Sunday Book Review – Plunge – #Memoir – #Travel by Liesbet Collaert

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m excited to share my review for Liesbet Collaert’s new release – Plunge: One Woman’s Pursuit of a Life Less Ordinary. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from cover to cover – as well as the beautiful cover. Written in a conversational style that takes us in to Liesbet’s life living in paradise – where it’s not always paradise when the daily living is not all beach and fun, but survival methods, weather obstacles, and the toll it can take on a relationship living 24/7 in close quarters.




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 growing desire to be alone.

Guided by impulsiveness and the joys of an alternative lifestyle, she must navigate personal storms, trouble with US immigration, adverse weather conditions, and doubts about her newfound love.

Does Liesbet find happiness? Will the dogs outlast the man? Or is this just another reality check on a dream to live at sea?


Have you ever wondered how life could be if you had made different choices? If you didn’t marry early, commit to a large loan for the house, focus on your career, start a family?

Maybe you’re just curious about how a person thinking outside the box manages? A person without boundaries, striving to be flexible, happy, and free. What you are about to read is how one such person follows her dreams, no, her intuition, and how she survives her naivety, life altering twists, and a relationship in close quarters.

Plunge is a story of what happens when you go with the flow, when you have a bright idea – or thought you had one – and ride the waves of the unknown. Ready to hop aboard and delve in?


My 5 Star Review:

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 had finished their last sailing trip, they decide to stop in California. This is where she meets her husband to be, Mark. No spoilers in that transition, so moving forward, Liesbet decides to expand her travel visa to stay in Cali long enough for her and Mark to put together a new venture to sail the seas. But after testing out the sailboat life with their two dogs, they discover that Liesbet and the two dogs were constantly seasick, so plan B became to sail by catamaran, offering more room and more stability.

Collaert is a true rock. The one you want to be on your team if you were stranded on an island. Together she and her husband sail for 8 years, staying for months at a time on various islands from Mexico to the South Seas! If you think sailing is a luxurious and relaxing adventure, think again. A boat requires tons of work to maintain, especially when you live on one, and if you knew nothing about boating before, you’ll get a good education from this book.

Living life out in nature can be difficult despite the beauty of the surroundings. I think when most of us think about living on an island we picture fun and adventures, but when this is your lifestyle, it’s not all fun and sun. Despite the many obstacles and health issues taken in consideration, Collaert invites us in to her own thoughts and decisions, and isn’t shy about sharing her personal feelings about her marriage and other circumstances and conflict that arise, as she defines her decisions and indecisions bringing us into the love story embedded in this story.

Life on the water can be tricky when there are dips in the relationship, not just the water. We are peering into relationship and its ebbs and flows. Problems mount when loved ones back home aren’t well, when Liesbet goes back to Belgium for one of her visits and has grief once again as she has to enter back into the U.S. and when Liesbet shares her soul-searching and her struggles with indecision, weighing thoughts about if she should have children.

We learn how lonely this lifestyle can sometimes be, about self-doubt, following instinct, maturity and other life lessons we absorb through the journey. We get a feel for what’s it’s like to live with someone around the clock when tensions rise. When you’re living in nature and you’re also trying to run an internet business inside a sweltering cabin with dicey internet in a tropical storm or stifling heat, we learn how difficult it is to mix business with pleasure. Often there’s nowhere to go to blow off steam when emotions escalate and everything begins to get on our nerves. The author gets an award for that one!

I admire the author for bearing her raw honesty in her story. I loved this book as it encompassed so many aspects of life – desires and passions, determination, love, fragility, travel, and heart.

Three (of many) favorite quotes: “Word storm.”, “You can’t escape your struggles. You can only carry them elsewhere.” When asked by an old friend she encountered, where she lives, Liesbet replies, “Nowhere and everywhere.”


Visit my interview with Liesbet Collaert at Q & A with D.G. Kaye



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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D. G. Kaye – #Cruises – Part Two – Ship Tips | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Friday blogshare



Today I’m sharing my latest post – Part 2 of the Cruise series, where I write a travel column over at Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord Invitation. In today’s article you will find everything you need to know about booking cabins, excursions, shopping aboard and some personal tips I’m sharing. Hop on aboard and visit me over at Sally’s blog.


Travel Talk with D.G. Kaye



Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D. G. Kaye – #Cruises – Part Two – Ship Tips


Delighted that D.G. Kaye – Debby Gies is now a regular contributor to the blog with her new Travel Column. Debby is a non-fiction author who has received wonderful reviews for her inspirational memoirs. She also is a seasoned traveler and her book Have Bags Will Travel is packed with useful information and entertaining stories of her own adventures.

Last time Debby shared some important information on cruise lines, the various standards of cabins available, and the best place on the ship to be if the weather is a bit choppy.

You can read that post in the directory



Cruises – Part Two – Ship Tips

In my first post in this series I covered what to look for when considering booking a cruise. Today I’m going to cover some of the activities available while on a cruise, and some tips on how to save money when booking those activities.

Packaged Deals

Many cruise lines offer package deals you can purchase pre-cruise or while onboard such as beverage packages. Yes, it’s true that soda pop, tea, coffee, and some juices are free to drink while onboard, but beer and alcohol, bottled water, specialty drinks and coffees, smoothies, etc. are not part of free.

If you’ve re-booked a cruise on a previous sailing or if you luck into a promo offer at the time of your booking, often cruise liners will offer you bonus incentives at bonus pricing. With Celebrity, their promos change often and depending when you book you will be offered to choose 2 or 3 packages to add on to your cruise FREE. The choices can be anywhere from a drink package (including alcohol), your tips paid for the entire cruise, a $200 – $300 onboard credit (my fav!), or free wifi (rare but I managed to catch one). So do make sure to check on the special offers to get the best bang for your bucks while booking. You can always book a drink package of your choice once onboard, but typically, you’ll get a better deal when pre-booking your packages.

Note: I highly recommend if you aren’t offered a free drink package, to buy one at a reasonable price comparatively to paying for each drink you consume on the whole cruise. Without a prepaid all you can drink package the price of alcoholic beverages and any specialty drinks can add up to well over $1000 if you’re taking a 2 week cruise. For example, premium bottled water will run you close to $4 a bottle. On a hot pool day I have no trouble drinking at least 6-8 bottles a day. And that’s not counting a specialty coffee in the afternoon and a cocktail or two before dinner then wine with dinner. I would have no problem spending at least $80 a day just in beverages!


When purchasing drinks, sundries or any other service related product while onboard, you just use your ship card to make those purchases. The card is your method of payment for anything purchased onboard without having to carry money around. When purchasing service related products, you can expect to see a service charge added to your bill if your purchase isn’t included in a package.

You will also be expected to leave tips at the end of your cruise to your cabin steward and restaurant staff who have served you nightly in the dining room. These tips are pre- calculated on a daily basis and will vary from ship to ship but will typically run at approximately $12 a day per person. This is where choosing the ‘tipping package’ will save you a few hundred dollars, already paid for. Some passengers get angry over this tipping charge and if you find it a problem, you can always go to the front concierge desk and ask them to remove the charges from your room bill. But I will state that the staffers work hard and many long hours daily, so my take is that it’s relatively cheap to tip those amounts compared to if you were to tip every single time you were served food or ordered a drink. . . Continue reading



Source: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The #Travel Column with D. G. Kaye – #Cruises – Part Two – Ship Tips | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life