The Return to Land

After a relationship of almost 7 years (on and off of course) at sea, I have cut my ties (or ropes in a more nautical term) and I have made the decision to stay on land. Gone are the days of packing for 4 months at a time with the hopes that I did not forget anything in my 50lb allowance per bag, and gone are the days of waking up in a new location be it at sea or in port. I will miss so many aspects to life at sea and the people who I was so lucky to work with throughout the years, but there are things that I now must pursue, and taking a chance on land is one of them.

For those who understand a life at sea, this might all make sense to you (the fear of going back on land, not always being around people if you want, etc) and for those who are thinking about going to sea, this post will be entertaining to you. For those who have no desire to go and work at sea, read away and I hope this will bring a smile to your day.

Here is my top list of what I have learnt/experienced/advice to you list:

  1. People are very nice. Do not be scared of going to work in a new environment. Yes – you are away from home, you will miss your friends and family, but you will create a new ship family, and they are pretty awesome.
  2. Real Estate. Do not get caught up in the whole, but he/she has a port hole, but is married at home. You will end up getting hurt in the end, and enjoy the company of your roommate. It’s not worth it in the end.
  3. Social Activities. You do not have to go out every night. You will be working until the day you disembark, so use your time wisely. Being tired at work, is not fun, either is going home due to your party style. Be wise. Be smart.
  4. Fresh Air. Go out and get a breath of fresh air, even for a few minutes. Your work day can be so busy that you might forget to go and get some well needed non-circulated air. Find the Crew Deck and just have your “ahhhhh” moment. Trust me – fresh air does wonders for your body and soul.
  5. Don’t be afraid to speak. What I mean by this is that if you have an idea – share it – however be careful of being arrogant – with so many different nationalities onboard, you might be misunderstood as well.
  6. Everyone was new once. It’s your first day, people are looking at you, you have been lost since you stepped onboard the ship, you can’t find your cabin, it has a different smell, people are running around, you feel that you are from another planet, yes – all of these can happen, but everyone has gone thru it, so you are around experienced people. Ask questions, smile, get to know others, and it will all work out. You will then see on the next turn around those who look lost, help them out – you were in that spot once.
  7. Take pictures. If there is one thing that I wish I had done more of, was take pictures to be able to reflect on the fun I had at sea. Even if it is with just your phone, or a disposable camera, do it.
  8. Along with take pictures, write a journal. The memories, the laughs, the events and activities, the ports, etc. Write it down and take a photo. You will not regret doing this years done the road – it will be all that more special to you.
  9. Stay connected. Communication at sea is tough, but make it work. Budget your phone card/internet card, because your friends and family at home will be curious to how you are doing and of course miss your presence. Life is like a roller coaster, you will be glad that you have the extra time saved on those days you need a smile from home.
  10. A smile is contagious. A smile is internationally known as being positive. A smile can brighten up the day of someone you just passed by. A genuine smile. Go and try.

Of course there are so many more points that I can make, and I am being quite sentimental – but it was a time in my life that I will never forget, and not be able to go back to. The friends that I have made, the places that I travelled to, and the opportunities I have experienced, have shaped me to who I am today.

Go out and make the most of your day, no matter where you are. And to my past life at sea – Thank you. I could not have become who I am today without the life I have lived being on the ocean.

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What good stories are made of – Faith, Trust, and Love Boat Pixie Dust

In the beginning was the word and in the word was the beginning.  A prophecy was made that would outline the 30 years to come under the roof of Deck 15 in a sheltered booth which had beautiful drapes to block out the paparazzi as this journey was one to be captured by the most curious of them all.

Waves were made and created with a defecto on the horizon, children were borne out of a sneeze and had henna tattoos and cradled in Mexican ponchos as the on lookers did their water aerobics with ease.  The wind was blowing ever so gently and the sun beating down on the locals and tourists and it was easy to recognize that this was a day to be remembered for many years to come.

The memories continued with strong winds blowing up the dresses of those who decided to Dance on Deck 15 and sing along to The Love Boat while doing the latest dance craze – The Issac and after throwing in a peg leg or two.  The night continued into the wee hours of the morning, when a small Asian Magician came to fetch his magical cash card and stayed for a word or two.  Eyes were tired, but the conversation was not.  It was well worth the talk that night, as it started something good.

The next two days were a blur of fun, snuggles, and a great photo shoot with backgrounds that only the best of the best Cruise Lines could provide to their savviest of passengers.  With columns and ships, the night was captured on a digital memory card, as being in the year of 2015, this was how it was done.  The time was ticking by quickly before the time to say til we meet again grew close.

A special dinner was had after a very notable Katy Perry performance at the Super Bowl, and the Asian felt as if he did not exist when the two at the table were smitten as it was told by each other and could be seen.  Snails were consumed, hands were held, and it ended with a snugglicious evening of a very sweet nature.

