The company I work for hired a new sysadmin a while back by the name of Arkadi. He’s a Russian ex-pat (Siberian, to be precise) and made his way here ultimately through work. He’s a quiet fellow, but he has a fantastic sense of humour, and is a great guy to talk to once you get him going. Really, he’s the new Carl of the company… still waters, and all that. But there’s more to him than meets the eye.

You see, Arkadi has this dream. He wants to build himself a boat. A 40’ foot boat, made from steel, to be precise. And then he wants to sail around the world in it. But the incredible part is, he’s going for it. In his backyard. By himself. Now, that alone is incredibly admirable, I think. Honestly, how many of us have really considered pursuing our dreams with such dedication? But in order to achieve that goal, he needed to get an inexpensive house (building a boat ain’t cheap) with a large yard and neighbours that didn’t mind the sound of MIG welding, a combination of attributes that proved highly difficult to find in a home.

So, what was his solution? He and his wife bought a piece of land outside the city, and he proceeded to build his house. No, that wasn’t a mis-print, he built it. By himself (with a little help to get the walls raised). He and his wife even designed it from scratch. And all this without any prior experience in construction, just some background in creating plans thanks to his engineering degree.

Now I bet you’re curious what his house and boat look like, eh? Well, you can check out the websites for his completed house and in-progress boat by following the links below:

Frankly, his story is inspiring to me. He’s proof that anyone with the desire can achieve their goals if they’re willing to put in enough hard work. His achievements also make me realize how often I place artificial limits on my own capabilities. I just hope I can take a cue from Arkadi and push some of my own boundaries. Fortunately, I have some stepping stones in the form of a deck to build, a basement to finish and a garage to raise…