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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Let’s Get Down to Business

Written 7/13/13

Time has flown by since I joined the ship last Friday!  After signing on, we went straight into orientation.  Various safety and policy trainings have been spread throughout the week, in addition to rehearsals, costume fittings, parade rehearsals, and practice safety drills.

En route to the ship

En route to the ship

Days have started blending together in my mind, and my sleep patterns have been more than a little unusual.  The only constants have been meal times, though today I was unable to even make it to lunch.  We had our first full dress rehearsal of the Broadway show this afternoon, and have just one more run in costumes before we open the show!  I’m struggling with some of the quick changes, so I hope I can move faster tomorrow.

The water has luckily been pretty smooth during rehearsals, but simply being on a ship while dancing has added a whole new challenge. There are also a lot of intricate costumes and large prop and set pieces in all of the productions, so they have dramatically escalated in difficulty.  I was teased quite a bit during our parade tonight (first one!) because I looked somewhat panicked every time I left the parade route to change props.  I spent most of the day essentially paralyzed by anxiety.

The ship has stopped in Tianjin and Jeju, but I’ve been unable to go on land because of rehearsals.  I’m looking forward to getting off the ship and exploring soon!  I’m especially excited to go to Jeju.  From what I can see, it’s beautiful.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

I’ve made the most of the little free time I’ve had on the ship.  I’ve met some people from other departments, went to a crew skate night, attended a “strum session” at the staff bar, and went to a beach themed crew party.   I was also able to see the previous production cast perform our Movies show and watch the ice show!  I’ll start helping with lights for the ice show soon, so it was nice to see what I’ll be dealing with.

This week has been a roller coaster.  I’ve had emotional highs and lows, feeling joy, anger, and everything in between, but overall, I’m still optimistic.  Once I get into the swing of things (and stop getting lost), I think I’ll have a great time.

Port updates coming soon!