The books introduced him to all kinds of mysterious and faraway places and left him with a strong desire to see and visit them all. It was especially books on the arctic which caught his imagination. Despite his protests, his parents forced him to finish high school before he was allowed to travel anywhere. Hardly was the last exam done before he headed north. He soon found himself in a small town on the rugged west coast of Greenland, just north of the polar circle where he managed to find a job in construction.
The vast arctic outdoors offered endless opportunities for all kind of adventures, mainly cold ones. However, after spending a winter there he decided that there had to be more to life than living in the dark for six months of the year. So he packed his bags and headed south, determined to explore the world and visit as many countries as possible.
After a long trip crisscrossing Asia, he returned to Denmark. Looking to start a career he enrolled in university, taking the advice of his foreman who had suggested that regarding career choice he better try academia because whatever talent he had it was clearly not in construction.
He spent the next several years combining studies and travel, managing to organise trips to Asia, Africa and Latin America. After graduation he did a short stint with the private sector but he soon started looking beyond Denmark’s borders for new opportunities. He found work with the UN first in Egypt and later Switzerland. He returned to university to pursue a PhD in Australia. As part of his research he spent seven months in one of the poorest slums in Manila, the Philippines. While he had often encountered extreme poverty and despair in different countries and contexts, he have never experienced it so intense and raw before.
He left Australia with a PhD in development economics and a black belt in karate. He went back to working for the UN on poverty issues ranging from child labour, migration and human trafficking, to promoting policies for creation of employment.
He has travelled to more than 100 countries and has been posted to several countries in Africa, South Asia and South East. Regardless of where he lived he has sought to make the most of the opportunities the different places offered, whether it was diving the reefs of coast of Southern Africa, exploring India on a classic Royal Enfield motorbike or travelling in Myanmar’s isolated border areas.
Through his work and travels he has been lucky to meet and engage with people from different cultures and from all walks of life - from the very elite of society to the poorest labourer. He has seen first-hand the effects of poverty and conflict in many parts of the world. It has allowed him to gain a deep insight into some the darker sides of humanity. It has also has provided him with material and inspiration for writing and a wish to share his experiences with others.