I haven’t written in a while. You know, life happens.

Today though for some reason I felt like I needed to write. Speak out as it is like a ticking time bomb inside me. The struggles of finances. Now some people might read this and think really now. But this is real. The actual struggle is real.

I have had this phobia with finances for many years. I struggle to save. Struggle to be “wise” with my money to create the suitable retirement that I need. Time is running out and I am starting to go into panic mode. Literally.

I have gone down the personal development route (still), law of attraction, the secret and even Tony Robbins. Don’t get me wrong, they have added immense value to my life and still is. I have made a great deal of changes and adjustments in how I’m living and thinking and approaching things. However, finances stays a struggle.

You see, no one taught me how to be wise with my finances when I grew up. No one showed me how to start early and save, invest and grow my retirement fund from early age. This is not to say I want to blame my parents as they are not financial gurus and they themselves don’t have a great retirement fund. Hence, why we children need to help them to make sure that they are okay.

So what do I really want to say today. I have spent years and especially the last year or two trying to change myself. My way of thinking. My relationship with money. Trying literally anything. Listening to audiobooks. Listening to people online. Taking free financial guidance courses through my bank on how to work wisely with my money. How to shift my focus.

This is freaking hard. I like to spend. Not crazy but I like to buy something if I feel I want to buy something. I have “anxiety” in saving. I feel like if I take this extra spare cash away from myself so that I can’t spend it – I might run into trouble through out the month and I don’t like feeling “trapped” financially. Can you see the catch 22 here?

There has been months where I wasn’t careful enough and according to my “budget spreadsheets” I should be more than fine for the month even when I put money away into savings. So why do I keep running out and don’t make it by the end of the month? I don’t like micromanaging myself. To put every little transaction into a spreadsheet to see where my money is going. It is just crazy. You will spend most of your day just staring at spreadsheets. It can’t be good.

I was so for the last couple of years focused on trying to create “side hustles” as an additional passive form of income, but every attempt I’ve made has failed. As there is really nothing that will just become passive income without putting in the hours. That I don’t have. So is creating these side hustles for additional passive income worth it? Knowing myself, the goal would be to use those funds to pay off all my debts quicker and or to save that to grow my savings faster but then I also know I could spend it because it is just there and the focus can become lost.

I’m trying sleep hypnotherapy, thinking there must be something wrong with my subconscious mind. Why can’t I get over these issues and be more like other people. To be wiser. To be better.

So like most people, I watch YouTube a lot. Like it has most probably become my main TV channel as such. This could be a good thing or a bad thing as there are a lot of YouTubers out there just trying to make money and not keeping the people that supports their channel in mind (having their best interest in mind) so to speak. What do I mean? We have so many young inexperienced YouTubers out there trying to scam and make quick bucks. Selling financial courses to show you how to get rich quick. So I know, there is no get rich quick solution. But due to the impatience, desperation so to speak one tends to gravitate constantly towards this as a form of solution to my problems. I can attest that they have all failed in my case. I have never been able to make anything work. From Shopify online store attempts with drop shipping to trading. It all needs time, education in the field and years of experience and knowledge building this up to make it work. Otherwise, it will fail.

As we know YouTube is my form of TV. So I discovered a guy that speaks about financial freedom and minimalism. He lives a very simple but wonder life. His focus is in the right areas. He makes incredible points. I do enjoy his channel. Can I follow it? This is difficult. One of my biggest issues in life is constantly starting something and not following through on it till the end. I give up. The paradigms and habitual issues are real. Everyday is a struggle with being very consciously aware of what needs to be done and the struggle of executing it.

So what to do. I’m already 43 years of age. I have a good job. I earn a good salary for the country I live in, yet I find myself in a situation where I have more debt than life savings and have nothing to even fall back on if there’s an emergency and or to be able to retire.

How can I change this? I have a financial advisor but he only recommends things to me wisely of course but it is still up to me to do the work. He can’t do it for me.

So what to do. I guess I need to try and set a 365 day challenge for myself. I will need to see if I can try and save – let it compound for the year. See if I can extend the challenge to a second year and then eventually make it a great habit. Will I be able to do it as I’ve tried to challenge myself in fitness, diet and all sorts of things and they have failed. Sometimes I feel like there is something wrong with me. Why can’t I get this right?

Well, maybe this blog will continue forward looking at this journey in finances. Maybe and hopefully I will be able to write again in the future saying I did it. I am on the road to some financial prosperity. That I can get rid of this anxiety of not having enough for retirement. That I’ve changed the course of my future for the better and that I will be okay.

