When I was 16, I joined the army, where I spent six years.
After that, I worked for an American company. First as a mobile crane
operator in Denmark and later on as a foreman in Norway, the Middle and
Far East and the US.
Part of my job was to move and set up mobile factories, recruit and train
locals to drive trucks, load shovels and cranes. And then of course
running the production facility. We rust-proofed and weight-proofed(??)
pipes for oil supply pipelines. I really like working that way, being
involved in everything(/standing on your own two feet, edit). And
gladly(/willingly) with foreign cultures. I understand enough Arabic to
get by. I like living in a warm climate. I have never made this a secret
to Anne. I was working like this when we met. But from then on and in the
coming years something always seemed to get in the way of this. So we had
to wait. I thought we would never set off(/leave) (Denmark, edit). Quite a
few times we had been holidaying on the Greek island of Crete, and at one
point I thought that maybe we could move down there. Getting a job
wouldn't be too difficult. I'm a competent welder and fitter and somewhat
of a Gyro Gearloose. I have worked a lot on engines and cars(/done a lot
of engine and car restoration) etc. For several years I have been
supplementing my income by derusting, restoring cars, etc. Anne is also
"crazy" about Crete, but as long as Anne's grand-mother lives, as long as
the kids are young, then (there was) education......, etc.
In recent years, I have developed the idea that I don't want to own all
these things you end up buying and collecting. Getting a new car no longer
makes me as happy as it used to, for instance. If anything, I felt
tied-down. "Everything" almost started owning me; house, cars, etc. Maybe
because it was a constant reminder (to me) of how difficult it would be to
move away or (to) change the damn life you live. I guess I felt "trapped".
I don't know if that's your "normal" mid-life crisis, but that's how it
started for me.
I wouldn't say it made me happy, when I got rid of it all. But I felt
relieved. From the looks of things, I naturally feel damn guilty regarding
the kids and Anne (and rightfully so!). I was the one who broke up our
family, don't see them as often as I should. But my hopes are (ha) that
later on, I can make things right. I was hoping that the "answer" would
come to me, if I lived alone for a while. But of course, the answer never
came. Maybe the answer was for me to circumnavigate the globe, as I'm
doing now, and then figure it out along the way. If that's an "answer",
well, it was all(/everything) I got.
A short while before I was to resign from my job, all kinds of rumours
started circulating. We were ordered to stop all investments in production
(machinery, edit). Shortly afterwards, the company was acquired by
Carlsberg and shut down. I considered this a "sign" that I should start my
journey. I was getting "cold feet". I had a good job and all.
I have never tried not having a job, not belonging to a place, and now I
was completely free (and all alone). Having seen that broadcast, I thought
all night about sailing, being able to cope in your own little world. And
here this challenge was, actually there were lots. And I still hadn't
figured out what I would do after living alone for some months.
Of course I could have started to sail at home to gain experience etc.
after purchasing the boat, like everybody else. I'm just not that kind of
person, I must admit. I have got a greater deal of willpower(/commitment)
than I do patience. That combined with an "all or nothing" approach
(Scorpio). And really, what did I have to lose that I hadn't already
thrown overboard in the first place?