Returning to the Real World

I’ve now been home for about a week and a half.  In that time, I’ve reflected a lot on my experiences the past 8 months.  Overall I had an excellent first contract.  I was challenged in many ways, but also liberated.  I saw many new places and met some wonderful people.  Returning to “the real word”, normal life, has proven to be a bit of a challenge.  Right now, I don’t want to be in the real world.  I want to continue the adventures.  I want to seize the day, take chances, make mistakes, and live my life.  But more on that later…

Voyager of the Seas

Voyager of the Seas

First, I want to share a few of the highlights from my contract on the Voyager of the Seas.

Best Tours

Dancing on the Great Wall

Dancing on the Great Wall

Riding elephants in the rain

Riding elephants in the rain

I cuddled a koala!

I cuddled a koala!

Best Beaches

Bondi, famous for a reason!

Bondi, famous for a reason!

Relaxing, sunny spot!

Relaxing, sunny spot

Small and beautiful

Small and beautiful

Best Nightlife

Everybody in da club!

Everybody in da club!

Overnight = endless fun

Overnight = endless fun

Most Beautiful Countries

Milford Sound. No filter needed.

Milford Sound. No filter needed.

A little bit of everything. A lot of beauty!

A little bit of everything. A lot of beauty!

Favorite Overall Ports

Full of possibilities

Full of possibilities

Nagasaki Bridge

Nagasaki Bridge

Obviously, I had a pretty incredible time.

While working on the ship, many things were taken care of for me.  I felt more relaxed than usual, and loosening the reigns a bit allowed me to grow.  I was less stressed, more carefree.  I felt like a person, rather than a walking calendar.  I was less focused on budgeting, and more focused on experiencing.  It was wonderful.

San Francisco, my home sweet home

San Francisco, my home sweet home

When I returned to San Francisco, I felt like I never left.  While it was comforting to return to such a familiar environment, I expected to feel different.  I’ve changed, so why hasn’t the city?  Shouldn’t I be seeing things differently?  The longer I spend there, the more I feel myself slipping into my old skin.  I’m acting like the person my friends remember, rather than the person I’ve become.  The main challenge of this vacation will be learning how to blend the two versions of me.  I must learn to face reality without losing my sense of freedom.

Leaving the ship

Leaving the ship

Over the next few months, I’ll be traveling around the country to visit family and friends.  I was very isolated on the ship, so now there are a lot of people I want to reconnect with!  During this time, I will not be posting.  The blog will be up and running again at the end of April when I return to Florida to start rehearsing for my second contract.  Then, I’ll be embarking on a European tour on the Adventure of the Seas.

All smiles :-)

All smiles 🙂

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned!

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Pretty Little Picton

Welcome to Picton!

Welcome to Picton!

Picton is a very small, but very beautiful town in New Zealand.  I started my afternoon in Picton wandering down the main road.  I wove my way in and out of a few shops, including a costume shop, a bookstore, a gift shop, and a jewelry store.  I walked back towards the water on a smaller street, and came across an outdoor market.  Vendors were selling home made goods, such as cutting boards, jewelry, and most amusingly, hand made underwear.  I picked up a fun pair of earrings and continued on my merry way.

Market in Picton

Market in Picton

I joined some friends at an ice cream shop where I got a cone of vanilla hokey pokey.  In case you don’t know, hokey pokey is a New Zealand specialty consisting of honeycomb chunks.  It was delicious!  We took our ice cream to a small park nearby and enjoyed the music of a street performer.

Ice cream = dream!

Ice cream = dream!

Once I had cleaned myself up a bit, I continued window-shopping.  My roommate and I ended our outing with dinner at a café.  I had a great quinoa dish with mushrooms and a soy latte.  Quinoa is normally a staple in my diet, but I haven’t had any since joining the ship in July!  Needless to say, I was very excited when I saw it on the menu.  Even more exciting was my latte.  I’ve seen some pretty incredible latte art in my time, but never before had I seen a bear.  It was almost too cute to drink!

Latte bear

Latte bear

Unfortunately, I won’t be returning to Picton before I sign off at the end of the month.  I greatly enjoyed my day there, and am glad I was able to see another lovely part of New Zealand.

View from the park

View from the park

Sounds Like Hallelujah

Last week, we sailed through Milford Sounds in New Zealand.  It was stunningly beautiful!  Here are some of my photos for you to enjoy.  Play the youtube clip for some mood music!

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Waterfall

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View from the back of the ship

So beautiful

So lovely

Can you see the ice?

Can you see the ice?

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the view

Intro to New Zealand

Beautiful view in Wellington

Beautiful view in Wellington

The first cruise with New Zealand ports was very busy for my cast!  We were installing Mystery Theater, re-blocking shows due to injuries, and still doing our regularly scheduled performances and parades.  As a result, I chose to save my energy and take it easy when I was on land.  Even though I haven’t done many touristy activities, I’ve loved my time in New Zealand so far!

Walking in Wellington

Walking in Wellington

I’ve now stopped twice in Wellington.  The port is a just a short walk from downtown, so it’s very easy to get out and explore the beautiful city.  The color of the ocean is shockingly blue, and the weather has been sunny and warm, just how I like it!  I’ve found great shops, delicious food, and plenty of lovely views.

Breakfast of champions.  Eggs benedict

Breakfast of champions. Eggs benedict

One of the other New Zealand ports is in a small town called Tarangua.  There is one main road that leads to the beach and has a variety of restaurants and shops.  I’ve spent my time there sitting on a patio and napping on the beach.  The living has been easy!  I hope to have the energy to climb a mountain next time we are in Tarangua.  I’ve heard the views from the top will be stunning.

The beach in Tarangua

The beach in Tarangua

Auckland has been another great port for shopping.  I splurged on a bit of retail therapy our first day in Auckland.  The last time we were there, and group of friends and I went to see “Catching Fire”, the new Hunger Games movie.  It was surprisingly exciting to go to the movies.  I felt so “normal”!  We ended the day with burritos and margaritas at a restaurant on the water.  It was a fun, simple day.  The next time we stop there, I plan to go wine tasting on Waihiki Island!

Margaritas in Auckland

Margaritas in Auckland

I’m looking forward to more excitement in the coming weeks in New Zealand.  Stay tuned!