Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A little background

I'm Norwegian-Irish in origin and a real voyaging Viking to boot with discovery and adventure in my blood. My father is the Norwegian half and through him I'm descended from a long line of roving wayfarers. My mother is the Irish half (though she was born in Wales) and through her I get my misty-eyed Celtic romanticism. Fatal combination.

I was raised and have lived in so many places around the world that in reality I am a true world citizen and feel at home in almost every country I happen to land in. I'm thoroughly in love with life, with exploring new places, meeting people and making new friends.

Right now I'm resident in Brasil and have a house by the sea in Italy. As of November 1st 2007 I work in the Middle East (see Work Work Work! above). I've been married twice; don't have any children.

My principal hobby is photography. In fact I do freelance work (some of my photos have been published!) and I occasionally write travel articles for a Philippines newspaper. My dream is to get a photo essay published in book form. I've lots of ideas for projects - just need 6-12 months of free time to put a couple together ...

I should have been an archaeologist or anthropologist or something similar, since I'm profoundly interested in the origins, histories, languages and migrations of humanity. But I wanted to live in the present looking forward to the future, so I went for something different.

What will I do in the future? When I daydream I see me running a really friendly hotel in a tropical seaside location. Just don't see where it is yet - Caribbean, SE Asia, Brasil, Greece. All are good candidates, no?

Personal stats (for those who want to know)
I'm born on May 17th 1956 (Norwegian Independence Day!), so that makes me 51 years old by the calendar. I have absolutely no idea what 51 is supposed to feel like - I feel like 25-30. I'm still having way too much fun discovering the world to think about age. Oh yeah, and I'm 185cm tall, 74kg, with fair hair cut short and green eyes. No mustache, beard, tattoos or anything like that (yuk!). I don't exercise that much but I'm relatively trim. What flab there is will go when I work out for real these next few months (one upside of being in a military camp!).

My hot buttons
Travel, adventure, challenge. I'm a sucker for anything that has those words in them.

Things I promised to do that I haven't done yet
  • Raft the Colorado river
  • Take the Trans-Siberian express
  • Travel across India
  • Visit Japan
  • Visit Korea
  • Live in China
  • Stand in the ruins of Ur, Bablyon and Nineveh
  • Ride in a hot air balloon
  • Sail to the Spice Islands
  • See West Africa

People I admire
Nelson Mandela, John Paul II, Mother Teresa. OK that sounds platitudinous I know - the usual batch of the virtuous. But for me it isn't. and it's not because I agree with (all of) their views. I don't agree with Mandela's views on the role of the state in an economy, I disagree profoundly with John Paul's position on many issues and I don't think devout proselytizing is the right thing. What I admire is how they lived their lives - honest dedication to a reasoned principle based on peace and giving. And by doing so they helped transform the world we live in. By way of counterpoint I have no time at all for celebrities - unless I find they are doing something useful with their lives. Most aren't - they are just 15 vacuous minutes of media events or (worse) longer run media campaigns.

People I despise
Anyone who promotes and profits from racism, intolerance, fear and exclusion. Particularly and specifically European politicians who use such tactics to influence people, win votes and gain power. You know who they are. I've seen the damage these policies do to people and societies. They are beneath contempt.

My tear-jerkers
Stories of freedom and liberation. Homecomings, reconciliations and reunions of people split by fate, circumstance and time. Much to do with my childhood I guess, when I was often away from home (I was a boarder from the age of 10), as well as the consequences of the actions my parents took when they saw how I decided how I wanted my life to be.

Politics and religion
I'm fascinated by both - the subject of many an interesting conversation.

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