She was a hard-working business consultant looking to change her life when she first decided to go to sea.
Now Allison Reede from Bolton in Lancashire has spent six months as part of the crew on the tall ship Lord Nelson as she sails around the world.
Allison is home for Christmas, but is already planning her next trip aboard next summer.
Richard Jones has this report from New Zealand on Allison's adventures.
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A campaign to tackle child sexual exploitation has been launched by Surrey Crimestoppers.
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