It seemed that there was little to differentiate one year from another: get up, go to work, come home and then occasionally go on holiday. And so it went on until one day I really woke up and decided we needed a change, a real change, as a rut had opened under the wheels of our lives as we were almost willing time away until that next trip.
So just what was it that my wife and I both actually enjoyed doing? Scuba diving, travel, photography, luxury resorts was a good start but then who wouldn't and how could I possibly weave these into a business or job?
It sounded a ridiculous proposition, but I started thinking. Diving was a sport that was moving up-market and yet I knew there was no information out there as to where you could enjoy fabulous diving and snorkelling whilst ensuring that any non-divers had an equally brilliant holiday. And where could you do it 'in style' - not sitting around on plastic chairs looking awkwardly fat clad in wet neoprene?
I felt there was a gap in the market for a book. But would anyone be interested in publishing it and more importantly could I take good enough photographs?
Amazingly my first choice publisher received my proposal with enthusiasm, believed my ridiculous claims concerning my abilities, warned me there was no money in it and thus Dive In Style was born, our house was sold and in short, life was going to enjoy a 'sea' change as we rolled out of the rut.
A rented flat, no day job - was I making the right decision, casting us adrift on the sea of life?
It was a worrying period haunted by the unknown, but then is that not really when life is at its best, when you are excited by the vast planes of opportunity, shadowed by fears, and with only yourself at the controls to navigate?
All forms of risk taking bring their reward as you face up to the fear of failure released from the safe boundaries of your former life.
Slowly the book began to take shape as the concept was warmly received by the hotels I had selected, and then I felt that just perhaps I was on to something when the incomparable Aman group agreed to be a part. Now, could I deliver let alone would the book sell?
So after sending out over a hundred questionnaires and trolling through the replies, chasing reluctant PR reps and regurgitating my memories of trips past, I finally reduced them to a shortlist of some thirty resorts.
Next up was devising the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to visit them all, working in over a hundred flights, trying for the right weather. All that had to fit in with hotel availability, packed with the guilty knowledge that this short list had to be whittled down even further to an initial 26, dependant on what we found.
This, as you can imagine, was a marathon task with endless false starts, until finally, arrangements made, my day of reckoning arrived and I had to confront my fear of inadequacy with camera and pen, relying and praying for nature and the weather to cooperate for the four short days we would be staying at each resort.
Most of you will be thinking 'what a wonderful adventure', and so did we as we set off, until I realised what I had undertaken and the reality of what I had contracted to deliver in such a short timeframe dawned on me.
No prizes for sympathy, but endless travelling. Over a hundred flights and wrangles with security trying to keep film out of scanners, time changes, diving, photographing, researching, writing, photographing underwater - all whilst trying to get nature to turn up and model and the sun to shine (the most encountered phrase was 'the weather is never normally like this' as yet more rain slashed down).
But still it was a million miles better than sitting in front of a computer, although I also had to do all of that as well as I downloaded, checked and backed up endless discs on a faulty CD drive. My office had become a 5-star resort!
Three years and over 50,000 copies in six languages later (which apparently means it just scrapes into best seller territory for coffee table books) I was surprised when Thames and Hudson, my publisher, asked me if I was prepared to do a follow up.
Naturally flattered and now with a little more self-belief off we set again and eighteen months later, the new edition of Dive In Style together with its website has just been published.
Exciting, worrying, sleepless nights and no financial payback so far, but a big plus in the life experience box and for now we are clear of that rut!