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Plunge – One Woman’s Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Tropical waters turn tumultuous in this travel memoir, as a free-spirited woman jumps headfirst into a sailing adventure with a new man and his two dogs.

Join Liesbet as she faces a decision that sends her into a whirlwind of love, loss, and living in the moment. When she swaps life as she knows it for an uncertain future on a sailboat, she succumbs to seasickness and a gro
Paperback, 318 pages
Published November 28th 2020
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Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Liesbet Collaert's debut memoir, Plunge: One Woman's Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary, is one of those books I couldn't wait to read. Who hasn’t wanted to be a wanderer, go wherever life led them, bravely face new adventures with courage and aplomb, make new friends in dozens of countries, and conquer crises as though it were easy. Me, I think 'wandering' is part of man's DNA. There's a reason we are the only species that inhabits every corner of the planet. The issue: Most of us think living req ...more
Marian Beaman
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-read
“I’d rather regret the things I did than the things I missed out on,” declares Liesbet Collaert. Readers will soon discover that the author doesn’t miss out on much, embracing the nomadic life on land and sea wholeheartedly. In her memoir Plunge, the author pursues a life less ordinary, just as her subtitle suggests.

As her story unfolds, we discover world-traveler extraordinaire Liesbet has earlier backpacked alone through Southeast Asia, has tripped in an RV with Mark through Mexico and Central
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As I was reading 'Plunge,' a friend asked me what it was about. I gave her a summary of the Amazon blurb, "It's a travel memoir of a young woman who trades life as she knows it for an uncertain future on a sailboat." In reality, this book is about so much more. With unflinching honesty, Liesbet Collaert describes the breathtaking highs and the gut-wrenching lows of living a life less ordinary. Her writing is intensely vivid and personal. It magically transported me to each of the scenes, making ...more
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm one of the lucky ones - I got to read the pre-order copy of Plunge by an author I've never met, and yet who I feel like I know so well. I've enjoyed Liesbet's blog posts about her life "Roaming About" for several years, and I've followed her plans as she's been writing her memoir about living without a plan, plunging into life instead, by sea and by RV. I am happy to say that PLUNGE - One Woman's Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary is fascinating, inspiring, honest, and touching. In a well-writt ...more
Lisa Wright
Sep 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An apt title in more ways than one, Plunge follows Liesbet Collaert as she sails the seas on a Catamaran. Always wanting to move on to the next place, forever travelling, forever a nomad, Liesbet is willing to take the plunge into the unknown on many occasions to keep her dream alive. Whether it’s choosing the unknown over the familiar, moving over settling down, or seasickness over staying put, Liesbet is always happiest travelling.
But this is more than a travelogue of places visited. From the
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sailing
This memoir has it all - adventure, romance, fascinating characters, and travel!

The author takes us on a riveting tale of her life as a nomad, exploring the world from a sailboat and embracing the highs and lows of life at sea. This memoir will appeal to all sorts of readers, not just sailors, because, ultimately, it's a story about the choices one woman makes in search of love, fulfillment, and happiness - choices many of us can relate to.

For me, what sets this memoir apart is its unflinching
Simon Prior
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After I had downloaded ‘Plunge’ early one morning, I thought “I’ll just have a quick look at the first chapter before I start work.” By 9.30am I still hadn’t opened my laptop or even had breakfast and my kindle told me I had read 20%. ‘Plunge’ is a compelling read and I had finished it in 3 days. Liesbet takes us on two concurrent travelling journeys, an exciting voyage sailing through islands in the Caribbean and Pacific that, unless you have your own sailboat, you will never see. And in the se ...more
D.G. Kaye
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Where to begin with this book? I’ll start with the genre – travel and memoir, adventure and heart is the perfect description. This author takes us with her on her journey to follow her passion for travel. We are immersed into the story by tantalizing descriptions of locales, ensuing problems that arise when living on a boat, and the dilemmas, emotions and crises that occur along her travels. What could go wrong?