Let’s see if I can make the right choices, changes and adjustments. The pressure is real. I need to lift it and have a happy life without these pressures. I cannot let this drag me down. Something needs to change.

If there’s anyone else out there that is sitting in the same “boat”. Please do comment and or if you have been in the same situation and have managed to make small changes that didn’t feel like huge ‘cold turkey” kind of changes and that it helped you a lot in progressing in your financial stability. Please do comment. Would love to know if I am the only one struggling with this and or if there are other people out there that has gone through this, is still going through this but making progress. Any tips and tricks would def. also be welcome.

I realize I have not written in a while. Covid challenged the human race in so many ways. We as a species were required to reflect. I wonder how many did.

Since Covid started, lockdown happened. You start searching. Searching for something. For change. For improvement. For happiness. For freedom.

My journey then started a few months in as soon as the lockdown relaxed. I decided at the age of 40 years I want to learn how to ride a horse. I needed nature. I needed animal interaction. The therapy of an animal that is so powerful and most probably till this day we cannot explain why this animal has such a therapeutic impact on humans. All I know is it teaches you things about yourself that you didn’t know existed.

Covid lockdown: Lessons started June 2020

Since then I’ve discovered a lot about my personality. How hesitant I am. How I doubt myself. How hard I am on myself. Criticizing myself in everything I attempt to take on even if the results are good at that point in time for say a first attempt, or when progress is made and I receive compliments. How I needed to be more sure about myself. I discovered I’m my own worst critic.

I discovered I’m afraid to take risks. I discovered I was afraid to push boundaries. I discovered that I need to be stronger and stand my ground otherwise the animal will just do whatever it wanted with me if I didn’t communicate clearly with it. SSSoooooo many things and one day you suddenly realize how much of this is true for me in real life. My work environment. My interactions with people. How I approach things. How I deal with things. How I don’t give myself a small pat on the back for progressing and appreciating a compliment even if I know what I achieved was not perfect but a step forward in the right direction.

Horses teaches you things. They calm you. They provide comfort and love when you need it most. Even if you just stand by their side grooming them.

I’ve learned to push through fear. I started learning how to jump small jumps. My heart races every time I have to do the jump even though I know how to do it. What it taught me was that you can push through the challenges, you can push through fear. You just need to believe in yourself and trust your ride. Put your trust in the horse and believe in it. It will take you and guide you. It feels your heart. It feels your anxiety.

When you do it, you take that leap and suddenly there is a feeling of happiness. Flying. Freedom. Excitement. Breakthrough. That is the same for the universe. How it listens to your feelings, energy, your heart and mind. It knows. It provides. It delivers to you what ever you put out there in abundance.

Jumping: April 2022

This has lead me to start exploring what makes me happy. How to identify what fears I have. What is holding me back in being even more successful in my career. Being more financially sound. Being more adventurous and getting that dopamine hormone that just bursts of happiness and energy.

Then I saw an article in a travel magazine one day. It was about a 7 day horse safari in Africa in the dessert. It is a really tough challenge. It is a place where you will be riding 200km – 300kms (125 miles – 186 miles in total and about 20 – 40 kms a day (12 – 24 miles) in grueling heat. In the middle of nowhere. That is about 6 – 8 hours a day in the saddle being challenged by many harsh elements including your own mindset. Your own psychological challenges that you need to face including saddle sore.

When I saw this article I knew I need to do this safari. Now there is a snag. I am a beginner/intermediate rider. I cannot gallop with a horse at high speeds yet. I cannot canter properly yet. I don’t have 100% solid balance in the saddle yet. I don’t own a horse to be able to spend many hours in the saddle a week.

I’ve set the challenge. 1 and half years from now I want to be ready. I want to be able to face long hours in the saddle. I need to avoid saddle soreness. I need to be able to handle my own psychological challenges while in the middle of nowhere and really just have my own company to get me through these 7 days. You will be challenged to reflect on yourself. Your life. Your goals. Your inner core strength. Your inner strength in general as a person.

But I want to do it. I for some reason feel like if there is one challenge in life I want to show myself I can do this would be it.

So my training is starting as of this month – May 2022 to increase lessons. To address long times in the saddle at higher speeds. Practice balance in the saddle. Practice inner thigh strength. Build up physical fitness. I will succeed and feel that freedom completely of running with a horse in the open plains of the dessert and to just fly.

