In Venice, a Young Boatman Steers a Course of His Own.
By James T. Hamilton
I was on a sailing holiday, the sort with no motor boats or surfboards, no hot water, no food. I was alone, alone with my thoughts, alone with my memories.
I was young and happy, a man in love, with more potential ahead of me than most men possess in life. And this was before we had children.
Life would never be the same. I’d never again experience the excitement I had experienced on that day on the water, alone in the sun with the wind at my back and the blue sea at my feet.
I had just one life to live, and I could make that life anything I desired it to be. My whole future was ahead of me, and my life would never be the same again. This was my life.
It still is.
I was young, only 25 years old at the time, and I was happy as a kid in the middle of nowhere. My fiancée and I had just made plans to have a baby, and the thought of the years ahead filled me with a strange, dream-like euphoria.
I had no idea just how close I was to losing everything.
I was sailing off the coast of Tunisia at the age of 25. I had left my homeland and the life I had known—the life I knew could offer me such happiness, but still I left. I had gone to America. I had traveled with a backpack, alone and unencumbered. I had no idea what lay ahead. I had no plans and no one to meet me on the road, no one to share my adventures with.
My trip had begun a few weeks after my mother had suffered a massive stroke. I was at sea alone and not sure how I’d make it back from Tunis to my home in California.
I had gone to Tunisia the month before, but I had no idea what I