The vessel in which the journey started sailed out in the choppy distance from Los Angeles as the two had to part their ways for a short period of time, as they knew that they would both be seeing each other again soon as this journey was far from over.  I mean, there was 30 years still left to go as it was only like 4 days into this thing.

Days had passed, emails were exchanged and a friendly voice was heard on the phone.  There will be plenty more laughs, giggles, late nights of wine and conversations, jet skis, well anything with skis on it – brewski, ski, Hawaii-ski, and this will all come in due time and it will be what the best memories are made of.  This will happen for the next 30 years to come and each day will unfold a new adventure and the adventure will be good – just like the word.

You say goodbye and I say Hilo….Hilo Hilo

After a choppy 4 days at sea, it was worth the bouncing and early nights of sleep to make it to the first port of call on the Hawaiian Cruise – Hilo which is situated on the Big Island.  This island in the chain of Hawaii, holds a very special place in my heart, as many memories were made on this island during my time at Kalani.

Oh Kalani – if you have never heard of it or been – just put it in Google and you will find out where I decided to volunteer and spend not a lot of time at.  Kalani brought me a realization that I am not one who can be completely disconnected and live off the land, and share a bathroom with 15 other people in a hale.  However, it did teach me respect of the ‘aina (land), a quick snapshot into the beautiful culture of the Hawaiian people, and that I was able to drive a car, which was really an automatic car but almost like a standard which I don’t know how to drive, into the town of Hilo when you really needed to escape from being in Pahoa.  Again, Google Pahoa and if you know me well enough, you know that I would need a bit of an escape.

Friends were made on the Big Island.  A threat of a tsunami had be scared out of my pants, and it inspired one of my few tattoos, which is the Chain of Islands, and yes call me a tourist – but a proud one at that!  Volunteering was a great experience, and I was able to teach a Yoga Class, learn how to use silks, and also how to make lei’s.  I learnt about Pele, and even made a lei to offer to the goddess to protect me, as I felt that she was always close by.

Today I strolled the Saturday Market, tasted new food, had fresh pressed juice, spoke to locals in the running shop and learnt about an upcoming trip to Europe.  I was able to share my passion of Hawaii to the locals who came onboard the ship in the morning, just to be told that I looked like Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz, which is funny enough because she says “There is no place like home” and this is what Hawaii feels like to me – so fair comment and thank you sir.

Hawaii is a place that I want to share with others.  I hope that this small insight into the Hawaii that I see has given you the inspiration to see what the Islands are truly about.  It is very simple, and I like to call it “Aloha”.

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11 months have gone by

Can you believe that it has been 11 months since the last time that I posted by thoughts, my words, my desires on a screen to be shared with those who enjoy what I have to say and share? Wow – how the time does go by fast.

Life has thrown some interesting curve balls my way throughout the past year, which have included new love and saying till we meet again to that love, travels to Asia numerous times, being in Alaska for the summer, enjoying time in Mexico for my birthday, being in and out of Florida and going to the Caribbean and Jamaica, and then travelling across the States to go back to being based out of LA and sailing to Hawaii.

Yes – Hawaii – I am currently en route to the land where I believe is my true calling home.  The place where I feel the magic of the islands embrace me as I come closer each day while sailing at sea.  When I arrive to the Islands of Hawaii, I immediately feel centered and at an indescribable peace with myself.  The surroundings are beyond familiar, and the people are like from a movie that I have watched hundreds of times as they are that familiar.  The smell, the sounds, the natural feeling of being home brings me to state of calmness that I can not explain.  As I write, I am being bounced around on a ship and I don’t mind the rough seas, the windy weather, because I know what is on the horizon and in less than 36 hours I will be saying Aloha to Hilo.

Things have started to make sense to me again.  I have felt like I was lost in a sea of the unknown and questioning to who I was, what did I truly want, and do I really care about what I do.  I feel that this year is going to be a real year of positive change, and a year of exploration to get to the core of who I am and not to be persuading by other influences to say what is right and what is wrong according to those sources.  This is a year to step beyond the boundaries that I have created for myself and not to fear the fun that can exist outside of those parameters.  It is time to say “Why not, let’s do it” and just get out there.  To know that there is more than just looking for a place to sit, eat, drink and unwind.  Because life is an adventure, and when sitting still, where is the fun in that?

It’s nice to be back writing to you all, and I hope that you enjoy all that I have to share because this year is going to be epic!

Mahalo!

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To See the Light, You Have to Know What a Bit of Darkness Is.

