Nature Girl stories


 "It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams."
Gabriel García Márque

Tell us about your background and where you are from?!

My name is Iva and I live on a sailboat, at the moment cruising Southeast Asian waters. I was born in Mendoza, Argentina but moved away from my home country when I was five and grew up in Asia - mostly in Malaysia. I have a degree in Advertising and another in Events Management and while I worked for some time in those industries, a funny twist of fate saw me leaving the corporate life to sail. My fiancé Philippe and I have been sailing together since 2012 and our change of lifestyle has been wrought with challenges but has also been the most fulfilling adventure.

Making this change brought new meaning to our lives and we were inspired to share our experience with others, in order to motivate those who are dissatisfied with their current lifestyle to make a change of their own. We founded a production company and started sailing the region and filming.

Shapes in the Sand is excited to be a partner of your TV show, Dreamcatchers. You are in the middle of filming Season Two,Tell us a little about the show and what stage you are up to.

I am so pleased to have Shapes in the Sand as a partner for Dreamcatchers! Dreamcatchers is a concept that has been almost three years in the making. We are very passionate about our series and very grateful for the support from Shapes in the Sand. This series documents our sail to exotic destinations as we search for people who have decided to change their life in pursuit of their dream. Each episode introduces a new location, gives insight into our everyday life onboard Dali and displays portraits of people who have taken the leap, our “dreamcatchers”. We interview characters from completely different cultures, sex, age and social status in order to show that anyone can change their life.

In these close encounters with characters from all walks of life, we will strive to understand what led them to make the change in lifestyle and how they finally did it. All our videos are produced in the sincere and fervent hope that they will serve to encourage people to free themselves from dissatisfaction and start living the life they dream.* 

 What do you love most about living on your yacht?

What I love most about living on our yacht is the freedom. It is hard for me to put into words what it feels like to have this boundless sense of true freedom. The freedom to look at a map and point to an island and say, “let’s go there”... and then the freedom to go, pretty much whenever you like (elements permitting) and almost wherever you please (there are still restricted areas). The freedom to plan your days, weeks and months yourself and not have them be a carved from external obligations, this is what I love the most.

Image source via philandiva

Living on the ocean, have you seen the destruction plastic pollution in particular has on 
marine life?

Plastic pollution is a devastating reality and we see so much of it in the areas we navigate. We have sailed to very remote islands, without people for miles around but the beaches are almost always littered with washed up plastic. We sail to islands where all the children have access to education but environmental education is not a part of their curriculum. This lack of information translates into a lack of awareness and the result is continued pollution. In my opinion first world countries - who have already been through the same process - have a responsibility to help the developing world, and should do everything they can to raise awareness and accelerate environmental education.

I will never forget one anchorage where we invited the village children to visit the boat, offered them some snacks and were not quick enough to stop them from throwing the wrappers and cans overboard… When I tried to tell them in my broken Bahasa that it wasn’t good to throw garbage in the ocean, they just looked back at me perplexed and replied, ‘Why not? You can throw it and then the water takes it away.’

What ways do you implement sustainable practices into your daily life?

Living on a sailboat is a great exercise in self-sustainability! We use solar panels for our electricity, we catch rainwater to fill our fresh water tank reserves and to shower with. On a personal level, leaving the city behind to live on a sailboat has taught me that I need much less “stuff” than I thought to be happy.

* @philandiva - for more about our story and Dreamcatchers













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