 2014 I decided to give my blog and own space: simplicity-of-happiness.com. Simultaneously I gave different guest appearances at different podcasts and discovered how much I love talking about my topics and I started an own podcast in 2015.
By today I am writing simultaneously in German and English on the blog and am recording a German and an English podcast (which I started in 2016).
While the German podcast is quite popular I missed out a little on the English show and took the decision for the new year to broadcast daily for 100 days. I think that is a good way of getting to know me and presenting my philosophy to the English speakers and am welcoming all of your input.
I am in Africa now for more than two month and it is still amazing. The Lodge is ready for the season, we have guests, food is great and people are enjoying their time with us. I set up my work routine, am productive most of the time and go swimming with the dolphins or coral snorkeling every once in while.
Sun is shining every day and life is good.
Nevertheless sometimes it is hard to get up and focus. When every day is about as beautiful as the other it sometimes is very hard to get up and go the extra mile today. What it teaches me, is that it is not about how hard or easy or awesome your circumstances are, but only about what you make of it in your mind.
As I am writing this on Christmas Eve, I am sending you all my best wishes, sunshine and my most positive thoughts. Wherever you are, whatever you do… it is your own decision how you perceive the world.
You decide about your happiness. Keep that in mind and enjoy the season!
I am sitting a my Computer, checking mails, process bookings for the Lodge, record Podcasts and am planning my milestones for 2017. Then one question hits me:
Do I really want to keep writing stories on my blog? Yes!
Good, but what exactly? I wasn’t sure.
Since I shifted my focus on recording and broadcasting my German and my English podcast on a regular basis I missed out to write any articles. The main reason for that is that I am so much more spontaneous when talking. I am able to think about a topic, sit down to list some notes, start recording and the episodes evolves while I am talking. When a thought slightly shifts because I mention another dimension of the same problem it feels and it sounds natural to the listener.
When writing an article though, I always thought that I was expected to write „the perfect“ article. According to my own standards I often didn’t meet those and therefor created frustration in my mind.
While resonating about that, I thought about the time when it became so hard for me to write. I didn’t figure out yet what exactly it caused. I only know that there was a time when my expectation shifted and I tried to write not only an interesting story but a really good article, simultaneously in English and in German.
That was not the reason for me to start a blog though. I never meant to write news articles. I wanted to write stories from life and for life. I wanted to take you on the journey to the happiness through simplicity. A journey of life, where mistake are to happen, were experiences are to be made. I don’t aim to tell you what to do, I want to collect examples where it did work and where it did not, for me or for others.
What conclusion you are drawing from that will be up to you.
I will take my blog back to the roots of blogging. Writing a web-log about life and dreams and inspiration. Since I started to write, I created a life I would have only dreamed about 5 years ago. I am taking you on that journey and very much appreciate your thought and opinions.
Back to blogging! About the simplicity of happiness!
Hi there, I am back in Berlin for some days. I spent the last month in my Zanzibar home after having spent all winter in a skiing resort in the Swiss mountains.
Custom officers keep asking me about my crappy passport but I always tell them, that although it might not look new on the outside, it has so many stories to tell in the inside.
Just like I want my life to be.
Not shiny on the the outside but full of memories in the inside.
For those who want to learn more about how I managed to live the life I dreamt about, I created a webinar. It doesn’t tell you what to do, but helps to ask the tough questions and create the surrounding you need to truly thrive.
If you send me an email with the topic “Your Happy Life” you can participate for free. June 8th 2016 6:30pm CET. (this time in English)
Since I was skiing for the first time as a kid, I never want the vacation to end. I love the summer, the heat and the sun but I also love the mountains, the cold and the snow. It just has to be either one.
I never wanted to understand why you have to be either on vacation or at work/school/university/home. I wanted to do the fun stuff every day.
Why can’t I work on a project while sitting at the beach?
Why can’t I be on my board, before or after work?
Why can’t I have a conference call while sailing?
I was told, when I was younger, that this was not possible. Life is not fun, it’s serious.
Guess what, I had to find out in the last 10 years, that it is 100% up to you whether life is fun or not.
Last winter I spent 44 days on my snowboard riding almost 1000km. I loved it and I still got a ton of work done. I had to switch around some of my priorities wich worked out fine. Now the winter is over and I am sitting in Zanzibar, recording podcasts, writing articles, doing online coachings, training for an Ultra race and in between I go for a swim the dolphins.
Having a happy life is quite simple.
It’s not always easy, because you will have to ask the tough question and you will have to go through training and exercise. But in the end it will pay off.
And you can do it, too.
I put my learnings in an 90 minute webinar that I will offer on June 8th 6:30pm CET for the first time.
Hurry up and send me a request with the text “your happy life”! if you want to participate for free.
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