Horses are slowly but surely creeping its way into my life. My goals and bucket lists have shifted tremendously over the past two years since I’ve started riding. All I want to do is experience life on horseback now. I want to experience cattle drives. I want to experience country tranquility. Wildlife. Disconnect from the current world madness of internet, social media and just its crazy wild mental influences. Instead I yearn for connecting with nature, wildlife and horses.

Filling my mind with a positive mindset, believing in my dreams and to push through fear. Anything is possible if you just believe.

“He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it.” – As a man thinketh

What a journey it has been for the last 1 and 1/2 years. I believe we all can say that pretty much.

I love watching period dramas and the latest one was Sanditon. A series based on Jane Austin’s last book which she didn’t manage to finish before she passed. What a brilliant piece of writing and I think kudos to the producer who managed to try and complete the work how he thinks she might have done it as it was captivating for me right till the end.

However, the point here to make. There was a quote in the story that I’ve come to love.

“A man cannot step into the same river twice. For he is not the same man and it is not the same river” – Heraclitus

I think this quote can mean so much in so many ways depending on our lives and current circumstances. For sure we have the choice to try and live through the past on “what could have been” or we can look forward and experience what can be. It’s a life choice that only we can make.

So over the past year and half it has been quite the adventure. I have been blessed beyond means with work, travel and adventures that have put myself to the test in ways that I’ve never imagined before.

However, one thing that I can say is when you believe things can happen for you. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is one of the most inspirational books you can read and if there has ever been a time that one needs it this would be it. Never could I have imagined that over the past few years I exercised this without really realizing it and once things started to happen for me and I became wiser through The Secret I tied the two together for all the positive fortunes that has come my way.

No one is the same after this 2020. We all have either more scars or more courage I hope to take life head on for its challenges in 2021. Like the quote says “he is not the same man and it is not the same river”. The world has certainly changed and we for sure have too.

Over the years I’ve dreamed of a job related to the cruise industry. I knew I loved IT work. I knew I enjoyed projects. I knew I enjoyed the cruise industry. I knew I wanted a “normal” life. I knew I wanted to travel.

I was unemployed for 1 year due to a lot of negative things happening in my life on board ships and predominantly it was due to my negative feelings and unhappiness in my work environment. I knew the work I was doing on board the ship wasn’t for me anymore. That it was turning into or moving into a direction that I wasn’t happy with. All that negative energy went straight into my fate. I lost my job in the end. After my ship contract finished I wasn’t offered another one. I ended up being unemployed for a year and lived out all of my life savings. Was at the verge of losing pretty much everything I had which wasn’t a lot – just my car but it had consequences. I could have been black listed for not being able to pay my bills and meet my financial responsibilities. I would not have had transport to go around.

A higher power had other things in mind for me. A family member got into a car accident which paid out just the right amount which I needed to survive for the next couple of months at the time when all my finances was depleted. A job opportunity came along which checked almost every box on my list above. A prophecy that was given and every word that was spoken was busy becoming a reality.

I started to write every day expressing my gratitude for everything I received, for everything that I will receive. I realised that the one thing in my past few years…that check list was all emotions that I so desperately put out there for the universe to see and I received it back.

What else did I learn from this whole ordeal so far. Patience is everything in life. You have to have patience. Even during the toughest times. Focus on your dreams, your life that you want. Feel those emotions. Dream it as if it is real. Put it out there. The universe does respond and give back to you. During this pandemic, I stepped into a role that I wasn’t prepared for. I received a fantastic salary which. I kept my job even though the cruise industry was coming to a halt. I was provided for. I was and am earning more than enough to save, be there for my family during these times and was able to pay back my loan to my family who helped me when I needed it most within less than a year.

Till this day, I am still amazed at what has come into my life. Never ever do I take it for granted. I write my gratitude down every day. My dreams are not done yet. I am still dreaming of my own beautiful house. Something that I’ve built. That I love. I am still dreaming of meeting a man that will love me the way that one should be loved. Be cared for. There are still much to be made a reality and every day I am grateful for having those things before it has even become a reality.

This has been a rough cruise, I know for most people this has been a rough year. A nightmare. I truly wish for everyone out there to be safe, believe in your dreams and never give up on them. Focus on the good things in life. The good feelings. When it is a tough day, focus on the good things. The family you have, write down how grateful you are to have them. For the funny things they say and how they make you laugh. Bring those good feelings into your life every day whenever you feel something negative come your way. It is important to fill your life and body with positive emotions. This is what carries you through life and that will make things happen for you.

Please don’t give up. Be responsible when it comes to this Covid virus. Be safe. Be respectful of your fellow human being. Protect yourself. Protect others and most importantly dream your dreams as if you already have them realized.

