As I write this blog I am at an altitude of 36000ft on a British Airways flight from London to Mexico City… About 2200 km left to go.. Currently flying over Bermuda.. And on the flight map I’m seeing lots of names like Nassau, Miami, Freeport, Key West, Tampa.. and seeing these names is throwing me back to my ship days… Which honestly feels like a lifetime ago!
Albeit that I am thankful for those years (and so many wonderful opportunities and experiences had!) I can also look back and remember the not so wonderful times that came along with working in that kind of an environment.
You see, it’s not always as glamorous as it looks from the outside! It has its rewards and benefits of course, but with these come a lot of sacrifice!
Much of the time the benefits outweighed the sacrifices but over a long period of time I found that these sacrifices began to take their toll on my personal life, my family, home, career and above all my well being.
So choices were made!
Overall I was lucky. That said, some contracts were easier than others. Each one bringing with it its own kind of challenge, be it personal or professional, but it certainly was a time of learning and I don’t regret the decision to go and perform for five contracts during those five years. I also recognize that it was kind of a blessing in disguise that my last contract exemplified much of the negative and unhealthy aspects of working on cruise ships so that it kind of forced me to take the decision to finish… it had run it´s course.
Except for these handful of rather unpleasant and strange people with big egos and lots of insecurities.. I made some lovely friends and learned loads! I also had time to focus on my Alexander Technique, reading, studying, as well as planning for the future. While cruising, I was finding out about new cultures and seeing places I would never have seen otherwise, so for that I am forever grateful.
And cruise ships only continued to feed my love of travelling as well!
Sometimes I can have a moment of longing for those long sea days where I would go up on deck and stare out at the vastness of the ocean and dream and think, plan and prepare.
Nowadays those days don’t exist! On the contrary, time off is rarity and life and work responsibilities/opportunities have taken the driver’s seat these past few years, which is fine for now, but eventually I would like to see the velocity slow down a tad and for balance between professional and personal priorities to prevail 🙂
I sometimes look back on my contracts ¨at sea¨ like it was all a dream sequence lol! Then I log onto Facebook and see some of my former colleagues who are still travelling and working on ships and I’m thrown right back into those memories!
Does it make me miss it.. NO! (That ship has sailed – pun intended!) Well actually, come to think of it, I do miss aspects of it… Like the aforementioned travelling and lots of time off lol!
There have definitely been certain periods of my life that had a very clear beginning and an end.. Cruise ships was one of those.
So what did I do on cruise ships?
I performed as one of the lead vocalists in the musical production shows onboard. The performance cast consisted of approximately 17 performers. With four lead singers.
Luckily this job allowed me to continue to perform (and my love of JAZZ grew stronger and stronger!) and also save money! These savings allowed me to make some bigger and more permanent life choices.
One of those choices was to find my ¨land legs¨ again and it also made it feasible to move to Mexico City and begin my life here!
And gosh am I glad I did! SOOOOOO many wonderful things have happened since then! More to come in future blogs on that… for now,
I’m looking back on those years and I’m grateful 🙂