Gulliver says, "[...] I always believed it would be, some Time or other, my fortune to do."  What did Gulliver want to do, and how did he prepare for it?

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Gulliver believed that it would be his fortune, at some point, to travel.  In order to prepare himself for a life of travel, he continued his education for some time, procuring money enough to do so.  He studied medicine, what he calls "Physick," because he knew that such a course of study would be useful and practical on voyages.  After school, he got a recommendation to serve as the "Surgeon" on board a ship called the Swallow, and he was gone about three and a half years.  When he returned, he tried to settle in London, set up a practice, and got married, but business was poor and his practice failed because, as Gulliver says, he was unwilling to "imitate the bad Practice of too many among [his] Brethren."  He went again to sea, making several trips over the next six years, and he eventually returned home.  Another business failure led him to try his hand, again, at travel, and thus begins the story.

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