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!

Advertisements

Back to Busan

Occasionally the ship ports in the same place for 2 days, giving us the option to stay on land overnight.  My first “overnight” experience was last week in Busan.

I hadn’t been to Busan since joining the ship in early July.  It felt strange being there again.  I feel like so much has happened in the past month and a half, but being back at the port, I felt like no time had passed.  My perception of time is very skewed!

At the port

At the port

I got off the ship mid-afternoon on the first day in Busan.  My roommate and I shared a cab with some members of the sports staff and had an amusing conversation with the driver.  In broken English, he asked if I was from Singapore.  As a fair-skinned ginger, I was quite surprised by this question!  When we got downtown, I took advantage of free, fast internet at a cafe.  On port days, everyone uploads photos on Facebook, so I was flooded with notifications all afternoon!

We returned to the ship for dinner and a short rest, and then took cabs out to Hayundae Beach.  A few of my cast mates, some ice skaters, stage staff members, musicians, and a few officers all met up at a bar called Thursday Party.  Our cab driver wasn’t sure where we needed to go, so he dropped us off in the neighborhood, and I ended up asking the concierge at a hotel and a few people on the street for directions.  Luckily, my nonverbal communication skills are pretty good these days, and we found the spot without too much trouble.

Finally at Thursday Bar!

Finally at Thursday Bar!

We split into smaller groups, wandered into a hookah bar, and ended the night (or, more accurately, the morning) at Burger King.  Upon returning to the ship, I climbed straight into bed.  A few hours later, we went out again for coffee, internet, and shopping!  I have to say, cinnamon mochas are incredible!

Good ol' BK

Good ol’ BK

While I didn’t really have a cultural experience in Busan, I feel like I was able to see a different side of the city than I would with normal sightseeing.  All in all, I had a great first overnight!

We’ll be returning to Busan next month, and I intend to go to the aquarium, some temples, and a famous tower.  I hope the next stop there is just as fun!

My Bags Are Packed, I’m Ready to Go

I can’t believe I’m leaving Florida today!  I won’t return to U.S. soil until 2014.  How crazy is that?!

Farewell!

Farewell!

Over the weekend, I took advantage of my free time, and relaxed.  I had a movie night with a couple of the girls after rehearsal on Saturday, and Sunday treated myself to a “Princess Day”.  I slept in, ran a few errands, then went to a hotel on the beach for an afternoon at the spa!  I had a lovely “Heavenly Massage” at the new Heavenly Spa, enjoyed the steam room, sauna, and relaxation room, and after hydrating, sipped on a delicious ginger martini at the hotel bar.  It was great to have some time to myself to decompress.

1043915_10151694766871552_2093882574_n

Lovely legs

Monday morning we had a late start time, a few hours of review and rehearsal, a send-off meeting, and most importantly, our office run!  Our performance of the Movies show went really well!  I loved performing with my cast.  A friend from another ship actually commented on how great our group dynamic was.  Most of the other feedback I received was about my legs.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled about that.

998351_704200521056_329226213_n

A great team

We went back to the Mexican restaurant downtown to kick back after a rather stressful afternoon.  I had a hard time winding down, so I was grateful to be able to sleep in on Tuesday!  I ran a bunch of errands, did final loads of laundry, and re-packed all my things!  Somehow, my luggage has gained 10 lbs in 5 weeks.  I’m hoping I can avoid overweight luggage fees, but they may be inevitable.

1011089_704200541016_2006763682_n

Happy thoughts

We are leaving the apartments early in the morning, then flying from Miami to Tokyo, with a short stop in Dallas.  I wish we had a longer layover so I could see some of my friends from home!  We’ll be in Tokyo for a couple hours before flying to Gimhae in Korea.  We are going to spend Thursday night in a hotel, and will join the ship Friday afternoon in Busan.  It’s going to be a long trip, but I’m really excited!  I have a giant book and a Nook (on loan from my sister), so I should stay entertained on the plane.  Unfortunately, I’ll miss out on any 4th of July festivities.

Let me entertain you!

Let me entertain you!

Next time you hear from me, I’ll be on the ship!  Things are about to get interesting…