“In twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
The more I think about it, the more I realise how many spontaneous travel decisions I really made.
It was 2010, I was in “beauty school” and I sat through multiple classes, still not really knowing what I wanted to do in life. It wasn’t until we had a promotor come through the college and tell us all about “Steiner” and how “working on cruise ships will change your life”
Well, change my life it did.
Although I wouldn’t really know where to start with this story, I will tell you that working upon a cruise ship isn’t easy – you will need to get used to 14 hour days, sleeping during lunch breaks, eating powdered mash potato every day and getting paid absolutely nothing to do it. The reality of working on a cruise ship is not as wonderful as you would think.
You know what makes up for it though? Waking up in the middle of the Atlantic sea, swimming in the most stunning blue ocean of Half Moon Cay, The Bahamas… getting to enter Ripley’s believe it or not in Florida or simply laying on the deck looking up into the stars.
The friends you make on this cruise ship will be your everything, they will hold your chin up when you cry, laugh with you when you joke, and, they will keep you sane (along with alcohol you consume in the crew bar.)
I think the experience of this life, is like no other. On one hand, you a trapped, cooped up and unable to escape… and on the other – you are completely free, with only water in front of you.
Before you have the opportunity to experience ship life, you will have extensive and intensive training in Watford, London. This is NOT fun. 3am finishes and 5am starts aren’t unusual. Horrible spring felt beds, Scary group seminars in front of multiple managers and directors… and forget about traveling around London.
Though there may have been some negatives, but I do think back to this trip 6 years ago, and I smile.
I remember the academy in Watford, and thinking how beautiful this place was. I remember the first time I put on my uniform. Or the first time I confused the American’s and English with the words “thongs” or “maccas.”
Other insignificant memories that stay with me forever are things like finally seeing the London eye (even if it was just once) or leaving left over Italian outside our window because it was freezing outside.
I think back to this small stint overseas and realise that this whole trip pointed me in the direction of where I am today. I realised I wanted my own freedom to do what I want, and to travel wherever I desire. This trip gave me a taste of what else is out there, and for that – I would do it a million times over.
The only advise I could ever give to anyone looking at doing this, is do your research, be willing to give up your time for little in return, be willing to work more hours then you sleep and be realistic when it comes to traveling away from the ship.