Island hopping

Hanging out with people that you’ve just met and it feels like you’ve known them for years!

Ending up on a sailing boat in the north of Norway

Yuva grew up just 10 minutes from the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea and has always had an affection towards the water. Yuva is a Biomedical Scientist and now she lives in Amsterdam, and said that this was as far north as she would ever go! And then she ended up on one of our sailing boats with a bunch of strangers sailing the waters of the Arctic! 

I love being on the sea, so I started to look for a sailing trip in the Mediterranean, because that is where I grew up and that is what I know. Then I started to look north, and realized that the harbors and places in the north are so beautiful! It was quite an eye-opener and it made me really want to explore this side of the world.

I love doing things that are very different to what I’m used to. I went to the website and I saw the gorgeous photos and I knew it was definitely not something that I’d not done before! I also wanted to learn more about sailing. 

Island Hopping in the Arctic

I went together with a friend of mine, and we looked at the different trips and saw the Træna Festival trip. What I liked about the Træna trip was that it was so varied. I often go to music festivals because I love music and dancing. Combining it with island hopping sounded just like a holiday in Greek, so that was it!

It’s like a ‘soft’ entrance to this whole Nordic world because you’re not heading straight to the Arctic with the cold and polar bears and stuff. 

Concerns & packing

I was excited and anxious at the same time because it was so much unknown. How am I gonna live with so many people in the same small space? Am I going to like it? Is it going to be really cold?

When it said on the packing list that I had to bring gloves and things like that, I thought, “This is June/July and I need gloves and a beanie?! That made me a bit nervous because even though I’ve been living in the Netherlands for a while now, I still have warm Mediterranean blood in me! Also, I’ve never been to Norway, I can’t even pronounce the names of this the places we are going to! 

I knew from my past experience that if you’re scared, it’s going to be a great trip.

The boats & the people

There were four boats with a total of 40 people, and most people were between 30 and 45, some younger, some older, and everyone in different stages of their lives, but it didn’t really matter, because everyone just had the same mindset. I could actually not believe that everyone was so like-minded! It was incredible!

It was a mix of people, quite a bunch of Norwegians, which was great because I got to know and love Norwegians. They have this amazing country with an amazing depth of culture, and they’re such beautiful-natured people, they are very respectful of nature and they understand it.

They really made me realize what an amazing country Norway is. Everyone was in such a good mood, it was a sailing trip, but we were always dancing and partying. I loved it so much that I started going out more when I got home to Amsterdam!

New friends for life

The incredible thing about the trip was that when I left after 10 days, those 40 people felt like they were my best friends from high school. I miss them, they have a really warm space in my heart. From the first day when everything was a bit new and scary, especially living so close together, everyone was super kind and positive that it just felt natural to be spending time with these people. I actually forgot what it’s like to be treated so nicely.

A bunch of friends having the best time

The sailing crew played a big part in making everyone feel comfortable. It felt like they took care to put people together who would get along really well. I really love that. It felt like the way that the trip was planned was just a bunch of friends going island hopping, going to festivals and fishing, and everything. A bunch of friends having the best time. That’s what it felt like.

They even organize a reunion every year in Oslo, so we all can meet again!

Sailing experience not needed

There were people of all experience levels on the trip. Some people had never even set foot on a sailboat before, but everyone loved it! And you learn about sailing during the trip, so even if you’ve never sailed before, you’ll be a sailor when you step off the boat.

Learnings & Confidence 

You definitely learn a lot about sailing on the trip! You can basically learn as much as you want to learn. Some people want to learn as much about sailing as they can, others want to relax a little bit more.

What I liked was doing all these things that I learned from books, in real life. And the things I already knew how to do, I got better at. I tried to learn as much as possible and get as much experience as possible. I’ve definitely become a much better sailor because of the trip. We even got to race in a little regatta, which was great, because it gave us a chance to put the skills we have learned to the test.

The whole experience made me realize how much I love sailing. I got home to Amsterdam and all I was thinking about was when and how to get back on a boat again. I even joined a local sailing club!

Highlights of the trip

The connections that I made and the beauty of the people were the highlights of the trip. Don’t get me wrong, the natural beauty is truly incredible, but the human connection was really special and a true highlight. I also had the opportunity to go beyond my own boundaries, which was definitely a highlight for me. To do things that I never thought I’d do.


Takeaways from this trip

The trip made me realize that there is so much more to being a human. Hanging out with these people that you’ve just met and it feels like you’ve known them for years, and you think, “That’s what being human is really about, that’s what really matters, the connections with other people”.

You are forced to be in the moment because everything you’re doing is so amazing. And so many of us don’t actually do that, we’re always living the future, thinking about the next thing.

This trip makes you realize how amazing NOW is. For 10 days, I didn’t think about anything other than just being there, at that moment, fully present. It was a real wake-up call for me.

I definitely came home a better person, both physically and mentally, and even emotionally. I’m a better sailor now physically, sure, but I’m also happier as a person and I look at life a bit differently. It really expanded my boundaries in so many ways. I mean I didn’t know that I could climb mountains or live on a small boat so close to other people I’ve never met, or even that I’m totally ok with the cold!

It’s actually funny, because I always said that Amsterdam is as far north as I would go in my whole life, but the next thing I knew I was in the Arctic and I loved it! It’s like I discovered this part of my personality that I never knew existed!

You can read more about the festival here.

Advices to people who are going on a sailing trip

Be open and stay open to variation and change. You meet all sorts of different people, there are all kinds of boats and there will be all kinds of weather. Even with yourself. You might go in and expect that you just want to sail or just want to relax, but you might end up doing the complete opposite, so be open to change. That includes a change in yourself as a person.

These trips can really change your life, but you have to be open to it, to new experiences, to new beginnings. So have the courage to embrace this.

Packing tips before a sailing trip

Then of course there is packing. As I mentioned, you get all kinds of weather, and it can change quickly so be prepared. Just because you’re going on a trip in summer in Norway doesn’t mean it’s not going to get cold, especially on the water, so pack a beanie and gloves.

And forget about cotton, go for wool! It’s the best, especially in colder weather.

At the same time, pack as little as possible.

There really isn’t a lot of space on the boat and you don’t want to be struggling with lots of things the whole time. Just keep it simple and pack only what you REALLY need. If you get to the boat and you see there’s something you don’t have, Norwegians are some of the most generous people I’ve met and they’ll lend you whatever you don’t have… or like in my case, knit you a jersey!

Next trip

I would love to go on another sailing adventure right NOW!! There are so many trips I want to go on. I love whisky, so I would definitely like to do the whisky experience and the ‘ski and sail‘ trips because I like snowboarding. It’s such a contrast, because in my head sailing is still in the Mediterranean where it’s warm, and here’s this trip where you go sailing and skiing at the same time?! That’s amazing.

Then of course I would love to do the Træna Festival again, because it’s so magical. There are so many trips I want to go on, but those are my favorites right now.

The originally interview was written of our partner, Kraken Travel, in the UK. You can read the original interview with Yuva here.

Yuva’s favorite trips

We're here to answer your questions!

Feel free to contact us +47 412 97 900 if you have any questions or want to book a trip.