The Universe has a way of giving back when you need it most. The law of attraction is real. It responds.

“You don’t need fear to make a decision for you. Let your heart make the decision. It’s because you have love in your heart that you act on it.” – Listen to your heart Movie

So it has been one very difficult journey for the last 6+ months. My journey since last year as been very emotional indeed.

I get and understand people’s struggle in life when something happens to you and you lose everything in a blink of an eye. How do you continue? How do you stay positive and believe?

Well for the most part I don’t believe anybody can just be that. You need to break down. If you don’t you must be super human or don’t have any feelings of any kind at all. There has been more crying recently in my life than I can even think of from my past.

I do believe in the law of attraction and all that has come my way was certainly encouraged by my own personal emotions through out time. Today I’m living proof of that fact. I was in a job that I loved the salary, but didn’t enjoy the work so much anymore. So my day to day feelings of unhappiness became more and more predominant and well I guess I manifested enough unhappiness for the Universe to say well in that case your wish is my command and after I finished my contract I lost my employment. I wasn’t fired, but I wasn’t offered a continuation of my contract. My world was shattered when I received the news. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was on a path. A mission. Need to help my family. To support them and I created my own monster. How do I deal with this guilt?

It has certainly been a journey where I have had to deal with the “inner demons” to be able to move forward. Dealing with the shadows from the past that contributed to my current situation. To be able to forgive and let go otherwise you will never be able to move forward.

I was recently introduced to a book that has been on the market for many years. “The Artists Way by Julia Cameron” . I was told that I am creating my own blockage for success in my life. I’m too afraid. I feel like I’m not good enough to be able to deal with the success that will come my way. Please don’t think this came from a fortune teller of some sort. This was from a lady who has been through hell and back herself in life and entrusted herself to Christianity. She is now a living testament of how life, the universe turns your life around for you if you contribute to the energy.

I was encouraged by her to invest in the book “The Artists Way” and work my way through this 12 week program to deal with whatever little demons are hiding in the closet so that I can let it go and move forward to embrace my talents and turn them into success.

I love photography and take pictures as a hobby but very seldom and in between. Many people have told me I need to do this professionally but because I have never had any formal training I am very afraid to pursue it on professional level as I feel it is not fair for me to charge people for something that I have had no formal official training in yet to really produce the best work that I could possibly give.

So it is now about almost 1 week into the book. It is 1 chapter a week and there has already been quite a few tears as I am working my way through the tasks at hand. I can definitely vouch for this book. If you are open to allow yourself to start loving yourself and embrace whatever success is to come your way and allow yourself to be creative in every sense of the word – whatever your talent is. You will thrive. That is what this book is all about. To let go of anything – even subconsciously that might be holding you back and slowly but surely to help you and allow you to move forward and go for all the things that brings pure happiness into your life.

So my new adventure and discovery of myself is starting and I am hoping that I will do this book justice and pursue all my dreams and talents with no fear.

Recent Amateur Photoshoot I did while experimenting with a Petzval lens I have an obsession with. @PhotographyByElzaVisser

The other side of things

I have been debating about this for a few days now. Who knows why things happen to people and I guess one should just accept it and not to try and question it as where does it really lead and how will it really benefit you to waste your energy on fruitless thoughts.

I have been working on ships for many many years and it has always been a “love/hate” relationship with this industry however I saw a side to my company which in reality has always been there but just never thought it would happen to me.

Based on the past couple of months events in my work environment I have had some traumatic experiences which naturally happens behind the scenes which no guest will ever see or know about when they cruise. Regardless of all the harsh words we get, disciplinary actions that gets taken against us and how hard it is for us to digest all the events of what senior members of staff does we come out and smile and still try to give our best as we don’t know what has happened in your life and why you are there for your holiday break to possibly get away from just as much of a traumatic life experience.

I have come home to spend time with my family and to reflect on all the events that has come over my path during my time on board. Some were not wise decisions I’ve made but they were in all aspects with good intentions. Once discovered the mistakes you’ve made, management seems to feel they have the right to pull you in and yell at you, accuse you of being a criminal making accusations before knowing all the facts and then of course making sure investigations take place as to what really happened however it can never be left there. No matter how good your intensions were to help someone. You get put in-front of a panel, interrogated by the committee and given a decision if you keep your job or not.

My treatment over this time has made even me realize no matter how hard you have worked to get where you are, how much you have tried to earn the respect to be there where you are as soon as you make one human mistake which is in every person you will end up being treated like a criminal who as committed the worst crime ever.