Liesbet is a world traveler with no desire for the 9-5 life. After Liesbet and Karl h
Toi Thomas
May 01, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun but challenging book for me to read. Never the avid reader of nonfiction, I found this memoir very approachable and would definitely read more from this author. The reason this book was such a challenge for me was due to the authenticity of it. It is difficult not to become overwhelmed by emotional and personal judgments when reading the imitate details of someone’s life. Because you know it’s a true story, you can’t write certain things off as shock value or drama inducing, it’s ...more
Mary K
May 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. I was pretty much glued to every page. Collaert knows how to write and she knows how to create a page-turner. I loved the way she wove in her relationships, her honesty with her self-reflection and life in general, the unbelievable hardships associated with living on a boat for nearly a decade, and the excitement she felt with each new adventure. Great book.
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My sea sickness has finally subsided after being in the middle of the ocean, hanging over the side of the boat next to the author. Plunge left me ‘feeling all the feels’. I have read some of the amazing reviews of Liesbet Collaert's book. However my review may be different than the others.

Through the pandemic I could not settle my mind to actually read a book. Call it anxiety or being unsettled, my mind refused to still itself enough to concentrate on more than a page or two. That is until I b
Kathy Gottberg
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have been a reader of Liesbet’s blog "Roaming About" for years now and was so excited to see her memoir published. Through the years she mentioned certain things about her sailing life but I didn’t know what an amazing adventure it really was until I read her book “Plunge”. Liesbet truly walks-her-talk when she says she seeks out a life less ordinary because I can barely imagine the quest she experienced for eight years while undertaking this quest.

This book is for all those people who have e
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For several years, I’ve been a follower of Liesbet Collaert’s blog “Roaming About” where she shares the nomadic lifestyle she lives with her husband Mark. When I learned she was writing a memoir, I waited patiently, knowing it would be fantastic. Liesbet did not disappoint. From the first page of PLUNGE - One Woman's Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary, I was immediately drawn into their unique way of living. Most people would think they’d hit the lottery if they were able to do whatever they wanted ...more
Luisa Davis
May 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A tale of the sea, about a life on the move, about someone trying to figure out her own life.
What motivates people? What pushes people to make life-changing decisions? Liesbert's life is one led by her heart. She has a need to travel and discover what is out there and she appears to have endless energy, fearlessness and excitement. The book commences with overland travels but after ditching her boyfriend and meeting another, a boat is bought and there follows a life at sea. I know nothing about
Terri Schrandt
Jun 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It is not often I have the pleasure of not only reading a truly exciting memoir but also enjoy a friendship with the author and her husband. I have followed Ms. Collaert on her blog “Roaming About” for years and grew to expect impeccable writing and lovely photography. Through her blog, she shared her memoir snippets describing her experiences living on a catamaran, all while seeking to live a life less ordinary. When she was ready to publish Plunge, I couldn’t wait to jump in with her!

While the
Beth Camp
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Liesbet’s memoir begins with an exceptional decision: At seventeen, she leaves her family in Belgium to travel the world. Along the way, she falls in love and winds up living on a boat to explore the tropics and beyond.

This intriguing memoir is filled with a sense of adventure, happily recreating what life is like 24/7 on a catamaran, complete with dogs, loving partner, flying fish, dolphins, and visits from friends in the boating community.

Storms challenge Liesbet and Mark, for not every day
Kathleen Van Lierop
Jul 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Plunge is so much more than just a travel memoir. It describes the whole process
from the wish to travel - the plan - the practical things and the necessary decisions
to be made.

I admire Liesbet very much because she always makes the choice to follow her

I recommend this book to all who like to read travel memoirs and personal

With lots of pleasure I give Plunge a 5 star rating.
Greg Sifford
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Strap on your self-inflating life jacket. Make sure you are secured to the jacklines. Is your pet close by? OK, now you have already planned farther ahead than Liesbet did before taking the '"Plunge". Open to new horizons and new relationships, she has explored our world, taking the less-traveled land and sea routes. If you enjoy her story, invite her over. Like all good nomads she'd love to borrow your shower. ...more
May 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I've always been fascinated by the idea of sailing the Southern Seas, and living on a desert island. But as I'm scared of boats and get seasick, I stick to reading books about them. Liesbet and Mark's story is fascinating: deciding to travel with two dogs doesn't make for an easy life! Starting in the Caribbean, and then sailing the Pacific Ocean, the book is filled with blue seas, blue skies, and coral reefs. But life isn't always pleasure, and there's a lot of introspection and sadness too. I' ...more
Kimberley Phillips
Jan 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The perfect escape during January and it includes dogs! Right up my street.
Ronel Janse van Vuuren
Well-written. Love the cover!

