Cassidy Grant is a 20-year-old from the United States who grew up on a 58ft Catamaran. Now stationary in Bakersfield, Calif., she is working towards a nursing degree and travels the world independently and with her boyfriend, Dylan Hickcox, when time permits.
Grant is no stranger to adventure. When she was in the 8th grade, her family bought a catamaran that they named Lil’ Explorers. She spent nine months refurbishing the boat before setting sail for three years with her parents and five younger siblings in the spring of 2013. Grant was the oldest of the siblings by seven years, meaning it was up to her to make friends as they would go ashore to new countries.
The boating community was an interesting one, Grant expressed. They would communicate via ham radios to other boats nearby every morning, giving almost a morning newsletter of sorts to other boaters, welcoming new families to the area and talking about any needs or events in the region. There was also a Facebook community composed of many groups for families at sea but were less reliable due to a need for the internet. Grant became friends with many people this way of all ages and walks of life. She said one of her good friends was even 60-years-old.
Her family moved from country to country slowly, often spending months in each place. The longest they spent in countries was 8 months, both in Panama at the beginning of their voyage and in Vanuatu at the end of Grant’s time on the boat. The shortest amount of time they would stay in a space was three days when they only needed to resupply.
Lil’ Explorers comfortably slept eight people every night but could fit up to 20 when the time came. With four cabins, two trampolines on deck and eight other beds “bunked and tucked in crevices,” they were always ready for a sleepover. This came in handy when her family would use the boat to ferry people they met from island to island and they used it to help with housing during natural disaster relief in Vanuatu in 2015.
Her mother is an emergency room doctor and her father is a nurse practitioner, so the time volunteering in Vanuatu was just the icing on the cake for Grant. After eight months of working to help repair the country after their earthquake and tsunami in the spring of 2015, Grant realized her passion for helping people and promptly flew home to enroll in nursing school at her local community college.
Check back here next week for part two, where we learn about Dylan Hickcox, Grant’s boyfriend and his childhood as a Third Culture Kid.