Three years ago, Sergio Basoli quit his job in Barcelona to pursue his one true passion: kayaking.
He set his sights on the Mediterranean Sea, and got right down to business. One year into his kayaking journey, however, a chance encounter changed everything.
Basoli arrived in the port of Sardinia, where he came upon a scruffy stray puppy. The little dog was barely scraping by on her own. Although his nomadic, seafaring lifestyle would make caring for a dog difficult, Basoli knew this little dog needed him. He knew, no matter what, that he'd be able to give her a better life than the one she was living.
Basoli took the pup, who weighed in at a petite 16 pounds, to a veterinarian, where she underwent a full exam. The vet found no health problems. And so it was settled. The little dog, whom Basoli named Nirvana, became his official first mate.
Over the past two years, Basoli and Nirvana have covered more than 3,000 miles of the Mediterranean Sea. Basoli paddles between 6-18 miles each day and the duo camps on a different beach each night.
"While there are so many things that you learn on such a trip, one of the greatest and most important is that you have to respect the sea," says Basoli.
In periods of cold weather, when beach camping isn't an option, Basoli and Nirvana spend their nights in churches and bed and breakfasts. Basoli makes handcrafted jewelry out of shells he finds in order to earn extra cash. He spends about $200 per month on food for himself and his companion.
Basoli has taken great pains to make sure Nirvana is properly outfitted for the seafaring lifestyle she lives. She has a whole collection of adventure gear, including a lifejacket, a sunshade to keep her face out of the sun, and a coat to keep her dry and toasty in inclement weather.
Although the dynamic duo lives it up, they're also on a mission to do some good in the world. They volunteer with Oceana, an NGO dedicated to ocean conservation. In addition to their volunteer work, Basoli and Nirvana have used social media to raise awareness about the plight of the world's oceans. They even have their own website, Rumbo Mediterraneo, which educates readers about two of the most pressing issues facing the Mediterranean Sea: pollution and overfishing.
While it's true that Basoli is doing most of the heavy lifting - paddling, setting up camp, and earning income for food and accommodations - he is still in awe of his little travel companion.
"Nirvana travels throughout this world with no luggage," he says, and that, ultimately, is a state of freedom he strives for.
What do you think of this dynamic duo? Let us know in the comments section!
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