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post #54 of Old 09-11-2003
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If you really can''t stand school, at least get a trade or skill behind you. Diesel mechanic would be great as you could then earn money fixing other cruisers boats.....offering them a cheaper rate than boatyards would give you an edge.

Even something like a truck and forklift licence will elevate you above the bottom level of the employment market (it is a market, you are the product and if you don''t have anything to offer then no one will buy!!). However, I''m not sure these skills would be much use outside of the U.S. anyway.

But you are better off sticking with school until you graduate, your attitude to it might change by then and you will have more options.

Having said all this, I did drop out of High School at the age of 15.
But I am lucky to have two facts on my side.

1. I was born in Australia.
2. I was born in 1967

I am also lucky to have landed a postal worker job 15 years ago, driving vans, trucks and forklifts. Secure government jobs like this no longer exist here except for those like me lucky enough to already be in them.

You will notice I have used the word lucky a few times. Luck truly was on my side. Enthusiasm to learn and work also helped me. But things were different when I was your age and I would hate to be your age and unskilled now, even living in "The Lucky Country"

I know now that I can always get work because I have some skills to offer. It won''t make me rich, but it''s enough for me to now own a decent 29 footer and my own home.

I was also lucky enough to buy my own home right before the huge real estate boom that has been happening in this country for the last five years. This turned my initial $10,000 investment into $100,000 in five years!! That is what I would have in my pocket if I sold up now and paid out the remaining mortgage. But this is still not enough for me to chuck the job and go sailing long term.

But I am in a position to think about taking a year off to sail the Great Barrier Reef, this may or may not satisfy my urge to go cruising but I''ll worry about that later.

So the bottom line is this........

At the age of 36, I am now in a position to go medium term cruising because...

1. I have some skills that are in reasonable demand.

2. I have real estate and other assets behind me.

Just to finish up now, I was 17 last week (or so it seems!!!)

I wake up this morning and I''m almost 37!!!

Where did that 20 years go? I''m glad I didn''t waste it!!!

Oh yeah, stay off the drugs......I smoked lots of pot when young but couldn''t be bothered with it now. Sailing and simply messing about in boats is enough high for me now, along with a scotch or two in the cockpit at sundown :-)

S/V Augustan
Sydney, Australia

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