Calgary man quits job to sail around the world

A Calgary man looking for a ‘sea-change,’ has given his notice in his oil and gas career, and will soon set sail across the globe as part of a 40,000 nautical mile race. Taylor Braat reports.

By Taylor Braat

A Calgary man is escaping the daily grind and setting sail across the globe.

Mark Hagan has quit his job and is heading to the sea this summer.

“This is something I have to do, and threw it to the top of the bucket list, and here we go!” Hagan told CityNews.

Hagan worked in the oil and gas industry for over two decades, but says now is the time to take part in the Clipper Round the World Race which is 11 months long.

He’ll be leaving his day job in June.

“To wait for retirement and wait till tomorrow, just doesn’t sit with me, so do it now while I’m physically able, and, hopefully, mentally as well,” he said.

Since deciding he would take part in the record-breaking 40,000 nautical mile race, he’s lost 70 pounds and made it through an intense vetting process — but he’s only just getting his sea legs.

“I’ve never sailed before in my life,” Hagan said.

“The interview process is harder than any job I’ve ever applied to,” he said. If you’re on a 70 ft. boat in the middle of the ocean, you can’t really walk away from troubles.”

Meanwhile, the amateur sailor took part in training in the UK, and now he’s ready to take on an ocean racing yacht with his team.

He says he was laid off from his job during the pandemic, which gave him some time to apply for the race.

“I want to change and figure out my next steps. I have worked oil and gas my entire life, so what’s after this is going to be a complete change,” he said.

When he returns, his plan is to dock a whole new life filled with altruism and to help build homes in developing countries.

He hopes his decision will inspire others that there is no better time than right now.

“If you wait for others or make excuses, you’ll always find you’re working instead of experiencing life,” Hagan said. “It doesn’t have to be this crazy, but you know, do it!”

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