Anke Ernst has in the past on Best of HR –® from her trip around the world about young people's attitudes towards life People reported. But there are other exciting life plans - such as that of Max, whom I met in Provence (France) and who goes as a balloonist wherever he takes him.

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The passion for the job done!

Actually, he studied engineering. His Mother still waiting for him to settle down and look for a “real” job. But it's probably a little late for that now, he says laconically. And tells us that he turns 40 today.

Max is a passionate balloonist. He seems to know the area above Forcalquier in the Alpes de Haute Provence department over which we fly, in his sleep. He can name every mountain and every place, we want to know how long he has been here. "Three weeks," he says.

He memorized the region using 3D maps. Max takes his job seriously – it is his passion and content of life simultaneously. Family he does not have. He was married for 10 years. But his Ms. has not endured the unsteady life of a balloonist anymore.

Provence, Tanzania, Beatles

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Before coming to Provence, Max was in Sri Lanka. For five or six years he traveled in Germany during the summer, often via Bonn. He spent four winters in the Alps, mostly in Gstad. Once he was in Australia and New Zealand.

He'll probably have a job in Tanzania soon. Sometimes when there are no jobs, it just hangs around. His most curious experience: once he accidentally landed on the property of ex-Beatle Ringo Starr. But he found it “very cool” and even took a picture of him, Max.

A passion for a summer job

Max was already cradled in the cradle: he was born in South Africa, where he started school. But then his parents went back to English Stansed.

There he also studied. During the summer holidays, he spent 20 years with a balloonCompanys hired - initially as equipment carrier. He flew over Siena in Tuscany for the first time and was seized by the passion.

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Live like a balloon ride

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Since then, his life is like a balloon ride: always depending on how the wind is turning. He never knows where it's going. This is exactly what he likes on the fly. He finds himself at a standstill. So to speak a mobile life under extreme conditions.

Some might consider that irresponsible. Or for an escape from yourself. I think it takes a lot Courage to let go in order to live out one's own passion and the desire for freedom so unconditionally. And extreme adaptability is also required, because you are constantly faced with new circumstances clear must come.

Less chance than you think

Ballooning itself is much less chance than you think. Because Max can also control by letting the balloon ascend or descend. At different heights different air streams prevail.

Provence, he tells us, is not a simple region, the Mistral is treacherous. That is precisely why professionalism and experience are required.

Hard work, lots of experience

And that too is a bit like in life: whoever opposes his passions resistors wants to achieve, must work hard and learn a lot. And you're not allowed to Anxiety also face the ups and downs of life.

Only with the necessary experience can one react intuitively correctly under adverse circumstances. And one is prepared for the accidental currents.

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What does the training look like?

Good 5000 professional balloonists are available worldwide. Very few work in the country from which they originate. If you only want to fly for private use, you need 16 flight hours.

If you want to take passengers, you need at least 100 hours. And for them Insurance you must have flown at least 500 hours yourself. It's not a cheap pleasure: Max has a good 25.000 euros in his Vocational Training invested.

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