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Community Highlights: Meet Paul Hardersen of Seadog Travels

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Hardersen.

Hi Paul, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for sharing your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
It all began in 2016, in St. Maarten, as I stood before the tall ship Vela, waiting to board. It was an unexpected feeling, excitement, anticipation, a clue that things were about to change. This was my first sailing experience in the Caribbean, and I had been drooling over this for at least six months before deciding to do it. That experience just before my first windjammer island-hopping sailing experience in the Caribbean was the catalyst that led me to where I am today. Since then, I decided to get into the travel business and shed my previous career. The sea’s call is real to some, and it’s a powerful draw. So, I have worked and learned and learned about business, the travel industry, and how to create a travel company that is unique, relevant, and exciting in today’s world. It’s been quite the ride. I ended one career, started another, and got married. I ended one business (rather painful but a great learning experience) and began Seadog Travels. I’ve learned many life and business lessons in the last six years, and I’m now using that knowledge to forge ahead with something that is a real passion for me.

We all face challenges, but would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Ah, you see, big life changes often come with big challenges. Going into business is a huge risk, but it can be done with the right knowledge, skills, and passion. So, I’ve endured many “fun” experiences, such as losing my primary income, the pandemic, getting COVID-19, watching the collapse of the travel industry during the pandemic, and scraping through the month-to-month to get by. A former friend once told me that I “have a high pain tolerance,” and I must admit that he is correct. This has been rough going, but I am persistent. I keep planning, I keep changing, I keep growing, and I keep going. There is so much good to be done, work to accomplish, and ways to make life better for everyone. Even at the ripe young age of 57, I feel as if it is morning in my life—full of opportunities, possibilities, and new adventures.

Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about Seadog Travels?
Seadog Travels is a travel company for people who love the oceans. Whether people are into tropical islands, beaches, sailing, boating, sea life, ocean conservation, snorkeling, or scuba – we are a company for you. Our vision is to both explore and protect the oceans of the world. We plan on doing that in two parts. Part I is the explore part — which involves developing a world-class, wide-ranging, ocean-centric travel company. We are designing a portfolio of immersive group travel experiences that include tall ship sailing experiences, epic tropical island tours, and coastal small group travel experiences. We offer cruise, boat brokerage, and travel agency services.

For the protection part of our vision, our goal is to do our part to preserve the health and vitality of the oceans; we plan to operate a fleet of tall ships that will combine epic travel adventures with real ocean science research. We will sail in the Caribbean and Mediterranean on sailing adventures. At the same time, we will integrate real, meaningful, and important research into every sail. This is our way of doing our part to protect the oceans and our planet.

So, who is Seadog Travels? We are adventurers, explorers, scientists, sailors, and people of all types who have a deep and enduring love for the sea. Our brand is clear and well-defined, and you will immediately know what we are all about. And we are pretty unique – you don’t find many theme-based travel agencies out there.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
Risk? The past six years have been a personal and professional risk for me. I’ve spoken about a lot of that earlier, so I suppose it’s clear that I’m a risk-taker in some ways. However, I think it’s important to be a calculated risk-taker. Know the risk, understand the risk, study the risk, and then go forth and conquer. Just blindly taking risks is often a road to failure. Being prepared for the risk will lead to a much greater chance of success.

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Image Credits
Photos by Paul S. Hardersen

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