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I have been a hard core expatriate for more than thirty years, and I live in a parallel universe where dreams actually come true.

I discovered the parallel universe by accident when I worked as an eye surgeon in Saudi Arabia.

Much to my surprise, I experienced more personal freedom in the Magic Kingdom than any other place I worked on planet earth. I lived in a parallel universe where I was free to do what I wanted with my life without my culture forcing me into a mold which did not work for me.

The Saudis had no interest in managing my life - they only wanted me to do my work as an eye surgeon with integrity and excellence. What I did with the rest of my life was my own business and was of little interest to them.

At the same time, American rules did not apply. I didn’t bring American rules with me to Arabia, and I escaped the suction of my own culture. I was free to be me.

It was like I had gone through a worm hole into another dimension of personal freedom.

I am far from an anarchist, but personal freedom is near the top of my list of highest values. That doesn’t mean I behave in a socially irresponsible manner. It means I don’t let the world compress me into its mold and tell me how to think and what to do, and that’s where freedom begins.

I was surprised by the amount of personal freedom I had in Arabia. Everyone told me I was going to be hindered by the rules and regulations in Arabia. I quickly discovered that those rules were for the Saudis and not the expatriate community.

It was in Arabia that I discovered the joy of desert exploration. I had three Land Rover Defenders kitted out as expeditionary vehicles, and we joined the Riyadh Rover Register - a motley collection of desert explorers who spent each week end exploring 200 to 400 kilometers of desert in the Southern Nejd Quadrangle.

I obtained US geologic survey maps of Saudi Arabia, and on the weekends I explored the Arabian Desert around Riyadh for 400 kilometers in every direction.

In those days, there were no restrictions on our movements in the desert.

Occasionally a local Emir and his entourage stopped us in the desert and asked us what we were doing so far out of Riyadh, and we told him we were camping and exploring the desert. We showed him our official papers in Arabic from our employer that said we could drive anywhere we wanted in the kingdom - they would smile and send us on our way.

It also helped that I was a surgeon at King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital because their relatives had cataract surgery at our hospital, and they were favorably disposed toward those of us who worked there.

The personal freedom in Arabia also stemmed from the fact that the hospital was established by the Royal Cabinet, and if someone tried to mess with us, they would have to answer to it with the Royal Cabinet.

When we came to highway checkpoints, the officers always motioned us through in our Land Rovers because they did not want to deal with our sponsors. They knew that we were not troublemakers, and at the same time they could bring a great deal of trouble on themselves if they messed with us.

When I was in Arabia, I had three Land Rover Defenders, and I camped in the desert between 60 and 90 nights a year. We did lots of shorter day trips as well, and at least once a year we took a group of Land Rovers on a nine day 1000 km trip across the Empty Quarter.

By the time I Ieft Arabia to go sailing, I was a hard core expatriate addicted to freedom, and I became a permanent resident of the parallel universe.

Sailing around the world on a yacht appealed to me for similar reasons. I became a citizen of the world, a world that had no inclination to tell me how to think or what to do. Every country I visited was another location in the parallel universe. For all practical purposes, I was the invisible man on an invisible boat, and they had no interest in regulating my life or abridging my freedom.

The price of living in a parallel universe is that you never become rich or famous - to do that you have to surrender your freedom, and you have to dance to other people’s music.

Nonconformity is not a life goal, it is simply the byproduct of living in a parallel universe.

When you live in a parallel universe, your life does not go off the rails. Instead, you ride invisible rails that take you to your dreams.

Living your dreams is an act of defiance in a world that demands conformity.

Living in a parallel universe is celebration of freedom in an unfree world.

Now you know why I am the Invisible Man.

Long live the parallel universe!

Dr. Dave

Captain Dave - David J. Abbott M.D.





Exit Only

See what it's like for a family to sail around the world on a small catamaran

Captain Save Our Souls

Awesome music video that captures the essence of what it's like to sail offshore in a catamaran around the world when conditions are less than perfect. David Abbott from Too Many Drummers sings the vocals, and he also edited the footage from our Red Sea adventures. This is the theme song from the Red Sea Chronicles.

Red Sea Blues

Sailing up the Red Sea is not for the faint of heart. From the Bab al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, adventures and adversity are in abundance. If you take things too seriously, you just might get the Red Sea Blues.

Red Sea Chronicles Trailer

If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 1 - When Flying Fish Attack

Flying fish assault Exit Only in the middle of the night as we sail through the Arabian Gulf from the Maldives to Oman. And so begins our Red Sea adventures.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 2 - Pirate Alley

Sailing through Pirate Alley between Yemen and Somalia involves calculated risk. It may not be Russian Roulette, but it is a bit of a worry. Follow Team Maxing Out as they navigate through Pirate Alley.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 3 - Aden, Yemen

Stopping in Yemen was just what the doctor ordered. We refueled, repaired our alternator, and we made friends with our gracious Yemeni hosts. We also went to Baskins Robbins as a reward for surviving Pirate Alley.

Red Sea Chronicles Episode 4- Gate of Sorrows and Sandstorms

After you survive Pirate Alley, you must sail through the Gate of Sorrows (Bab Al Mandab) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Gate of Sorrows lived up to its name with fifty knots of wind and a sandstorm that pummeled Exit Only for two days. Life is good.

Save A Tree Bookstore

Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.