I have left the vessel with the experience so fresh in my mind along with an evaluation based on these events and other challenges that we as crew are faced with in our daily work environment. It was not a good feeling.

I had a medical operation which was nothing critical however it was dealt with amd i was cleared for worm after being home for a month and very keen to get cleared for work i was also very fortunate to have received a new job offer within the company while i was recovering from my operation.

This was a relief to know that finally i am getting a new chance, a new beginning and will be moving away from the bad experience that I recently had and well new opportunity to learn and expand in my career.

The excitement was short lived. Once i was cleared from medical as fit for duty i info red the office so i csn be out back into rotation. Immediately the following day I received notification that no further contracts will be offered to me due to the poor evaluation i received on my last contract.

If anything in life, when you are rested, positive and cleared to be healthy trying to forget the recent horrible events you get an email to say you are out of work. It blows your mind completely.

The same day you receive another email from the new employer to say the same things based on the same reasons after the two departments have decided to correspond with each other resulting in the one influencing the other decision.

I lost two jobs in the same day.

How your world just get ripped apart in a blink of an eye.

You try to appeal feeling you have been unfairly judged and evaluated. That based on people bad judgement you have lost your career.

Cold heartless people who only sees you as a number and doesn’t have a care in the world if you are a father, mother, husband, wife with family to feed or home to pay. Doesn’t care to have a civilized discussion with you to try and understand why things happened the way they did. Only one persons opinion matters and it is the one who judged you by writing the evaluation you received despite the objections you’ve made to the evaluation.

I have come to learn that this industry as luxurious as it may seem to guests and that they are receiving the holiday of a life time we as crew are going through some very tough times on board. We are not being treated fairly. We are spoken to at times as if we are the worst people on earth and to be treated fairly you fight a losing battle when you try to fight for what is right.

I have tried to appeal to save my employment but to no avail. The responses was just as cold and to the point. No care to try and truly assist and see your side of the story.

Today i am trying to still digest the whole experience considering devoted 5 years of my life to the company and was planning to devote a few more due to the fact that i loved the company’s vision and as whole their product. I was proud to represent it as a brand.

Now, i saw a side that was so cruel and make me realize that i cannot worm for a industry and company who treats people in such a way that even when you worked so hard to get to this senior recognized position you get spit out the instant an opportunity presents itself.

Lost at the moment as how to proceed with life as this was all i knew.

However i will thrive again and i will not let other people make me feel less worthy then what i am.

May this be for any person out there who has gone through a similar experience. Keep going and fight for something better and what you actually deserve and are entitled too.

No one has the right to try and dictate who you are when they don’t know you at all as a person and to see what you really are capable of.

I will continue to cruise through life but the sails will just be taking me in a different direction and so new adventures will begin with new memories and experiences.

Staying connected

Now this topic I am sure I have covered before.  Maybe I am writing this because of the level of frustration that we as staff are enduring on a daily basis from the people giving us a hard time for a product that we don’t even have control over on board.  I am not sure if people think we would spend 6 months away from our family and friends to purposely take abuse from people for fun?!!  Would we offer this kind of a product to people if we were in charge of it and are desperate ourselves for a good connection to stay in touch with family and friends?

We all know (the well cruised peeps of today) that the internet / satellite services at sea is well to put it mildly quite awful to use at sea.  However, considering that I have been on these tin cans for around 7 years so far dealing with this department day in and day out taking the beating.  Things really have improved.  Most people don’t see it as the improvements/developments that we get on board happens pretty much every century compared to how fast technology is moving on land.

We are so left behind it is unbelievable but we have to make due with it as maybe people do not realize what it involves to get this beautiful “high speed” internet that we all are so spoiled with on land.  It is not just about the companies allocating more bandwidth to the ships.  It is a massive project to upgrade every little bit of hardware that they have installed initially on the vessels to improve service.

So in order to execute a project like this we are talking about a ball park figure of around $10 million per vessel!!!  Considering that these huge liners have up to 10+ ships in the fleet I am sure you guys can do the math.  It costs a few pennies!!!  So ladies and gentlemen who always feel they want to just come onto these ships having a go at the staff every day about how bad or slow the connection speed is…..

However, fortunately the cruise lines do listen to to 100’s and 1000’s of guest’s feedback over the years.  They are starting to slowly but surely upgrade the ships and systems to let people stay in touch with this modern day and age, as we all realize any business out there are almost 100% dependent on the social media for marketing.  They want you to post your experience and the pictures and the twitter updates etc.

So if not only for your feedback to the cruise line to make them listen, the tech world today is forcing them into it in anyway.  Even if it takes us about 10 years at a time to do so.

