How it all began

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Today is my dad's birthday. He passed away in 2009. I didn't know it for a while, but he is my inspiration for living on a boat.

When I was a kid, he was an avid scuba diver. He once took my sister and I on a 2-week liveaboard trip around nearby Pulau Aur. There were cats on the boat and we slept in cabins with tiny portholes. I loved it. We spotted a baby whale shark, young but huge and magnificent, the size of our then-living room. The divers jumped in to swim with it, and so did I, at age 11. The wonder, awe and nervousness I felt in that moment are forever imprinted in my memory. To this day, I am still in touch with my dad's scuba buddies.

We spent many weekends at Changi Sailing Club, a chill place with restaurants and chalets, just hanging out and going out on the water. I remember picking mussels off the dock and selling them to club members for BBQ-ing. My dad asked me many times to take sailing lessons, but I (regrettably) did not want to "learn the ropes." At that age, it seemed like a lot of work and anything my parents were enthusiastic about was automatically not cool.

As he got older, my dad developed health issues that affected his mobility. Despite his physical limitations, he talked frequently about living on a boat. He said the ocean calmed him. I was working and earning money already, and I promised to buy him one. We shopped for boats every now and then. And then he passed away, and I forgot about his dream.

Years later, I woke up from a dream of travelling around some islands on a boat in beautiful blue waters. I told Tobi about my (literal) dream. Wouldn't it be nice to do that for a while? Tobi has a long-time dream of travelling cross-country in a campervan, so I thought he would like the idea. He immediately said: "Nah, it's too much work" and we left it at that. A few months and many YouTube videos later, he came back and said: "Actually, you had a great idea. Let's do it!" And so we did.

Happy birthday, Daddy.

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