I have been known to be a very positive person, full of energy, life, excitement, but there is another side of me, which not everyone gets to see. There is a side, which has hurt many people, as I have been hurt too. There is a side of me, which longs for the ability to share my life and my passion with someone else (insert my numerous engagements here). There is a side of me, which tells me everything is going to be alright, but then doubts all of the decisions which have been made. This blog is about that side of me, as I do believe that we all have a bit of this inside ourselves, and I want to address this side of me today. I want to acknowledge it, forgive it, and move on from it. It is like a cycle of destruction, and I want it all to go away, and I want to feel that pure glow, genuine happiness, and a smile that I can not take off my face no matter how tough it gets, I can make it through.

First, I will start by staying “I’m Sorry”. I am sorry to those that I have let down, who have hoped to have seen a future with me, and either deciding it was best to our ways, or me just running away and not dealing with the situation with unanswered questions, I am truly sorry. I am not a fan of confrontation, and I sometimes live in my “bubble” world, where things may or may not exist. I am sorry those that I have hurt, and I know that karma isn’t a nice thing to come my way.

Now before anyone takes this blog too seriously, there is nothing to be concerned about. (Mom – I am fine). I just need to be putting my life into perspective in my 32nd year, and I should have had a lot of things figured out by now. I see my friends getting married, engaged, having kids, living their passion, sharing their creativity with the world, and I just want to know now, where do I exactly fit in. I have those who like to follow my travels on Facebook, wishing that they were living their life like me, but I can guarantee that at the end of the day, they have people there for them. With such a transient life, you meet people who you think are your close friends, but it is just for that short period of time. Don’t get me wrong, I have amazing people in my life from my travels, and I wish each and every day I could see them all or be able to communicate with them and have everyone together to celebrate anything.

I have made committments, and then broke them. I have committed to being super healthy, getting to the gym, staying away from my social side of having a drink, and then I resort back to my old habits. It has been a difficult year, but I can’t be referring to that anymore. No more excuses.

So – to make a change, you need to be vocal. You need to share this with others, and be able to have people hold you accountable to your words and actions. I ask you, my friends, my co-workers, blog followers, help me be accountable to be the best person that I can be. A person who is completely full of trust, passion, truth, self-love, and love for others. A person who has that sparkle back in her eye, and wants to make a positive difference to each person they meet.

As I said in the beginning, to know the light you have to know a bit of darkness, and I have had enough of this darkness. So – here is to the light, here is to me being a positive role model, and to ask for forgiveness to those I have hurt in the past.

Namaste.

Craigslist – You never know who you might find answering your ad .……

My writing had come to a bit of a stall as I prepared to move my life into a 7×4 storage unit in Vancouver.  I had originally had a larger unit downtown Vancouver, however, I was shocked to find out that for the cost for 3 months by the airport was still less than one month downtown!  However, I had to reduce the size of my storage, which meant – it was time to sell my stuff.

I had to do an inventory of what I truly wanted to sell and what I wanted to keep.  Also, putting a price on your items isn’t the easiest thing to do.  Many of my pieces had memories etched into them.  Although they were only one year old, it brought me back to my great adventure of moving to Vancouver, starting a new job, and my Mom putting them together.  However, I knew that there were people out there who probably needed them more than my storage unit.  So – this blog is dedicated to those who bought my “stuff”.

The Bedframe – Went to a lovely new father to be who moved from Ontario to Kitsilano in the summer.  He figured it was best him and his wife had a bed frame to sleep on instead of their mattress on the floor since they were now expecting.  So – first sale done!

The Patio Set – First of all, thank you to my great friend who actually donated this to my cause.  However, now it belongs to two lovely yoga instructors from Slovenia! Namaste!

The Dresser – Maybe my smarts will also rub into this very talented girl who is a SSHRC PostDoctoral Fellow with UBC. Fancy!

The Ikea Couch – there had been many who inquired about this couch, but my instinct went to a guy who had gone through a bit of a change in his life, and I just wanted to help as I totally understood what he was going through.  We had emailed back and forth and then actually started to text.  It was great to find out that he was actually moving across the street from me and he worked for one of my favorite companies who I fly with from time to time.  We knew people in common, and it was a right away connection.  Then, we met.  And, we moved.  No trucks, no trolleys, just our bare hands and determination.  There were laughs, jokes, thoughts of “why did I drink too much tequila at karaoke last night” moments, tetris like moves up his 3 flights of stairs, as there was no elevator, but it was fun.  I had met a great neighbor, but I was soon to leave.  We had a few casual get-togethers after, which again, was full of laughter and a sweet calmness.  Even to this day, I look forward to our emails, and I am happy to know that he will have a nice couch to add to his rather lovely wooden panel apartment and the memories that will unfold in his new home with his special sweet girl.

So – Craigslist – thank you.  You brought some great people into my life, even just for the quick moment of an interaction of goods and also the friendships to be.  It was a big move, yet a good emotional release, which was needed. 

Here is to the past, the present, and the future and I hope those who have my old stuff find the joy, excitement, and love that I had for everything that they newly acquired.

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