It is a hard sell this job.  People think we have a easy life but in reality it is very hard.  Every day there are people coming in being so rude and disrespectful towards us for something that we didn’t do and it makes you hateful for your job.  It makes you want to resign right there and then.  As you cannot fix it.  You cannot make it go faster.  You cannot do anything but just listen day in and day out to the same story over and over again about how bad it is.  About how slow it is.  About how outrageous the fees are for this service etc.  We know!!!!  We understand completely!!  After all we are all in the same boat remember?!!!  We all have to use the same connection!!  We have to go through the same connection issues every day along with you.

Sometimes, yet again I wonder why people always feel they can accept that their cellular services have the right to charge high rates for roaming services but we are not? Considering that we are all using the same technology and services?!!  Why should theirs be expensive and ours free?  We would go bankrupt and the cellular services can make their money?  It is okay?

No.  It is not okay.  Any business anywhere in the world charges for things because they are a business and need to survive.  Regardless of what it is.  Wouldn’t we all want everything in the world to be free.  Work for free too maybe.  Drive a car for free.  Stay in your house for free.  But unfortunately we are greedy human beings and created some ridiculous system called money and debt which was created out of thin air by us and now we are complaining about it?!

Absolutely fantastic.  The human race is just absolutely mind boggling sometimes.  We create our own issues and then we complain about it.

Well there was my own 2 cents about this world today with all its issues that was created by human beings and now we fight and argue and complain about it too.  Why not?

So I will end this blog here as I can see how I will just start to rant off again about another topic here which was not the point to be made.

The point is people, I (we) know the service on ships are much to be desired when it comes to staying connected to the rest of the world but please before you feel like being rude to some person on board a ship who has done nothing to you personally to provoke such behavior, rather wait before you go and see the relevant department and calm the heck down first!!  They do not deserve it.  They are all there to help and assist you.  The fact of the matter is no one can always be satisfied completely in this world where ever you go.  So if the answer is not what you like, deal with it.  It is what it is.  It is not your fault.  Those are the rules.  The policies and procedures.  They will all bend over backwards to try and give you everything you need but they also have their rules and regulations stipulated by the company and has to be respected.

If you don’t like it.  Then go somewhere else next time.  It is like driving a BMW.  You don’t like.  Go for Audi or Mercedes.  Who cares.  At the end of the day we all get to where we want to be but just in a different way.  It doesn’t make us bad.

There…. off the shoulders.  Feeling much better.

You would almost think I was having a bit of a bad day there for a minute or two…..

Becoming just another number?

So here we are still going strong on the ships working day in and day out trying to reach our goals but yet something is always just not a 100% right.

Could it be age? Maybe. Could it be the desire for change? Maybe. Over the past 3 months it has sure been tough on this contract although still a lot easier than I have experienced in the past.

So you discover with time that more and more crew benefits are being cut and removed. And then you get an email saying oooohhhh great news!! We are launching two new ships in 2018 and 2020!!! Amazing!!

And I am thinking…. Spending billions on two new ships and here we are offering 10 months out of a year of our lives up for better income/life on a cruise ship and it seems even the little things in life that is supposed to make our daily lives a little easier has been taken away from us. How can this be right?

So maybe yes the desire is for sure I believe for change. Change for the better for once. Looking after the people who are making this business survive. Without them they will not have one? So take care of them. Look after them. Make them feel like they actually matter and not just make them feel like they are another number working their asses off every day to give someone else the luxury and dream experience that they should be having. What about the people that is supposed to make it happen?

The result….change….leave the company…look for something better….look for a company that does actually care about their people and look after them. If you cannot handle the growth then don’t expand. Keep it simple. Keep it manageable so that you are sure your people are happy and you get the highest return from them.

So this is it. This is the conclusion that I have come to. This is an industry where unethical things are happening. Violations are happening and people are not allowed to talk about it. Nothing seems to be fair but you are always encouraged to speak up. Even if you do, you are put down.

Considering that I am still dependent on this industry to make my own dreams and goals a reality I will not give up and allow these companies to put me down. However I will for sure make sure that I beat them to it and progress to the next best thing. A better company who does care.

I believe even if I do leave there will be no tears from their side. So for many other people here.

What a shame that things have to turn out this way. I remember the days when I was docked next to some of these company’s ships and wondered oh my these ships look so amazing. Must be amazing to work for them. Well now I have tried and for a little while it was great. How quickly things can change.

