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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Dumbo and Ping Pong Show

For our overnight in Thailand, the ship ported near a city called Pattaya, about 2 hours from Bangkok.

Pattaya Elephant Village

Pattaya Elephant Village

I joined a few of the girls from my cast on a guest tour to Pattaya Elephant Village.  My roommate and I rode a feisty young elephant named Mina through the rain.  Our elephant tamer, Lun, entertained us with fun facts about Mina’s sister, working at the village, and life in Pattaya.  After our ride, we watched the elephants perform tricks in a show, and were able to feed them bananas.  One of the elephants was able to count!  A member of the audience would tell him how many bananas to eat out of the 5 set in front of him.  3 times in a row, he nailed it!

Mina and Lun

Mina and Lun

The tour ended with a short lecture in a silk factory.  We learned about silkworms, and were able to watch a woman working on a beautiful pink piece of silk.  The patience required was incredible.  She could produce just one meter of silk in two weeks, but the resulting product was perfect.

Silk factory

Silk factory

The tour bus took us back to the ship, where we were able to rinse off, regroup, and then hopped in cabs to go to downtown Pattaya.  Even on a Monday night, the nightlife was crazy!  We saw an incredibly disturbing show at a bar, tried Thai whiskey (40 proof), and then went searching for pad Thai.  We found a tacky little restaurant on the water that had surprisingly tasty food!

Dinner on Walking Street

Dinner on Walking Street

When we went back out on Walking Street, we found some more friends sitting outside at a bar.  There was a band playing, so we stopped to join them.  The male singer was fantastic, but the girl’s version of “Someone Like You” left much to be desired.

Always love live music!

Always love live music!

Our new big group migrated to a club down the street.  We had fun dancing, chatting, and drinking some slushy shots.  A few other staff members, officers included, were at the same club.  It was great to see them off the ship, having fun!

Dancing the night away

Dancing the night away

Walking Street

Walking Street

The taxi ride home was quite an experience.  The cab was a remodeled truck with benches along the sides of the truck bed, and nothing but a railing across the back.  5 of us sat on the benches, gripping handrails in the center for dear life.  We made it safely back to the ship in half the time it took to get to Pattaya.  My hair was so horribly windblown; I was surprised ship security didn’t laugh.

In the "cab"

In the “cab”

All in all, Thailand was terrific!