Casting Off: How a City Girl Found Happiness on the High Seas

Casting Off: How a City Girl Found Happiness on the High Seas

by Emma Bamford


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As a journalist for the Independent, Emma Bamford is swept along with the London rat race, lost among the egos of Fleet Street. Surrounded by budget cuts and bullies, the thrill of a breaking news story is no longer enough. And at 31, still struggling to get to a fourth date and surrounded by friends settling down to married life and babies, Emma decides to grab her life by the roots and reclaim her freedom . . . by running away to sea and joining a complete stranger (and his cat) on a yacht in Borneo.

Reflective yet humorous and self-deprecating, we share Emma's excitement and fear at leaving a good job for an unknown adventure, and join her as she travels to some of the most exotic places in the world and starts to realize what really matters in life. She discovers the supreme awkwardness of sharing a tiny space with total strangers, the unimaginable beauty of paradise islands and secret jungle rivers, glimpses lost tribes, works all hours for demanding superyacht owners, and has a terrifyingly near miss with pirates. Fending off romantic propositions from a Moldovan pig farmer and a Sri Lankan village chief amongst others, Emma finds adventure and happiness in the most unlikely places.

From planning each day meticulously to learning to let go and leave things to chance, Emma's story shows that it is possible to break free and find happiness—and love—on your own terms.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472906618
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,273,685
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Emma Bamford is a journalist. She has worked at The Independent and the Daily Express and is currently Deputy Editor of Sailing Today magazine.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1


1 Now, Voyager 14

2 We will have a fishy, on our little dishy 24

3 Getting into the groove 32

4 Culture club 48

5 If Carlsberg made coconuts… 58

6 What's the worst that could happen? 63

7 The jungle books 74

8 The (pygmy) elephant in the room 84

9 Almost heaven, West Virginia 98


10 Never judge a book 116

11 My new family - and other animals 128

12 Singapore Fling 137

13 What a difference a day makes 148

14 My Thai 158

15 Close encounters of the turd kind 167

16 Epiphany on the slow train from Stansted 180

17 Happiness is… 187

18 The curious incident of the dogs in the night time 201

19 Bringing order to the chaos 214

20 On a sticky wicket 226

21 Under my umbr-Ella 236

22 A passage through the Indian Ocean 245

23 Tough decisions 256


24 The Italian job 270

25 The first rule of customer service 277

26 Language of love? 292

27 He made me an offer I couldn't refuse 301

28 I'm reviewing the situation 306

29 Hell hath no fury like a fasting Muslim scorned 315

30 Put your back into it (or not, as it turns out) 323

31 Down time 330

32 Casting off 341

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