At one point, I wanted to slap some sense into the Homeland Security guy who wanted to keep Liesbet out of the USA. I also love the dogs, Kali and Darwin. I might like them more than Mark, but that might have more to do with what happened in Central America than with him personally. Though, of course, taking his frustrations out on Liesbet instead of getting help isn’t counting in his favour. I think the wedding was as much as a surprise to Liesbet as to the reader.
Martha Graham-Waldon
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing

I plunged into this memoir and sailed happily away, living out my own fantasy life through Liesbet’s travels around the globe on land and sea. The adventures were amazing although not everything is moonbeams and smooth sailing. She candidly explores life and death along with the daily challenges of relationships and marriage. Artfully written, the author creates transitions that seamlessly flow from one period of time to another, making it a joy to read. I look forward to vicariously embarking o
Feb 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I like to read about other people’s travel experiences and the story of Belgium native, Liesbet Collaert, particularly intrigued me. Not many young women find the man of their dreams and venture off on lengthy road trips and sailing adventures, but this is what Liesbet did and has been doing for over twenty years.

Her descriptions of the Caribbean Islands and French Polynesia are captivating, and her account of crossing a turbulent Pacific Ocean in their catamaran was intense and vivid. With each
Liesbet is the consummate vagabond: from camper vans to hitchhiking and backpacking to sailboats. This memoir explores her life aboard Irie with her husband Mark, from 2007 to 2015: eight years of adventure sailing a catamaran from the east coast of the US to French Polynesia.

As a sailor myself, having made the same path, Liesbet's approach is brutally honest. She's seasick, doubts herself and her husband, and often times is frustrated by the reality of cruising or the nomadic lifestyle.

But Plun
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liesbet Collaert captures the frustrations and rewards, the sacrifices and benefits of choosing a life that isn’t rooted in a home on land. A life that requires constant, close-quartered companionship with a spouse is not easy, even in tropical paradise. Independent people can find themselves being very dependent upon the needs of the partner. You need not be a sailor to appreciate this memoir.
Debbie Harris
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an inspiring story with honesty, and love throughout. I have followed Liesbet's blog and always enjoyed reading her posts. This book tied everything together and I often felt se sick with her as she and Mark sailed around the seas!! If I couldn't travel this year then at least I could travel with Liesbet!!

A great action packed book to finish my 2020 reading challenge on with it being my 100th book read this year and the goal I had set for myself!
J. Dorner
Apr 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We are sailors and adventurers, just like Liesbet and Mark, and we remember as we started our travels, seeing her blog and reading it *now and then*. One day we sailed past a boat named Irie, the name ringed a bell. Then we bought The Wirie, and enjoyed WiFi on our boat, while at anchor, in one of the Caribbean Islands. So their names were familiar to us, but we were just never in the same place at the same time, so never got to meet this couple or enjoy each other’s company for more than a dinn ...more
Valerie Poore
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Liesbet Collaert is a Belgian woman living in the United States and this book recounts the story of how she and her boyfriend decided to cut loose from the demands and restrictions of a standard and routine lifestyle to go sailing with their two dogs. I received an ARC copy of the book from the author and am happy to report that it is a really gripping, compelling and exciting read.

My own home is on a canal boat and I have no desire to go sailing at all, but I'm fascinated by sailing memoirs. L
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Just when you thought living a sailor’s life was about endless summer days, sipping rum punch under swaying palm trees, and swimming with manta rays, along comes Plunge, a straightforward memoir about an unconventional life, written by an unconventional young woman.

From the Introductory pages, the ride this new author takes us on is bumpy, gritty, and real. We learn in the first chapter that Liesbet is an impulsive, adventure junkie with a mind of her own. Written more like a suspense novel tha
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Liesbet Collaert is a bilingual freelance writer, translator, editor, and photographer from Belgium who has been writing and traveling her entire life.

Her work is published internationally in anthologies and magazines, including Cruising World, Blue Water Sailing, Ocean Navigator, Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, Islands, Yachting World, Sailing Today, All At Sea, Caribbean Compass, and Zeilen. She

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