How does a middle-aged, seasick electrician with no money end up spending three years sailing around the world?
Dreams have a logic all their own. Some start with a flash of insight or a moment of recklessness. This one started with a handshake.
On a cycling holiday in France in 1997, my best friend Carl asked me an unexpected question.
“I’m going to sail around the world. Would you like to come with me?”
“Are you serious? You have no boat, we have no money and neither one of us knows the first thing about sailing. What’s more, I get seasick in 2 minutes. Believe me, if decades of nagging from my father hasn’t gotten me out on water, what makes you think I’m going to start now?”
The subject changed and we got on with our cycling, but the conversation stayed with me. After a very long, sleepless night I found myself saying “You know it might not be such a bad idea, after all. I mean, how hard can it be? You’re on.”
So we shook hands and it was a done deal. The little details –buying a boat, learning to sail and saving up money – took five years, but in 2002, we sailed away from Helsingborg, Sweden for a three year voyage that would change both of us forever.
I came home a new man with new dreams. One of them was writing a book.
Today, Carl and I lecture all over Sweden about our experiences. In response to audience reactions, we wrote a book in Swedish about the voyage.
Our story, however, is bigger and deserves a bigger audience. This is why I’ve brought in a talented writer, Tracey Christiansen, to help retell our story in English. The Spanish multi-artist Rodolfo Navarro will help us with illustrations, layout.
The result is Brave or Stupid , a book for anyone who has ever had a dream, anyone who has ever gone beyond what is sensible and realistic to discover a whole new world outside and a whole new person inside. The book is full of photos and illustrations from a journey that is everything you would expect and much you wouldn’t.