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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Forget Lions and Tigers… I’ve got Koalas and Kangaroos!

Cute koala!

Cute koala!

In Brisbane, I joined a crew tour to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.  I signed up for the tour just to hold a koala, but ended up doing so much more!

Lone Pine

Lone Pine

My first stop at the sanctuary was a large field full of kangaroos and wallabies.  I fed some of the kangaroos, and was able to pet a wallaby.  I loved seeing the kangaroos hop around, though they usually walked on all fours.  They have very short arms, so they looked rather awkward walking!

Feeding a kangaroo

Feeding a kangaroo

Close up

Close up

Next, I watched a short presentation about Tasmanian devils.  The small animals are kind of cute, but they are disgusting little things!  I was also able to see platypuses, wombats, and dingoes.

It's a wallabee!

It’s a wallabee!

The sanctuary had koalas of all ages.  There was a Retirement Home, Kindergarten, and a Bachelor Pad.  My favorite place was the Koala Cuddling area.  I was able to hold a sweet little guy and pose for a few photos.  Although his fur was soft, his rear end was hard and callused.  He was eating a eucalyptus leaf, and he smelled like the plant.  Considering I have a eucalyptus allergy, I was very glad I loaded up on allergy meds!

I cuddled a koala!

I cuddled a koala!

I caught the end of a show about sheep shearing, and got to play with a sheep dog named Rex.  While walking back to the entrance, I came across a little pony and a bird feeding area.  Although the birds were beautiful, I hated having so many of them flying around my head.  When a bit of droppings landed on my shoe, I ran out of there!

Rex, the sheep dog

Rex, the sheep dog

I dig a pony

I dig a pony

We were supposed to stop downtown to shop, but ran out of time.  Although I didn’t get to see the city, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Brisbane!  Up next, New Zealand!

Beautiful birds

Beautiful birds