Setting Sail for Adventure


Ana Tovar stands in front of mountains in Squamish, Canada. Photo contributed

Vila Miller, Staff Writer

Sophomore Ana Tovar has flown, hiked and sailed. She has seen the world, and she is getting ready to see even more of it.

Tovar’s next adventure will start when she leaves on another expedition to Mexico on her family’s houseboat later this year.

“We are hoping we can get out there and meet new people [and] meet other sailors that are doing kind of what we are,” Tovar said. “We really just want to start a story where we can just go and have fun.”

Tovar’s father bought the boat in 2016. Her family has sailed the coast of Seattle all the way down to Mexico several times already. This time, they are sailing to Los Cabos, which is at the very tip of Baja California Sur.

“The best part of sailing is being able to get out there and look at all the beauty that you just can’t see through a book or a phone,” Tovar said. “You can experience it yourself–right there.”

Tovar says her family is still fairly new to sailing, but they are well acquainted with seeing the world. Her family won’t be finished traveling for the year after their stay in Mexico; they want to go east.

Ana Tovar and her father pose for a photo behind the wheel while sailing on their houseboat. Photo contributed

“We are thinking this year, we are going to be doing—at least—a two and a half month trip down to Asia, and experiencing the local life down in Asia since we have some friends and family down there,” Tovar said. “And really get that taste of what it is like to be in Asia. We might go to Greece, some parts of Europe. It will be quite an experience in the next few months. We’re thinking about Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Laos, Vietnam and some other little local areas that we might find by opportunity.”

Tovar’s family has a style of traveling: to live like a local. She and her family had a chance to do this when they visited Peru, her favorite place she has visited.

“My mom just found some cheap tickets while we were down in Mexico for a few months,” Tovar said. “We just decided to go. We hung out with the locals there. We stayed in a local house down in Lake Titicaca with a family. We did some tourist stuff like Machu Picchu. We try to stay as local as possible and really get the experience of what it is to live in certain areas. We don’t do any resorts. If we do, it’s rare, and we hate it. We usually try to stay very local, very simple. We don’t do too much. We don’t like to do a lot of touristy things.”

Ana Tovar stands in front of the Machu Picchu Incan ruins. “We went down to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Lima and Cuzco,” Tolvar said. Photo contributed

Her family’s emphasis on meeting people and embracing the rich culture that surrounds them has made the most powerful impact in Tovar’s travels.

“You will meet some of the greatest people in your life,” Tovar said. “I have met kids that just amaze me by the way that they have lived their life, especially when I went to Mexico down around Christmas. The family we were with shared their food with the little money that they had. Just the community itself is one of the greatest experiences that you can get.”

Tovar hopes to keep traveling in her career–especially around the sea.

“I really just want to be a marine biologist,” Tovar said. “Again, going back to the ocean, it’s just like there’s so much of it that we haven’t experienced yet that I just really want to dig in and get more of it.”

Tovar says that, in the end, she wants to live life to the fullest and simplest. She would be content to spend her life backpacking around the world.