If only people would pay me for my looks. Show me the numbers!

My brother recently moved to New York City to work for a photo agency. He clearly has too much spare time:

If only modelling were a viable career... Thanks Ryaaan! (If this makes no sense, view my photos)

Money really isn't flowing at all this year. Bits of work here and there, but nothing reliable at all... Certainly nothing to sail around the world on. I said I was going to be honest about trying to do this, so how about I tell you how much it actually costs to 'get up and disappear', and how much I actually earn:

From July 2006 I worked for ₤12/hour, writing software for a company in the UK (working remote). I had a small amount of savings which I used as a deposit for Constellation, leaving roughly ₤5,500 ($10,000AUD) to pay over five months. I managed that, although only barely. My employer was starting a company, and cashflow was poor to non-existant, meaning I had many issues making payments. If you do the math on 40 hours per week, you will see I should have been able to make monthly payments of ₤1000 a month, however due to the issues outlined above, that rarely happened. Some months I worked few hours, others I worked excessive hours.

I rented out the other room in my apartment out for several months to reduce rent, however because my employer was UK-based, as were my boat payments, I most often had whatever I earned funneled directly into the boatyard account. This was convenient for currency conversion, and meant every six weeks or so, I would ask for a Western Union transfer to keep me going in Berlin with any extra not being sent to the boat. As these were far and few between, I spent a lot of time working out how to live cheaply, as well as subletting to reduce costs.

I had numerous promises to get a higher wage after January, but none of those came through. During January and February, I earned roughly ₤370/month. In March I worked for a Non-profit here in Berlin for €9.50/hour part time because I was broke, yet again. So, that job has been the only actual work I have done in Germany since I have been here, due to unemployment and language issues.

Speaking of which, some estimates state that east Berlin has an enemployment rate of 25%... If that's true or not, I don't know, but I have heard of other English speakers getting paid €3/hour washing dishes because no other options existed. Right now I wouldn't mind washing dishes for €3/hour really... Because if I worked 40 hours a week, at least the rent would be covered.

In March I was also paid a small amount for a US-based company I did some in-between-work for, which managed to just pay the rent. That work dried up, again numerous promises were made for further work, but it seems being a remote employee puts you on the bottom of everybody's list - They don't have to see you in person, so why bother being reasonable? I was working alongside Russian, Indian and Malaysian programmers for $15/hour, but when they can work for $8/hour, what do you do?

So, where am I at the present day? Right now I am working on my second German-based job, doing a small job for €500. To my knowledge, that is my last piece of paid work I have in the pipeline, since all I get elsewhere are promises. I also have a €600euro bond to pay on my house at the end of the month - I have no idea where that's coming from! Maybe I will be living on Constellation faster than I think...

I had ₤542 owed from my UK employer which has been paid last week into the boatyard account because I hadn't paid standing fees since August - I still owe them another ₤400 to be up to date. By July when I am supposed to be launching, I will owe them a total of ₤800, plus another ₤120 to physically launch the boat.

So in July, I need around ₤1500 to launch and sail back to Germany. It doesn't sound like a lot, but at my current rate, I'll be lucky to have half of that, if anything. I'm not really sure what I'm going to do, but damned if I'm going to give up. Every single day since June I have been thinking about this, working towards it and sacrificing for it. I will sail this year, regardless of aptitude, common sense, or finances...

For those of you in non-EU countries, keep in mind tripling my British or doubling my Euro earnings into AUD, and therefore exclaiming 'hey, he earns a lot per hour!' doesn't quite work. To make it more quantifiable, ₤12/hour is around one and a half to two times what a waiter in Britain would earn. In Germany €9.50 is probably the hourly rate of a waiter, plus tips. Also remember being a waiter means you get paid reguarly, and know how many hours you might work... I'm just mentioning all this so there are no thoughts of grand earnings or high living over here. I'm not complaining, just being straight - Do you know how many people come to this website from search engines, using the query 'how much does it cost to sail around the world?' - Quite a few. So, for those people, now you know.

Let's also put things into another light - I own a boat and can put pasta on the table - That's a helluva lot more than a lot of people in this world of inequality.