But first and foremost my resolution in life is to look after myself. My health. My life. My future. No one else is doing it for me. Only I have that control. And so I will make sure that I am better off in life and will progress to the next step in my life, which will be even greater than it is now.

Let’s see what the future will hold and what new beginnings…

One of my many contracts so far and it is one month into the contract. I have the luck of doing Asia again for the next 6 months. Well to be exact 1 down, 5 more to go…..
So with this said, I have developed a great “fear” of cruising in Asia as for the “Communications department” it is one of the most challenging and worst locations to work in. Asia – Japan and China to be more specific provides us with so many restrictions on our Satellite communications and this result in a lot of very frustrated guests on board our vessel.

As much as you try to sympathize with the people we are at the end of the day all in the “Same boat”. Japan has been so kind as to provide us with free Wi-Fi within their cruise ship terminals however considering that you have 2000 people on board a ship which a very good couple of 100 of them tries to go outside in the terminal to use the connection it ends up being almost just as bad as the service on board.
Thanks to a system overload outside.

I have been very blessed however over the past couple of cruises that people have been fairly good natured about the situation however it seems like even that can run thin at the best of times.

We live in a modern world with people so addicted and depended on modern communications and the fact that you cannot have high speed broadband on board our ships makes it almost unthinkable for them. How can this be?

Why isn’t this free and fast?! It should be free and high speed. Those are most probably the most popular sayings I get to hear every day.

So my question is why is your mobile international roaming not free. That should be free don’t you think?! Why are your mobile carrier charging you so much for international roaming?! That is just a disgrace isn’t it? Why don’t you just have a go at them too while you are at it?

When that becomes free we will have a major revolution on our hands and the Internet on board will most probably also become free as where is the competition?

So with this said, you hear the same complaints every day. You put notices up everywhere. You publish notifications about the situation. You even tell them word of mouth how things are going to be…BAD… Yet they still want to use the system and guess what the very first thing that comes out of their mouths is “Wow but this is so slow. Why is this so slow?”

So I wonder why did I go through all this effort to Print, publish and verbally mention this to people like a 100 times a day just to get the very same result every time?

Your frustration level gets pushed so high and you need to stay as cool as a cucumber all the time. Very very hard to do in this situation.

Days like this when even the in-house system goes down and you cannot manage the accounts to make adjustments to time and purchases. Then you think oh please can Typhoon VongFong just not come our way? This is only day 1 of the cruise!!

So we go to bed at night in the hope that tomorrow will be slightly better with no issues and that everything is happy and good. Well only after a good strong hot cup of coffee as you need sometimes something even stronger than that to be honest in this business.

What a love – hate relationship this industry is. So many lovely people that makes this work so worth doing and then you will get the thorn in the fleece type that will just come right at you and bite your head off at every moment it will get.

Maybe a good strong hot cup of coffee with a shot of vodka….

New Beginnings

I believe it might be around 3 weeks right now on the new ship.  New position and well new everything as such. 

How has my experience been so far?  Good I suppose.  Every one deals with things differently on board depending on your position and what you do.

Me….. well…… so I have joined a new team in a new department which consist at the most of 3 people.  The new position itself is really nice.  I have worked in higher positions and considering that I was in the department before managing it I was quite fearful of rejoining it.  Fearful of experiencing  the same horrible experience I went through before with people just complaining day in and day out about something that you have no control over.

Somehow I have been pleasantly surprised.  The level of complaints are so low compared to the past position I was in.  Well then maybe it has also to do with the fact that I don’t have to deal with them anymore.  That is what my superior is there for.  Marvelous!!  As much as I want to excel in my job and move up in the world in this position I am actually enjoying the fact that I don’t have to worry about those things.

What I have found difficult is the topic of settling in when you are in such a small team.  My “office” in a remote area on the ship which does not generate traffic.  We don’t get to see any crew unless they make the effort to come by and see us about our products and or if I dare to go down to that dungeon of a smoke hole called the crew bar.

So it means one has to really dig deep within yourself if you are not in general a very outgoing person to begin with to get out there and meet and greet people.  In about 3 weeks it will be Christmas on board the ship.  Christmas decorations have been put up.  I am away from my family back home and I barely know anyone. 

4 more months here in the Caribbean with a 7 day itinerary seeing only 3 ports with 3 sea days over and over again and again and again……

This is the time in your life when you most probably have to dig really deep to find the courage to push through a contract which for me in general would not have been so hard if I was in the Mediterranean.

