I was born in Denmark before the arrival of laptops, Ipods and the internet. Travelling was not something we did much of when I was a child. Vacations were spent in the family summerhouse. However, thanks to the lousy Danish weather much of every summer was spent inside reading. While I worked my way through a great number of novels and classics over the years it was the tales of exploration that were my favourites.
Inspired by writers such as Jack London and Jørgen Riel, I was drawn to the Arctic from a young age. After finishing high school I headed north as soon as I could. I managed to find a job in construction in a small town on the west coast of Greenland, just north of the polar circle. However, after spending a winter there it didn’t take me long to decide that there had to be more to life than living in the dark for six months a year. So I packed my bags and headed south, determined to explore the world and visit as many different countries as possible.
After travelling for some time, I decided to follow the advice of my foreman who had told me that regarding career choice I better try academia because whatever talent I had, it was clearly not in construction work.
I spent the next many years studying, doing odd jobs and travelling before I started a career with the United Nations. In 2001 I left the UN to pursue a PhD at the University of Melbourne, Australia. As part of my research I spent seven months in one of the poorest slums in Manila, the Philippines. It was a very intense and emotional experience and it was during that time that I got the inspiration and material for The Ugly Child.
I left Australia a few years later with a PhD in Development Economics and a black belt in karate. The following years I worked on various issues ranging from child labour to migration, and human trafficking. In 2009 I took a job in Maputo in Mozambique where I spent my free time diving on the reefs of coast of Southern Africa and exploring the national parks in the region.
In 2012 I moved to India where I have recently acquired a classic Royal Enfield motorbike and I am now testing my luck and survival skills in New Delhi’s traffic. The wish to explore and learn continues to drive my life.
Through my work and travels I have seen the effects of poverty and conflict in many parts of the world. It has allowed me to gain real insight into some the darker sides of humanity and has also provided me with much material and inspiration for writing.
The Golden Temple, Amritsar