Since I can remember, travel has been something I had always wanted to do. When I was younger, the idea of it coming to fruition seemed far from my reach. Over time, material items took precedent and the hoarding of all sorts of items took over. I can only imagine the things my money had gone to. As any teenager/young adult, you make mistakes and you learn from them- and with time you realize the things that are actually most important. After finishing a stint in college in 2009, I really wanted to go out and pursue something of more importance. Like any goal in life, to achieve it, it takes time, patience, perseverance and what I think is most important- persistence.
It took three months of serious applying (and borderline harassing) cruise companies for employment. It is incredibly lucky that it only took me three months, as it seemed to be an incredibly sought after job. At that point I got hired to work for a company that did all the duty free retail on board many major cruise lines. To say the least, I was ecstatic. It was such an amazing opportunity! The first time I was truly on my own, travelling around the world, meeting people and really growing as a person.
Many people I know have wanted to and are considering working on cruise ships. It is amazing! However, don’t let this fool you into thinking that it is easy. Long hours (40-120 per week), hard work, minimal pay ($800 per month-regardless of the hours), highest of expectations and littlest of respect. Not incredibly glamorous. What it was though, was an experience, one that i would not trade for the world.
All the difficult days (and there were many) were trumped by the amazing ones. I have literally sailed around the world. Crossed the Atlantic by ship (more than once). Circumnavigated the globe. Crossed the equator (twice). Sailed through the Caribbean, the Med, Australia, and the world. Helped open a ship, sailed on it’s maiden voyage and even had the distinct honour to greet the Queen of England as she visited her namesake vessel. I consider myself incredibly fortunate!
It was one hell of a ride to say the least!
Looking back at it now, just as anything in life, there are things I would have definitely done differently. For the most part though, I wouldn’t change a thing (maybe I should have taken more pictures). That was the turning point of my life- It has anchored my belief system, developed my dreams and allowed me to be in a place now where I am really content with my life.
Without taking that risk, and that step and facing those fears, the likelihood is the fear would always be there. Although working on a cruise ship may not be the most monumental of feats, however it was a leap, not a baby step. Now I don’t fear leaps, I fear baby steps.
My suggestion is that everyone finds their leap. Don’t be afraid of it, go after the things you want, and if you persist, life will give it back to you.