When you are on Gunilla, you are basically trapped. Not in a bad way, rather a good kind of trapped. We all arrive with the attitude that it’s going to be a fun, easy, eventful, and educational journey. Our attitude is completely right because it will be exactly those things.
There is rarely any talk of the tough times though, for example when you don’t
want to get up at four o'clock at night to put on all the clothes you own and throw yourself into the dark cold night, or when you can’t get up from the gutter, or even the homesickness that we always deny. There are many tough moments on the boat, fortunately all these tough moments are compensated by incredibly cool and educational moments, such as when you see dolphins jumping around the boat, or when you are at the top of the rig, looking all the way out over the endless sea ( that’s what it feels like atleast😊) or when you get to meet people who you would otherwise only read about in books, who tell you their life story in person. When you get to experience these things, the tough moments feel a lot less tough.
Being trapped on Gunilla, in a good way of course, makes you think of
things that you usually don’t think about that much. When you have the
same routines for 6 days (or more), you eat food, go to bed, wake up,
work, and study the same hours every day, you entertain yourself a lot
with your thoughts. The thoughts that you carry on and analyze and
evaluate every day can be incredibly meaningless, little things that
generally do not matter. But many of the thoughts you have, create a
bigger picture of the world, a bigger picture of your own life, a bigger
picture of everything you can achieve when you are 18 years old.
Family has been a thought that have been central during all three trips.
Missing my parents, little sister, and relatives constantly for about 2
months is a tough feeling, it can tear you down more than you think, but
it also teaches you to never take these people for granted.
Friendships are also a central part of life on the boat. You live close to about 40
of your friends for a long period, it just screams personal development.
You learn the interaction between lots of different people, you learn
that these people are as much human as yourself and can be in as bad a
mood as you can be. I could list many things that you learn about
friendship and family, but that would make this text very long.
Some things that are important for me is that you learn to prioritize,
analyze without overanalyzing, respecting yourself and your needs while
you can respect others and their needs, but also so much more.
The last thing I will mention about this is your view of society, Gunilla takes
you to places that you have never visited before but mainly places that
look completely different from what we experience in Sweden. The visits
to many of the places make one see how privileged we are, among other
things. You get, for example, a greater respect for democracy, but you
can also get a more critical view of our own society. These are just a
handful of things to learn from Gunilla. But being on the boat does not
make you a perfect human being, of course, but it makes you grow up and
see things from different perspectives, some may call it healthier
My choice of attending Öckerö seglande gymnasieskola may be the best
choice I have made in my life, so far and probably for a long time to
come. I am proud of my personal development during these three years,
all thanks to Gunilla and my parents who supported me through my high
school years. I'm incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to
experience this amazing adventure and for anyone who hesitates, just do
it, as Nike says. With this English blog I say goodbye, forever even.
Now, new adventures await.😊
Felicia Nordahl Vieira.