This is an article from Salty at Heart Magazine, a bi-annual inspirational surf/art culture magazine. Click here to learn more.
Our featured traveler for this issue is the lovely world traveler, environmentalist, surfer, Patagonia ambassador, and experienced captain and seafarer, Liz Clark. She has traversed thousands of miles of ocean waters aboard her 40-foot sailboat, Swell, and has come a long way from Los Angeles.
She left behind a fast-paced world some seven years ago and has since woven together a voyage and lifestyle defined by culture, people, waves, and epic tales from the high seas. We were incredibly lucky to have this humble ocean drifter share with us some meaningful thoughts on simplicity, lessons learned, and conscious eating.
When and how did you first learn to sail?
I learned to sail while growing up with my family. We had several different sailboats and always took our family vacations and weekend trips on them, so I learned the basics of boat life and sailing very young. My dad loved to teach me everything and anything about running the boat.
What is the goal of your voyage aboard Swell?
The goal of the voyage is to always listen to my heart, to live a low-impact lifestyle close to nature, to exchange learning and culture with the people I meet worldwide, and be an ambassador of eco and humanitarian light and goodwill for the Earth.
In your eyes, what does it mean to ‘live simply’?
Living simply means a few things to me: 1. Staying connected to and grateful for the basic elements of the Earth that sustain us as humans—like knowing where our food and water come from 2. Minimizing our waste and consumption. 3. Taking time to be present—which keeps us from always needing something else [materially] to be happy 4. Being resourceful with what we have. 5. Keeping our priorities focused around the basics of love, positivity, and compassion for others and for the planet.
What sort of meals/food do you eat while living on Swell?
Well, I recently became a much more conscious eater. I’ve decided to eat vegan now when possible. But will likely end up eating fish that I catch if I’m sailing through remote places. I’m really into growing my own food too, but aboard Swell it’s pretty limited. I can sprout mung beans, lentils, radish and alfalfa seeds, etc. And I’ll have my little herb-and-greens garden going again once I get Swell back in the water! I eat a lot of nuts, fruit, sprouts, beans, roots, honey, curries, oatmeal, hummus, and raw veggies. And it’s amazing how much organic food I’m starting to find in French Polynesia. I import a lot of staples, like walnuts, when possible. I feel like we have really lost touch with our food in the modern world and going vegan has not only helped me educate myself about where my food comes from, but I feel much healthier and energetic. I also avoid supporting the mistreatment of animals on factory farms and do my part in making sure there will be seafood around for our grandchildren. When I’m at sea I eat a lot of popcorn, pasta, potatoes, and rice because I can get a little seasick so my stomach prefers simple, salty foods.
Can you describe to us your favorite place you’ve visited thus far, and why?
It’s impossible to choose just one. I love all the places I go; each is unique and has something awesome about it! But in general, my favorite places are remote, wild, warm, and have coconuts and waves!
In summary, what are some things you’ve learned on this voyage since leaving California seven years ago?
• Always listen to your heart and do your best to follow it
• Living your passions makes for a truly fulfilling life
• Instead of blaming others for what’s going on in our lives, we can learn and progress so much if we look at ourselves instead and make change from within
• Every challenge in life—whether it be a situation or a difficult person—is an opportunity to grow if you choose to look at it that way
• The same lessons will keep cropping up in your life until you take the time to deal with them
• Nature, humanity, and all life on Earth are inextricably and fantastically connected. Abandoning the idea of self and seeking to understand and participate in this greatness is not only a path to huge personal fulfillment, but also contributes to a making our planet healthier and more peaceful.
What would you say are the five most important things in life?
I think everyone is wonderfully unique and each of us has different things to do in this life, so I think our priorities are naturally different. For me, the five most important things in life are: Family & friends. Truth. Surfing. Freedom. Nature.
This is an article from Salty at Heart Magazine, a bi-annual inspirational surf/art culture magazine. Read more stories like these by ordering your copy at www.saltyatheart.bigcartel.com or check out their website www.saltyatheart.com. The mags ship anywhere in the world!
You can follow Liz Clark’s voyage at www.swellvoyage.com