(2004) I took a leap of faith and joined the workforce of the cruise industry. This choice has led me to a life changing experience and destination to discover the stronghold of self-reliance and resilience.
13-years back, I used to spend weekends at my best friends’ watching TV series like “Friends” or “Sex and the City” or reading books and magazines at home which for the majority may be a simple thing but makes a 23-year-old appreciate life (and live as normal.) Until I began to notice my other interests and explored the crossroads which later has turned out into a career.
Too often, I am reminded that reality is what I have experienced and learnt in life. The ocean is my second home for years. Here, I found friends, love and opportunities.
So what is it really like to work onboard and what did I gain from it?
Who would never forget your first day at work? Because I can still vividly picture the experience and remember how it felt! ( I didn’t have the best time on my first contract by the way, lol). The notion of a perfect workplace did turn into scratch when I first started and even if some people gets in your way, it is your prerogative to maintain professionalism. There are always ups and downs in everything but learning to appreciate these experiences has molded me to become stronger and better. I honestly surprised myself to be able to stand still all through these years. I once battled to go through it and evolved; when you persevere and keep your values, you will truly succeed, which I did by the way.
I also fully realized how any relationships can be different too! That, as far as getting used to the unconventional way of living and the reality of a sea-based life have complexities in form. Relationships onboard can be tricky and to understand this distinct culture can be a struggle too, especially for anyone who has a conservative character influenced by your upbringing. Whilst the atmosphere onboard comes most favorable for the individual to get less (or more) intimate than friendship. For some, boredom eventually comes, so let it go; players play hard, so be smart! 🙂
In some rare cases, some relationships are meant to last longer (although some do not).
Because you will live in a multi-cultural society, you get the pleasure of meeting people from different backgrounds. Some you make acquaintances with, some will just pass you by, some are temporary, but some will remain in your life as best buddy and best friend.
Good news is, I found a few of them which I will treasure now and forever.