I will always tell you that besides travelling and the job (for those as lucky as I am to be doing what I love), the other most influential and relevant aspect are people you meet.
First of all, you are surrounded and pretty much stuck with them. The chances of you feeling lonely are nothing compared to being on land. Yes, it’s true, you sometimes find yourself surrounded by some you don’t have anything in common with. Whenever I felt lonely, I always knew at least 5 absolutely golden people on the ship. Now I know and adore so many more, and if they are not around, I stay in touch with them whilst we’re sailing in different oceans.
There’s this popular difference in opinion between crew members, one of them implying that life on ships is fake and unreal and people behave differently on ships than on land. It is different, no argument there. However, I am always vocal in describing it as “life on fast forward”. People are people, whether on ships or not. You get the great ones, the confused ones, the hilarious ones, the depressed ones, the sneaky ones, the independent and codependent ones, the forever moaning ones and the quiet ones. As different as the lifestyle is on board, I don’t think it should take the blame for people’s behaviour.
I tend to praise the inspiring ones, but I would lie if I didn’t say I meet some nasty people on board. I met the stalkers, the liars, the greedy ones, and the ones who use their rank somehow abusively.
Stripes are earned: some easy-ish and others imply a lifetime commitment to the role. Whenever I met someone too arrogant because of the stripes on their shoulders may have empowered them to treat others badly, I just imagine them when stepping off the ship. Whether your life is on ships or not, once you step off the ship to go on holiday or even in port, you are not the Head of, or the Manager of, or the chief of….anything anymore.
What are you once you’re striped off your stripes?
I found it funny when it happens (rarely) to get an overly arrogant attitude from a not so high-ranked officer and you would discover the kindest, most humble, simple and normal attitudes in the Captains or other high ranked members, like the Senior Management Team and more.
This being said, I am a people person, which is why this lifestyle suits me. Although I just asked my room mate not to talk to me 5 minutes so I can finish these thoughts.
I am writing this from a good place, from a great place actually. I must also mention the strict rules on how crew members must behave with each other. I can go to bed knowing that a system is in place to avoid bullying, racism and any form of discrimination, which facilitates us to live with each other. There are more than 45 languages spoken on the ship I am at the moment and we all know how to be on the same page.
Until next time,