I have met one or two people.  Very sweet people.  You are the new face on board and of course you get attention from certain people that are very curious about you indeed.  Oh and then of course after a couple of days the person stops calling and then you realize….yeah welcome back to ship life.  This is how it goes.  Guess the first impression only lasted a short while.

“The Secret” is to I suppose never forget why you are here in the first place.  I spoke about this in my previous blog.  I will try and remind myself of this on a constant basis as it seems like here and right now I will have to do this more often than I thought.

“Hang on little tomato” as the song goes…”When change is hard and not so nice
You listen to your heart the whole night through
Your sunny someday will come one day soon to you….” 

By the end of this contract I will sit with my pink martini (maybe in Greece….maybe in Italy…who knows) listening to this song with a satisfied little smile inside knowing that I have made every day a sunny day.

little tomato

Keep being motivated no matter what…

I am currently getting towards the end of my adventure with my current company.  Finally getting to the next step in moving forward in my goals and career.  Just a few days away.  A silent feeling of excitement and at the same time sadness for leaving once again a few amazing people behind.

I have come to realize over the past few days as to why I love travelling and working on ships so much.  The different cultures you meet and greet everyday makes it so worth the while.  Every day, someone manages to make you smile just because of their nature and the way they act.

The part that I love the most of being here right now is the fact that every day I manage to smile more than just once a day.  I absolutely love it.  We had to start bringing motivational quotes to work and nominate people to bring it one day at a time.  When it was my turn, I just by accident stumbled upon a quote that I saw on my Facebook page saying the following… “You are never fully dressed without a smile.”  I absolutely love this quote.  I think your day is never complete if you cannot smile or make someone else smile even if it is at least once.

Every time I walk in a port I am having such a great time observing the people and what the country has to offer to me on the day.  Today we were in one of the Greek ports.  I was walking down the waterfront and just by passing people and making small little observations about how the people work and act and go around made me smile.  Just walking down the small narrow alleyways and having to jump out of the way for some guy or even woman riding on a 3 wheel scooter trying to get past.  Every guy for some reason wearing a scruffy beard.  Not a long one but just enough to look nice and scruffy.  Hearing the word “Ella” when passing almost every second person and getting these memory flashbacks from when I was younger and being called “Ella” myself by some of my family members.  I want to respond or say “yes?” to the person saying it.  J

The food I don’t have to say anything about as it is just amazing and you will never be disappointed no matter where in Greece you go for traditional Greek food.  There is just no two ways about it.  Their food is just AMAZING.

More so now than ever I feel motivated to reach my dreams and goals as this is what makes me feel so excited.  The fact that I will be making them come true. 

I am still cruisin through life.  Bit by bit.  Part by part, but the best part of this is I always move forward getting closer to my destinations little by little.  Sometimes something happens and the engine needs a little bit of maintenance however once everything is all in good order I am stronger than ever before to move forward and to sail to my final destination.

Yesterday, I decided I am going to be “bold”.  In my book this is being bold.  I decided to go to the spa and get my nails done and chose a bright red color for my nails.  This type of nail varnish is fairly permanent until I go and get it retouched in about 3 weeks time.  Since I’ve walked out of the spa I cannot stop looking at my hands and every time I look at my nails I have to smile.  I love it.  I love being red!!  Such a small little thing to just boost your confidence and making you feel almost like Marilyn Monroe!  😀  Sometimes it is the smallest thing in life which makes the day feels so awesome.  Yesterday it was my nails.  Well now I have no choice, I cannot avoid them and love seeing them look so nice every day.  Today, Greece made me smile along with some absolutely great company and foreign drinks which tasted like Sambuca but it wasn’t. 

Tomorrow I will be in Kusadasi, Turkey.  The supposedly shopping port of the itinerary.  So looking forward to being “harassed” by some Turks while trying to have a “peaceful” shopping experience and well a port will not be a port if you don’t have some local food outside.

When I was in Barcelona, I found this coffee canister at Starbucks.  Kind of cool.  Just this stainless steel coffee canister and a dry marker along with it.  So the idea is you can actually twist it open and remove the inside part – write little notes for yourself on the mug and put it back into the plastic shell.  So you walk around with all this “graffiti” on your coffee mug.   All my little motivational notes are on this mug just to remind me everyday why I’m here and where I’m heading. 

Naturally these past 2 months on board here has not been without its set of dramas.  When is a contract ever without it?!  It is part of the fine print in your contract. J  Ship life, the Narnia of the Seven Seas.  It truly is like a fantasy world if as much drama and excitement as you want it to have.  Create your own adventure and live every moment with as much excitement to make it the best movie you have ever seen and to show your children and grandchildren one day.