In a new series we are calling Rowing Your World, we will introduce you to some of the clients who join us on our trips. In this post, meet Kathy Berezin, who blends her love of rowing and love of travel regularly. We not only think Kathy is special for that reason—BUT also because her inspiration to row came from something as happenstance as gazing at a lake. How starkly beautiful is that?
One day, 13 years ago, Kathy sat overlooking the 38-kilometre by 8-kilometre Lake Neuchâtel, the largest lake in Switzerland, where she lived lakeside in Neuchâtel.
“I thought ‘I want to do something in, on or with that lake,’” she says, now retired from her finance and IT career, which brought her to Switzerland from Maine 18 years ago.
After a little more lake gazing, Kathy discovered rowing through a club that hosted a booth at a wine festival. She joined and loved it immediately.
“I love the serenity of the dawn, when I row. I row mostly in doubles or quads, but although I enjoy rowing with others, I prefer the team camaraderie over the chatter. At first, it helped me integrate into a new country, as I had to speak French with a large group of all ages. It was a great social outlet. Now, I love that I’m pretty good at rowing.”
Despite living in a place she calls paradise, Kathy loves to travel almost as much as she loves to row, stating that beyond learning about the history, geography, culture and cuisine of a place, she enjoys the lifetime memories that can come from travel.
“Rowing across the equator on that crazy, challenging, gorgeous trip to the Maldives definitely gave me something to talk about if one day I’m in a nursing home,” she jokes, feeling lucky she discovered Rowing The World.
Kathy was browsing around looking for a trip with others because she doesn’t like to travel alone and came across Rowing The World’s site. Coincidentally, Rowing The World’s president, Ruth Marr, was in Switzerland, and suggested a meeting. After chatting for more than two hours, Kathy was ready to try a trip.
Since then, she has been on four Rowing The World trips—Ireland, Maldives, South Africa and France—and will join Rowing The World in Germany on the Mosel River this year, with a few others from Kathy’s club. She was also the first person to sign up for Tasmania, our first ever rowing trip in Australia.
“On my first trip to Ireland, the rowing, accommodations, extra activities, food, wine, learning, the people on the trip—everything was five-star. I am not talking about five-star luxury but the forethought, effort, care and passion that Rowing the World (and Ruth) exudes to create a trip, which really becomes YOUR trip. La classe! is how we say it in French.”
“On the two-week South Africa trip, I learned so much with the historic guided tours, and loved the coastline, botanical gardens, safari, food, wine, accommodations, including an unbelievably cool art deco house with its own cook. One night, the Cape Coastal Rowing Club hosted a braai for us, which is like a barbecue. And that doesn’t even include the rowing! It was the royal treatment once again and a fantastic way to experience a part of South Africa.”
“Simply put, I return from a Rowing The World trip feeling fulfilled by the whole thing, the people we’ve met, sites seen and experiences had, but especially the presence and energy of the trip guides and leaders, especially Ruth Marr. She makes you feel special.”
“In October, I will be on the Mosel trip with three other members of my club, Société Nautique de Neuchâtel. This is their first Rowing The World trip but I know it will not be their last.”