Ken & Zivile
I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. My entire family would spend weekends on Lake Mead water skiing and hanging out at various beaches. I always loved being on the water in the summer time!
After graduation from the University of Texas, Austin with an Engineering degree, I moved to San Diego and worked as an engineer at General Dynamic for the following 5 years. One day I get a call my college roommate, and he asked if I would be up to travel the world. A few months later I left General Dynamics and caught a plane to Japan, our first stop on an Asian tour. Best thing I ever did! Traveling changed the way I thought about other cultures and myself. 9 months later I returned to California broke with a bit of credit card debt, but my outlook on life was changed forever.
Back in San Diego I joined a few friends that started a company called KSA, and we worked together over 20 years building it up. Found out after several years it is much more fun to start and build a company, than to run it. We started one more company, QPAR USA, together, and I also tried my had in creating a product on my own. Though there was no big successes, thankfully there were no big failures.
It was jut nice being in Southern California where I could spend the weekends at the beach surfing, and I could spend nights playing basketball at the local university.
After Zivile and I had been married for about 6 years, we discussed making a change, and potentially travel the world together. First we talked about renting our home in San Diego and travel by plane, but over time we started discussing sailing around the world on our own yacht.
My sailing experience was minimal before taking the helm of Aquarius and totaled two sailing courses including 8 days of sailing, and for 5 years crewed on several sailing vessels for local races. The last few years of my racing career Karl and Christina purchased a 37 Hanse and named her Alacrity. Our best race was the 2016 San Diego to Ensenada race. We placed 1st in Cruising Class. That was a fun race!
Most plans are not realized without some major event, or events, to push them to reality. In our case, there were several events that all happened within 6 months. Zivile was laid off her corporate job, a close friend passed from cancer, and then the doctors warned me of a few health issues of my own. Both Zivile and I pushed the master plan forward, and it quickly became reality on January 24th, 2017.
We are now sailing together aboard Aquarius. I hope you enjoy following our quest for a more healthy lifestyle for us, and the planet on which we sail.
Zivile / Isabelle
I was born and raised in Lithuania – one of the three Baltic States by the Baltic Sea in Europe, where I spent most of my life. Being 100% Lithuanian, I have a very unique Lithuanian name Živilė, which in US and the rest of the world is very unusual. After a while I would end up being called Z or Isabelle. Isabelle was much more acceptable and at some point I gave up teaching people how to pronounce my name and explain where it is from and what it means. Sometimes I make it easy for myself and others and introduce myself as "Isabelle" :)
In 2009 I went to Miami for few months and there I met my husband Ken and “got stuck” in beautiful California, San Diego, where he lived.
What’s funny - I always considered myself as career driven – I’ve got my MBA and was always striving for better careers and positions: started as Product Managers Assistant, then became Product Manager, then wanted more challenge and freedom to travel and started my Commercial Real Estate career, which I loved a lot and was very successful. Then the 2009 crash came and that was the time for my vacation in Miami… In the US I did Residential Real Estate, which after all I decided “wasn’t my thing” and got a job at Cisco Systems where I was working as a Business Development Manager – again, I loved it and I think I did pretty well – during my 4 years there I got 5 Awards, including one from the Company’s President and my team mates.
Also, for the last couple of years I did Career Coaching part time ( www.AligningPowers.com ), which became a catalyst for us taking this time for sailing. Saying all this, although I am very career driven, I am absolutely sure that taking this time off for sailing will give me more unique opportunities in my future endeavors.
I recently realized that all my life I lived next to the water – river, lake, or the ocean – max 20 minutes walking distance and I must say I really love water… Although I have never been privileged or lucky enough to be sailing from young days, I like swimming, diving and simply just watching the water.
My other hobbies are traveling (60+ countries visited so far), spending time with my friends, reading, walking, and yoga. Also dancing :)
Below are my 5 top reasons for taking off for 2 years and jumping on a boat – me and Ken each wrote our “WHY’s” as we knew when there will be tough days we will be able to look at it and remind ourselves about it. Personally I named 17 reasons and here are the Top 5:
Live the life, not just try to “keep up with the Joneses”
Travel, explore, enjoy – what we both love to do, not just couple of weeks in a year to escape the routine, but in a full capacity
Meet and spend more time with interesting people
Be more mindful, understand what I want, not what’s been “pushed onto me”
Have a healthier lifestyle
Sailing experience: My sailing experience is absolutely minimal - about 5 years ago I took Basic Keelboat sailing classes for a couple of weekends and sometimes I would join Ken and our friends for sailing races, although I always found that stressful and not as much enjoyable as relaxed sailing…