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When I was 16, I joined the army, where I spent six years.
John 16 year old
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?

To Page 3

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22